Entertainment & Arts

Hamilton musical wows first London audience

Jamael Westman with members of the Hamilton cast Image copyright Matthew Murphy
Image caption Jamael Westman (centre) plays Alexander Hamilton at the refurbished Victoria Palace

The first UK performance of Broadway hit Hamilton has left audience members singing the hip-hop musical's praises.

Self-proclaimed "theatre addict" Alex Packer called the performances from the London cast "faultless", and Jen Waller called the evening "truly special".

The Daily Mail's Baz Bamigboye said it had been "the best first preview of a musical [he'd] seen since Miss Saigon".

In the Telegraph, meanwhile, Veronica Lee said the show at the Victoria Palace theatre "went without a hitch".

The opening of the show had been put back a fortnight, due to delays in the venue's extensive restoration.

Previews continue until 21 December, when the Tony-winning musical will have its official opening night.

"Saw the first performance of @HamiltonWestEnd tonight and it literally blew my mind," tweeted "serial theatregoer" Daniel Lewis.

His sentiments were echoed by David Cambridge, who said he felt "so privileged to see the very first UK performance".

First staged in New York in 2015, Hamilton uses hip-hop and rap to tell the life story of one of America's founding fathers.

The role of Alexander Hamilton is played in London by Jamael Westman, a 25-year-old Rada graduate with only two other professional stage credits to his name.

Image copyright Matthew Murphy
Image caption Rachelle Ann Go, Rachel John and Christine Allado play "the Schuyler sisters"

According to the Evening Standard, whose editor George Osborne was among Wednesday's audience, Westman gives "a superlative performance".

"He absolutely smashed it," agreed Frank Ikenye on Instagram. "Wouldn't think this was only his 3rd production."

Hamilton is already one of the hottest tickets in London, prompting its producers to bring in a paperless ticketing system to combat touts.

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