By Jay Darcy
Hamilton, the biggest musical in the world, is set to embark on its first ever UK tour – in which it will have its regional premiere in Manchester (which was named the third best city in the world but we all know it’s the greatest city in the world).
With the country’s best theatre scene outside of London, it is no surprise that the city of bees has had this honour bestowed upon us, and we are absolutely buzzing!
Palace Theatre Manchester always hosts an incredible musical over the holidays. Last year, we had The Lion King (which is still here), and Christmas 2024 will see the return of Wicked, but both musicals had/have played at the Palace twice before. Hamilton, meanwhile, is making its Manchester debut!
Hamilton had its world premiere on Off-Broadway in 2015, transferring to Broadway later that year. It premiered in Chicago in 2016 and has embarked on North American tours in 2017, 2018 and 2019. It later premiered in LA in 2021 – and it had its Oceania premiere in Australia that same year. The musical had its European premiere on the West End in 2017 and its continental European premiere in Hamburg in 2022. Now, at long last, it is touring the UK – the very country it (rightfully) admonishes – with forthcoming seasons in New Zealand and an international tour also planned. “An American Musical” has gone global!
Producer Cameron Mackintosh said today: “Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton is indisputably the most brilliant, ground-breaking, contemporary musical of modern times. I feel extraordinarily fortunate that Lin and my friend Jeffrey Seller, the show’s original producer, have entrusted me with their wonderful musical in the UK and Ireland. The London production opened in 2017 at the Victoria Palace, a theatre I completely rebuilt to house Hamilton, where it continues to play and has proved to be as big a success as the Broadway original.
“So, I am thrilled that it is time to put together a second British national touring company to bring this great show to our leading cities. Opening first in Manchester, followed by Edinburgh – not far from where the real story of Alexander Hamilton began in Ayrshire, where his father was born in the 1700’s, before he moved to Nevis in the West Indies. Tomorrow we start casting for a brilliant new company. We look forward to welcoming audiences to ‘the room where it happens’.”
Producer Jeffrey Seller added, “Since the day the show opened at the Victoria Palace Theatre, London has embraced Hamilton with an enthusiasm we could never have imagined. We are excited to embark on a UK tour and share this special musical with audiences in Manchester and Edinburgh first.”
Hamilton is the story of America then, told by America now. Featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, R&B and Broadway, Hamilton has taken the story of American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton and created a revolutionary moment in theatre – a musical that has had a profound impact on culture, politics, and education.
Hamilton, which casts people of colour as the slave-owning Founding Fathers and their allies, is politically complex, with some seeing it as a racial reclamation and others rendering it a whitewash – a criticism Miranda welcomes.
But one cannot argue with the sheer excellence of the production. I finally watched the musical on the West End last April. It is, without a doubt, one of the best things I have ever seen – and I have seen just about everything!
I’m a big softie, I cry at everything, but I’ve never cried quite so much at a show. Awhile after my second sob, I touched my beard to find that it was still soaking… So, do arm yourself with some tissues!
Hamilton has its UK regional premiere at Palace Theatre Manchester on November 11 2023, where it will play until February 24 2024. Tickets go on sale March 13. The production will then transfer to Festival Theatre, Edinburgh from February 28 to April 27, with further venues to be announced and casting underway.
The musical continues to play to sell-out houses at Victoria Palace Theatre, London – where it is currently booking until March 2 2024.
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