Hamilton at Home
Music Editor Bridie Adams reviews the hit musical, Hamilton, and the experience of viewing it from the comfort of your own home.
I never jumped on the Hamilton hype. When all my friends and then-boyfriend were rapping verses from the songs at school and raving about the soundtrack, I was basically clueless. I knew it incorporated elements of American history and that it was innovative in being a very contemporary, hip hop and R&B based musical, which diverges hugely from what one would usually expect of musical theatre as a genre. That was the extent of my knowledge. So, I was quite excited when I heard about its release on Disney+, knowing that I would finally have a chance to see it for myself.
What I love about Hamilton being available on this platform is that it’s very accessible. It used to be a pretty big flex to say you’d seen the original Broadway cast performing the musical live on stage. But you’d pay a hell of a lot of money for good seats, and still quite a substantial amount for any production of Hamilton. To be able to see it, effectively for free if you access a free trial of Disney+, or at a minimal rate if you have a subscription to the streaming platform, is fantastic. You can also watch Disney+ on a smart TV, a laptop, a tablet or even a phone, making it really flexible as a platform.
Hamilton brings history alive in a way that engages a lot of people, especially young people. Personally, I knew very little about founding father Alexander Hamilton, and a little musical education on this was very welcome. I have always been interested in history, having studied it at A Level and enjoyed more historical-based topics studied in my English degree, so I think this is a really positive aspect of Hamilton.
Hamilton brings history alive in a way that engages a lot of people, especially young people.
As a musician and lover of music, the main thing I liked about Hamilton was definitely the soundtrack. Of course, the whole production revolves around its music, so as someone who is passionate about this, it’s great viewing and listening. I love the blend of musical genres, beats, sounds and powerful vocals.
The musical had to be cleaned up slightly to be put on Disney+, which just involved removing a couple of swear words, but other than that it’s basically how you would see it if you had gone to the Broadway show itself. Although you may argue that you lose a lot of the atmosphere you would get at the theatre when you view the musical in your own home, there are also clear advantages. For me, the main one is that Hamilton is a very long musical, and it’s nice to break it up a bit by watching it in several sittings rather than tackling the whole thing at once, which can be a lot to take in.
If you haven’t seen Hamilton, I think you should. But that’s not to say that I didn’t find it long and a little hard to follow. If you love musicals, give it a go – it’s easy to access now, after all.