Sunday 25 August 2019

Lin-Manuel Miranda: Delay to Hamilton’s West End opening is frustrating

The show was pushed back by more than two weeks.

BAFTA Film Awards 2017 – Arrivals – London
BAFTA Film Awards 2017 – Arrivals – London

By Laura Harding, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda has spoken of his “frustration” that the West End opening of his musical has been delayed because the theatre renovations will not be completed on time.

Thousands of ticket-holders have had to be re-seated after the previews to the Tony-winning show, which has been a Broadway sensation, were pushed back to December 6 from November 21.

The musical’s opening night, which uses hip hop and rap to tell the story of Alexander Hamilton – one of America’s founding fathers, will be on December 21 at the Victoria Palace Theatre.

Miranda, who penned the musical and starred as the title character in the original Broadway cast, told the Press Association: “It’s frustrating.

“I share the frustration of everyone who had to get re-seated. This was an unprecedented renovation, I’m anxious to see it.”

He added he is excited to see how the comedic portrayal of King George III, the British monarch who lost the American colonies, is received in the UK.

He said: “King George III is a crowd favourite with every actor, every rapper.

“When Busta Rhymes saw the show he said ‘I need that outfit’.

“There is something about the character, he becomes an audience surrogate.

“It’s sort of delightful, as he pokes holes in the American mythology, he’s all of us in a way.”

Miranda added that he does not think the fact the show details another country’s history will affect the audience’s enjoyment and understanding.

He said: “That was one of the first questions I got when I was in London – ‘We don’t know your history here’.  I would sheepishly add, ‘Well most Americans don’t know our history either so that’s not an impediment to enjoying the musical’.

“But I’m very curious to see how you guys react to King George III in the show, that theatre is in the shadow of Buckingham Palace so I’m very curious to see how that goes over.

“I’m also excited to get to know this British cast. I will be over for rehearsal soon and getting to see how they tell the story.”

Miranda is now offering one fan and a guest from around the world the chance to accompany him and his wife Vanessa Nadal to the opening night of the show on December 21.

The couple have teamed up with online fundraising platform Prizeo to invite fans to make a donation to the National Resources Defence Council (NRDC) and the UK-based climate change charity 10:10 to be in with a chance of winning the prize.

One $10 or £8 donation will give fans 100 entries to win two tickets to the opening night, two tickets to the after-party, round-trip airfare and hotel accommodation for two.

Miranda said: “We wanted a campaign that affected the whole world. Climate changes is a pretty obvious one and we looked for campaigns that have a global impact because this is the first international Hamilton.”

The campaign runs until December 6 and donations can be made at prizeo.com/hamilton.

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