The Handbook
The Handbook

The world turned upside down! There are few industries more affected by the pandemic than theatre. While restaurants continue to hobble along with outdoors service (where they can) and many of us are back in the office, if we ever left it, the doors of the West End’s theatre land have remained chained resolutely shut without reprieve for thirteen months and counting. But now things are looking up: Hamilton’s back!

Closed for the longest time since the commonwealth, three hundred and fifty years or so ago, the list of West End shows slowly planning to reopen gets longer by the day. The likes of Jersey Boys, Book of Mormon, Prince of Egypt and Hairspray, not to mention Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. And yesterday Hamilton weighed in with news of their opening, coming on August 19th.

The play, which charts the life of America’s immigrant founding father Alexander Hamilton, is one of the most talked about shows of the last decade and has won a slew of awards and plaudits, from a Pulitzer to 11 Tonies and 7 Oliviers. If you haven’t seen it, then you absolutely must.

A Pulitzer, 11 Tonies and 7 Oliviers. If you haven't seen it, then you absolutely must...

Written by American playwright and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda, it’s a masterpiece based on the (surprisingly dry) tome by historian Ron Chernow. It’s also a guaranteed money-spinner, just so long as the government is willing to step in should a fourth unexpected lockdown be called.

According to Miranda “For over a year the lights on the West End have been dark and our friends, family and colleagues on and off the stage have been out of work.

“It is with tremendous gratitude that we announce the return of Hamilton to London’s Victoria Palace Theatre this August. We will safely gather to tell this story again. We’ll be back.”

We will safely gather to tell this story again. We’ll be back...

Theatre impresario Cameron Mackintosh, who along with Jeffrey Seller produces Hamilton in London, added “I am therefore delighted to announce that our wonderful company will be back in The Room Where It Happens from 19th August at the Victoria Palace Theatre, now that the Prime Minister has told us that we are on track to reopen “cautiously but irreversibly” this summer. No need to Wait For It any longer!”

The government has started moves that would see the state become insurer of last resort for live events and productions over the tail-end of the pandemic. A limited trial is currently being run and it is hoped that security for shows like Hamilton, and perhaps more importantly smaller more vulnerable runs, will be able to qualify and access this insurance should things flare up again later in the year with new variants or future vaccination problems.

We simply can’t wait to get back into the theatre. Bookings are open again and you can catch a piece of theatre history (and actual history) at the Victoria Palace from August 19th.

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