There’s a lot of hype about Hamilton from it’s opening on Broadway in America to it’s opening in Manchester says Paul Smalley as he reviews the musical Hamilton at Manchester’s Palace Theatre
The production follows the life of Alexander Hamilton an orphan and Caribbean immigrant who rises to become a leading political figure in creation of The United States as one of the founding fathers.
Shaq Taylor portrays Hamilton with a vigorous panache from his early days to becoming a respectable if not a complicated and at times difficult man to deal with.
The other main characters are quickly introduced via a variety of musical sounds, Hip Hop, R & B, Soul, Funk and some do not hit the spot whilst others perfectly intertwine to the necessary effect, like the introduction of The Schuyler Sisters we could be at a Destiny Child concert but alas the music does not continue to provide this excellence with the noticeable exceptions of “The room where it happens” and “It’s quiet up there”.
There are some strange castings and whilst in general the acting is fine, the historical characters of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and Aaron Burr are intentionally cast by people of colour, an interesting decision to go forward with.
Apart from the superb Taylor, the performance of Daniel Boys playing a very camp and puddingish King George III, gets the most comic moments unlike the over the top silliness of Lafayette and Jefferson played by Billy Nevers.
The ensemble perform the brilliant choreography, utilising the revolving stage to full effect with gusto throughout and fully deserve the plaudits they receive.
Hamilton is a good production but not great as the hype leads you to believe and as Hamilton’s wife says in the final song ” he could have done so much more”.
Just like this production.