The Broadway smash-hit may be brought Down Under by British musical theatre producer Cameron Mackintosh.
Anyone with even a passing interest in musical theatre will likely have heard the hushed, excited whispers emanating from America about a new show taking Broadway by storm: Hamilton.
The show, written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, is a biopic of sorts about the founding fathers of America, focusing on the life of one of the U.S’s less well known historical figures, Alexander Hamilton. So far, so dull, but this show has captured the hearts and minds of American audiences with its use of styles of music born and raised in the African-American community, such as Rap, RnB and Hip-Hop. Using this contemporary vernacular to tell a story about a band of young rebels and their fight to shape their own nation, while making profound comments about the racial tensions that still divide the country, has, for many, marked a bold, powerful new movement within musical theatre. The level of hype and near-hysterical critical praise that has been heaped on Hamilton since its opening in February last year has now made the rest of the world hungry for this American-centric new show.
However, unless specifically written for the Australian stage, imported productions rarely grace our shores before they’re relatively well travelled. Fortunately, the producer of Hamilton, Jeffery Seller, has stirred up the rumour mill Down Under after revealing in a New York Times interview that the hit show may head for Australia next year.
The possibility of an Australian season or tour of Hamilton is thanks to a new relationship the show has forged with British musical theatre impresario, Cameron Mackintosh. The producer has become close with Australia over the past two years thanks to highly successful tours of Les Misérables and Cats and it seems likely that his plans for Hamilton will include an Australian run. Before it comes to Australia it will be exhibited in London’s West End, so at this point no dates, venues or cast for an Aussie production are due anytime soon. However, Australian audiences have proven consistently to have a voracious appetite for musical theatre, and international presenters are taking notice.
Next year, another recent smash-hit, The Book of Mormon, will begin its highly anticipated Australian tour, Tim Minchin, the Australian comedian and composer behind Matilda, has made some suggestions that he may create a new show with Sydney Theatre Company (although nothing is currently confirmed) and an increasing number of Australian opera companies are turning to musical theatre as a valuable revenue stream. We may not have a Broadway or West End equivalent, but Australia is still becoming an important global destination for musical theatre producers.