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I first experienced the phenomenon of Hamilton in New York. At the time, I knew nothing about Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical masterpiece; it was my daughter who convinced me to buy tickets. In my head, I couldn’t quite grasp how a song and dance show about George Washington’s right-hand man and the American Revolution could have attracted such plaudits (11 Tony Awards, seven Olivier Awards, a Pulitzer Prize and even a Grammy). But within a few minutes of curtain up it hit me – just like the millions of people who’d seen it before and since, I was absolutely and utterly hooked.

Hamilton Hippodrome

DeAngelo Jones, Shaq-Taylor, Billy Nevers and KM Drew-Boateng. Photo Danny Kaan

Fast forward two years, and last night I got to experience its magic once more, this time much closer to home at Birmingham Hippodrome. It’s the first UK tour of Hamilton and I did wonder how well it would travel; after all, its historical context is little known this side of the Atlantic. But I say with absolute confidence, this electrifying and emotional performance more than equalled its Broadway counterpart.

For the initiated it follows the story of statesman Alexander Hamilton, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, through a dynamic mix of hip-hop, rap and R&B. Miranda based his work on Ron Chernow’s biography, chronicling the rise of a destitute orphan who become one of the most pivotal figures in American history, as it explores themes of ambition, legacy and the relentless pursuit of one’s dreams.

Daniel Boys as King George. Photo by Danny Kaan

The Hippodrome’s production was nothing short of brilliant. The immense energy of the cast was a privilege to watch as each brought fresh nuances to their roles. With so many stand-out performances it’s almost impossible to single out the shining stars, but special mentions must go to lead Shaq Taylor, whose rapid-fire delivery and depth was just captivating, and Sam Oladeinde, with his truly powerful portrayal of Aaron Burr. The Schuyler sisters – played by Maya Britto and Aisha Jawando – were a joy to watch, as were the vocal gymnastics of Daniel Boys as the wonderfully comedic King George.

Hamilton Hippodrome

Maya Britto, Aisha Jawando and Gabriela Benedetti. Photo Danny Kaan

There’s endless show-stopping numbers too, from the fast-paced Alexander Hamilton, My Shot, The Room Where It Happens and You’ll Be Back to the hauntingly beautiful Wait For It, Burn and Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Tells Your Story – each synchronised and choreographed to perfection. Clever staging and lighting effects added layers of complexity, heightening the overall production.

Charles Simmons as George Washington and Company. Photo by Danny Kaan

What truly made this performance special was the palpable connection between the cast and the audience as every beat and witty lyric resonated deeply. It’s clear Hamilton has transcended beyond being just a musical; it’s a cultural movement that continues to inspire, regardless of where in the world it’s staged. And the instantaneous standing ovation as soon as the final note rang out was testament to this. The cast aren’t joking when they sing “And the world’s gonna know your name”. 

My advice? If you only see one thing in the theatre this year make sure it’s this because it truly is as production not to be missed. It runs for a ten-week season in the city so there’s really no excuse to not book tickets now!

Hamilton is on at Birmingham Hippodrome right through to Saturday August 31. Tickets on sale here.