Hamilton Disney Plus review: To stream or not to stream?

Since the pandemic hit, the life of theatre has ground to a halt. I feel like I have undergone a break-up, without warning, that came out of nowhere and has left me and my emotions all askew. Shaftesbury Avenue, the hub of Theatre Land, has become desolate and bare, the hive of activity having abruptly stopped. Disney then released the fantastic news (and a huge thank you to Lin-Manuel Miranda for facilitating) that 3 July 2020 would be the day that Hamilton finally drops. I could hardly contain my glee.

Hamilton Disney Plus review: To stream or not to stream?
Pictured: The original Broadway cast of Hamilton The Musical.

His name is Alexander Hamilton!

There is much gratitude for allowing the Broadway production to be shown to the hundreds who were unable to get tickets (the cost of which also ran into the hundreds). When the word got around, the critics unanimously agreed that this show is insane.

Fast forward and the same hype arrived when Hamilton moved into London's Victoria Palace. Getting tickets was challenging and my waiting list number had almost the same digits as my mobile number. Finally, when my time had come, I took my seat in the hallowed stalls and for 2 hours I was spellbound, held in the palm of Hamilton himself, watching magic set to the tone of hip-hop envelop me.

Is Hamilton just as spellbinding on screen as it is on stage?

Excited as I was to see it in the comfort of my own home, I wondered whether it would lose its magic, viewing it through a screen rather than being able to smell the greasepaint and waiting for the curtain to rise. I have to say that my fears were unjustified.

There is no substitute for live theatre but given that is no longer an option, at least for the time being, I forgot that I wasn’t in a theatre. In fact, it has a bonus over live shows as there are no restrictions when viewing outside of an auditorium. I didn’t have to stretch in my seat to see the characters' faces, so close to Lin Manuel in the titular role that I could even count the buttons on his overcoat.

Hamilton on Disney Plus: "Now more than ever we need an escape"

Hamilton has arrived in a timely manner. The theatre industry has been affected by COVID-19 in a way that is unprecedented. Now more than ever we need an escape to a place of wonder and fulfilment, to be able to pause the very trying time that we are currently faced with and that we will have to journey through for the foreseeable future.

Hamilton has allowed that spark to fan into a flame, even for a short period whilst Theatre is in an interval. I don’t know when the curtain will rise again for the Second Act and when I will be able to mingle again with my fellow thespian lovers, but until then, this will do very nicely indeed!


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Kay Johal

Kay particularly enjoys musicals and has a passion for writing.


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