News, events and schools' information for families across Bristol

Ian Waller and his daughter enjoy an evening of faultless theatre

If only all history could be told this way! Hamilton is a perfect lesson in how to bring our past to life with energy, passion, incredible story telling and a style that will send your classroom memories to the naughty step.

Telling the tale of Alexander Hamilton, the immigrant orphan who became George Washington’s right-hand man and shaped the American nation for generations to come, it is imbued with a strong rap and hip-hop soundtrack that is delivered perfectly by the sheer talent of the writers and performers.

Now, if – like me – you’re wondering how a rap and hip-hop musical is going to appeal to a largely middle-class looking audience ranging in ages from eager teens to a fair few grey haired oldies, well, believe me, it works and then a bit.

In fact, Hamilton is quite simply stunning, Stunning, STUNNING!

Across the Hippodrome’s stage the performances are exemplary. Front and centre is Shaq Taylor as Alexander Hamilton, full of dreams, talent, bravado and a desire to make things happen, and perhaps just needing a calming influence to help him reach his goals. And that’s where Aaron Burr comes in, played with real authority and – eventually – palpable frustration by Sam Oladeinde.

Around the core players, it’s impossible to fault any member of the cast. Billy Nevers as Marquis De Lefayette and Thomas Jefferson is charming and a bit of a lad in one moment as Lafayette and then completely annoying and a bit of berk the next as Jefferson. Meanwhile, Charles Simmons brings such gravitas to his portrayal of George Washington that you find yourself wanting to sign up for him and fight the British.

The thing is, however, that while individual performances are amazing, the strength of Hamilton is the spectacle, skill and storytelling across the stage. The speed and energy of the show is breathless with the rapping, singing and dancing just joyously relentless and utterly absorbing. Seriously, how these performers keep it up night after night, with a few matinees thrown in, is a wonder!

Almost working as a time to take a breath are a few select and hilarious comic interludes by our own King George, played with perfect pomposity and endless entitlement by Daniel Boys, berating the ungrateful colonials and showing disgust for non-inherited power and that democracy thing.

Rarely has a two and a half hour performances sped past so quickly and yet the standing ovation been more deserved. Hamilton is quite simply a wonder. Fantastic!

Hamilton is play at the Bristol Hippodrome from Tue 30 Apr to Sat 22 Jun 2024. For more details and to book tickets, go to