The wildly popular Hamilton musical has finally opened in Sydney. Last year when the pandemic hit our shores the cast and crew had real fears that the show may never make it to the stage, explained cast member Victory Ndukwe (who will be playing Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson).
"We really thought that it wasn't going to happen," explained Ndukwe. "Only just recently we thought we'd be playing to a reduced capacity. So there was a real fear that we weren't going to make it."
Luckily as COVID case numbers have continued to remain low the show will be able to go ahead and showcase such a special theatrical work. For Ndukwe, this show is so special because of its music, its cultural impact and the opportunity it provides for actors of colour to showcase their talents.
As Ndukwe explained the infusion of rap and urban elements into the music for this show made it groundbreaking, and also gave it more resonance with him personally.
"I first encountered the show through the soundtrack so I was drawn in by that... I really resonated with was how groundbreaking it was. I feel that [Hamilton] encourages a whole different variety and demographic of the population to come into the theatre, which is why it has become such a massive hit around the world."
With its cast being predominantly people of colour the show also has a special significance for Ndukwe.
"I grew up here from about 14 years old when we landed in Wodonga from South Africa and I never saw people who looked like me on television. So I think this is going to be a great thing for the younger generation coming up to know that it is possible to see people like them on stage. For me it's a magical thing because it gives talented people who don't look like everybody else on stage a chance to showcase their talents."
When asked what audiences can expect for this show Ndukwe says they shouldn't come in with preconceived notions based on the Disney+ version of the show.
"If people are coming to see exactly what they saw on the Disney+ version that is not going to be the case. Every company of Hamilton puts on their own version of the show... I would say it is definitely worth your while to come and see it. Watching the Disney+ version is fantastic, but just like you favourite band seeing it live is a whole other thing. Come and see this show, it might change your life.
Until Sep 5. Lyric Theatre, 55 Pirrama Rd, Pyrmont. $70-$200+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.hamiltonmusical.com.au
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