Menier Chocolate Factory, London – until 8 September 2018
If you know and love your musicals, you will not want to miss this hilarious parody that keeps the audience thoroughly engaged and entertained.
It certainly takes a lot of guts and skill to transform Hamilton into a parody – particularly when it comes to transforming the songs that are so well renowned into comical ones lyrically. But it is no exaggeration to say that with Spamilton writer and director Gerard Alessandrini has created an immense success, with this lively and energetic production that is filled to the brim with jokes and brilliant musical theatre references.
But what also makes this production so extraordinary is the way in which although it uses Hamilton as its starting point, much of the time other musicals and songs are referenced seamlessly throughout, certainly keeping everybody on their toes while gently poking fun at every element of musical theatre (check out for The Lion King sequence that has been brilliantly choreographed).
At its centre though, most of the jokes come at the expense of Lin-Manuel Mirada that can show a conflict of interest in terms of intent in the show: is it poking fun at the hype of Hamilton and Miranda or is it, in fact, a celebration of what he and the musical has achieved? This is just something that perhaps needs a bit more clarity.
But this doesn’t really distract from the sheer amount of energy and enthusiasm from all of the cast, who embrace the numerous characters with ease as well as managing to keep the show flowing with style. Particular standout performances come from Eddie Elliott who has real potential as Aaron Burr in Hamilton with his smooth vocals and easy charm, Jason Denton who consistently looks as though he is having fun on stage and Liam Tamne as the lead really engages the audience’s attention effectively throughout.
It could also be said that while there is great energy and fun to be found in Gerry McIntyre’s choreography, there are small moments in which some of the jokes feel slightly flat and take some of the energy away from the production as a whole – almost as if Gerard Alessandrini was trying to fit too much in for the hour and twenty five minutes.
But there are so many wonderful moments to be enjoyed and appreciated (none of which I want to ruin if you are planning on seeing it) that make this a must-see show for anyone who calls themselves a musical theatre fan. So if you can’t get into see Hamilton – then I heartily recommend you pop along to the Menier Chocolate Factory as this is certainly the next best thing!
By Emma Clarendon
Spamilton continues to play at the Menier Chocolate Factory until the 8th September. To book tickets click here or visit: Love Theatre.com and Encore Tickets.