After a renowned season on Broadway and the West End, the 11-time Tony Award-winning musical Hamilton opened in Sydney to thunderous applause. The musical depicts the story of American founding father Alexander Hamilton and is incredibly transportive, its collective elements shifting audiences to another time and location with ease.
The piece is truly lifted by the work of the brilliant ensemble, carrying the weight of the production as the comradery and synchronicity between performers radiates from the stage, performing their earliest shows as if they had been performing these roles their whole lives. Seeing such a diverse cast reflective of Australia’s population was a true delight, to contrast our production with counterparts around the world. An audience favourite was Brent Hill as King George III, with witty one-liners and hilarious subdued facial expressions that drew focus in moments of distraction. The universal nature of each performer was truly admirable, as their astonishing expertise had no limits in crossing genres.
The musical is certainly a work of the 21st Century, with rap battles and hip-hop galore, juxtaposing the detailed period costumes designed by Paul Tazewell. Each genre of the piece felt true and necessary, despite often casting a dramatic chiaroscuro in mere moments.
Both set and lighting design worked simultaneously to change locations with simplicity, to maintain the show’s fast pace. In addition, the aesthetics behind the set design maintained realism in the show’s circumstances, allowing the actors to work truthfully in their environment of the narrative.
Without prior knowledge of the musical itself, let alone the history of the American Revolution, I found the narrative efficiently informative, allowing the musical to retain engagement. Having never witnessed the genius of Lin Manuel Miranda’s work, the engaging, powerful and commanding music and lyrics were unlike anything I have ever experienced. With the weight of the esteemed original Broadway cast, Disney+ filmed recording and accumulated hype over several years, it seems that the Sydney production team lives up to all expectations, whilst paving their own standards in the production.
At the core of this piece of theatre is the motif of legacy, evident in Hamilton’s determination to be remembered as one of the first change-makers. Hamilton is the most incredibly powerful piece of musical theatre I have ever seen, reminding me of the magic of live theatre. This show is truly a revolution in itself!
Nick Annas, 15
Hamilton The Musical, Australia was such an exciting play to see. The actors did an amazing job and it was nice to see them all put their own little spin on their role.
The set of the show was so realistic and lifelike, and made me feel like I was in New York City watching the original production. It was interesting to see the different parts of the set being moved automatically with ropes and wires, or by hand.
Hamilton exceeded all expectations. After watching the official recording on Disney+, it was fun to see how the different ways that the Australian cast said their lines changed their roles completely (and even changed the characters’ personality!). For instance, Brent Hill as King George III felt a lot more playful and ‘goofy’ in this production, completely changing the character for the better in my opinion.
The amount of effort put into every detail of the show – including costumes and makeup – was very easy to appreciate. When you are sitting right there watching the show, you really begin to notice the small details, like how the appearance of an actor’s hair can influence the whole show! The costumes and the set blended so well that I didn’t even notice some of the actors that were on the stage!
No amount of words could explain how amazing it was seeing each of the musical numbers performed. When you’re watching the show live, you can really see how instrumental every person in the show is, and how the difference between TV and live theatre can really bring the show and the words to life, allowing the audience to experience theatre to its fullest. With Hamilton, every song was a journey that the audience went on, and it was thrilling.
Hamilton presented by Michael Cassel Group is playing at The Sydney Lyric Theatre and tickets are currently on sale through to November. Book your tickets here.