Victoria Palace Theatre, London – booking until 13 February 2022
You know how it is, when a ticket to Hamilton falls into your lap, you can’t really say no to this… So a return to the Victoria Palace Theatre, my first since this behemoth of a show actually opened up and one which was surprisingly rewarding, over and above the pleasures of the show itself.
Karl Queensborough and Simon-Anthony Rhoden now occupy the key roles of Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr and what I found really interesting was that my sympathies actually altered between them. I’ve always been team Burr (it must have been the Terera of it all) but Rhoden has introduced a brusquer, harsher characterisation, which combined with Queensborough’s hugely open charisma, had me swapping sides quicker than James Madison.
Elsewhere, my conviction that ‘Satisfied’ is one of the all-time greatest moments in musical theatre remains unchanged, Ava Brennan following in the footsteps of Rachel John as an utterly electrifying Angelica. And Sharon Rose makes for a much improved Eliza, a more overt sense of personality shining through her interpretation which feels entirely suited to the piece.
Trevor Dion Nicholas smashes ‘One Last Time’, the harmonies in the final third of ‘Take A Break’ remain as tear-jerkingly beautiful as ever, and the kinetic grace of Andy Blankenbuehler’s choreography is just on fire. Being closer to the stage than I’ve been before meant I enjoyed the detailing of Paul Tazewell’s costume design too. King George knows what he’s singing of when he says ‘you’ll be back’!