The unfortunate reality of Hamilton (Lewis) is that you smile far more looking at the poster than you do sitting through the show. Both the writing and staging just lack the dynamism necessary for it to do anything other than quickly run out of steam.
The concept for Fiona English and David Eaton’s parody is about as perfect for the Fringe scene as shows come. The title’s instantly ‘gettable’, the premise appropriately wry and lack of f***s given about copyright law exactly in the spirit of (an albeit idealised, ‘still grassroots’) Edinburgh. It’s just a shame that the execution of Hamilton (Lewis) is so lacklustre.
The unfortunate reality is you smile far more at the poster than you do sitting through the show. In an oddly unfunny, unnaturally scripted and low-energy prologue, the King’s Head Theatre’s production calls out the fact it is a one-joke show – but self-declamatory tactics like that are only funny if and when a production soon proves it’s actually anything but. Instead, there’s a surprising lack of imagination present in the show’s construction: Lewis is potentially even blander (but not even ‘comically bland…) than his real-life equivalent, the Hamilton references are fairly unadventurous and the cast don’t demonstrate quite enough precision in their performances for you to feel confident this parody’s entirely in control of the source of its humour.
Liberty Buckland’s Scherzinger (amongst plenty of other roles) does the best she can with a script that lacks the wit of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s original – which is unfortunate when, by proxy of making a parody, you’re setting out to ‘add’ additional humour to something – but at least brings a warm energy to proceedings. And Jamie Barwood’s George III song is a moment of welcome relief, though he’d really benefit from tighter direction around his physical comedy. But both the writing and staging of Hamilton (Lewis) lack the dynamism or creativity for the show to do anything other than run out of steam around 10-minutes in – and although the principal of McLaren’s F1 team announces that ‘he’ll be back’, I can’t say I’ll be.