Hamilton at Bristol Hippodrome

Posted on: 2024-05-07

Our rating:

From history books to the Bristol Hippodrome

Hamilton: An American Musical follows the life and story of one of America’s founding fathers, Alexander Hamilton, through a contemporary lens and innovative storytelling. Lin-Manual Miranda’s unique approach of using a contemporary twist of hip-hop R&B to convey historical stories challenges theatre as we know it and offers a diverse theatrical experience with cultural significance.


The story follows Alexander Hamilton, an orphaned immigrant from the West Indies, and how he came to become one of America’s Founding Fathers. He left the Caribbean in 1773 with little more than his intelligence (much to Aaron Burr’s dismay) and headed to King’s College in New York City. His education laid the foundation for his personal development and shaped his views on governance, economics, and the government.


The show demonstrates his personal endeavours and complex relationships with other historical figures such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr. Hamilton’s history is a bed of controversy, from his political views to sordid love affairs; Alexander Hamilton was known to be a notoriously difficult man, ultimately leading to his regretful murder.



The show diversifies standard history and portrays historical figures, traditionally depicted as white, as different ethnicities, emphasizing the concept that America’s history belongs to people of all backgrounds and highlighting a strong theme of inclusion and representation. Hamilton appeals to all; having an interest in history is not a prerequisite to the show and is enjoyed throughout theatre due to the dynamic performances, engaging characters and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s unique approaches.


Although very basic, the staging worked well with the themes, and the choreography was fantastic throughout, engaging the audience and adding depth to the show. There were flairs of comedic performance throughout, adding light to otherwise pressing themes. Billy Nevers as Thomas Jefferson deserves special mention for his engaging performance, often leaving the audience in pools of laughter.



Hamilton truly is a musical experience, with clever lyrics offering a masterclass in wordplay and a fusion of musical styles; there is something that appeals to everyone. Maya Britto, as Eliza, gave a spellbinding performance, conveying emotion through her voice, enabling pure empathy for her pain and resilience.


The continued momentum through all tracks drives the musical narrative and keeps the audience's attention sharp with fantastic pacing throughout. The musical is filled with iconic and memorable songs, made all the better by the exceptional orchestra. However, there were times throughout the show that it was difficult to articulate full context, and I felt there to be an off-balance between the volume of music and harmonising lyrics; this was limited, however, and for a show with so much lyrical context, the cast executed well and the harmonies sounded magnificent.


The production inspires reflection on important themes throughout history and leaves a lasting impression on audiences, challenging previously portrayed views. It sparks conversations on diversity and inclusion and leaves the audience contemplating the emotional resonance.


Whether you're an avid history fan or not, Hamilton is not a show to miss, and you will leave the theatre questioning preconceived views and conceptions.

Article by:

Gareth Owen

Gareth is director of Raw Space Coworking on Gloucester Road and loves to write about the city’s art and culture.