ONE of the world's most popular musicals is now playing in Manchester.

Hamilton opened at the Palace Theatre on November 11, and is playing until February 24.

It is the first city out of London to host the musical in the UK, making tickets for performances some of the hottest around.

But are they worth the money? We went along to the press viewing of the show to find out.

St Helens Star: Shaq Taylor plays the titular roleShaq Taylor plays the titular role (Image: Hamilton)

From the off, I'll admit it: I have never had the slightest interest in seeing Hamilton.

I respect it as a musical and understand its popularity, but it has never really stood out to me - for that reason, I have never watched it on Disney+, for example.

That was my first mistake.

I felt as though the only member of the audience who didn't know the songs in the show word-for-word, but then again when the show is as popular as it is then that should've come as no surprise.

From the off, I felt slightly left out - as though I'd missed the boat on this one.

That's why, perhaps, I often found myself wondering what exactly the cast was saying/singing during the rapping in the show.

This didn't detract from how impressive the songs were, but I'm old-fashioned and like to be able to understand what the performers are saying.

The cast was phenomenal, and to keep an audience captivated for two-and-a-half hours is no mean feat - more impressive that I was engaged throughout the show despite not being able to understand every word that was being sung.

I suppose that Hamilton makes the point that you don't necessarily need to understand something to be impressed by it.

St Helens Star: The show is a historical tour de forceThe show is a historical tour de force (Image: Hamilton)

Every new character sang as well as the last, with no note left un-hit.

The storyline was fairly easy to follow, and the sets and costumes were incredible, too.

Hamilton is, frankly, unlike any musical I've seen before - the combination of rap and hip-hop, as well as catchy ensemble pieces and dramatic solos makes it one of the most varied pieces of theatre I've seen.

Segments featuring a petulant King George III watching on as America becomes independent from British rule added beats of humour to an otherwise incredibly dramatic musical.

One note I would add to the show is that if you're familiar with the music of Hamilton and you head to the theatre to watch the performance then you will not be disappointed.

However, if you're not sure whether Hamilton is for you and you attend anyway, then you might not be in a rush to watch it again.

The show was a spectacle, with incredible music and a diverse, talented cast - but the show is completely different to any other musical; which means if you're planning on watching it just because you like musicals then that is no guarantee you will buy into the hype.

St Helens Star: King George III was a particular highlightKing George III was a particular highlight (Image: Hamilton)

One of the stars of the show, Billy Nevers (who plays the Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson), spoke to the Warrington Guardian ahead of opening night.

He said: "There’s a reputation to uphold - there’s a lot of expectation when watching Hamilton.

"The important thing to me is that we get to bring it to people’s city.

"Everyone that I have spoken to is excited to watch the show, and it just excites us to do our best work."

Billy added: "This show is the show of the decade if not the century, and it's not one to be missed.

"I think that if anyone has doubts then they must come and see the show."

Tickets are selling like hotcakes, and if you want to be in 'The Room Where It Happens' then I'd definitely recommend perusing ticket prices and looking at booking to see Hamilton in Manchester.

Hamilton runs until Saturday, February 24, 2024 at the Manchester Palace Theatre - tickets are available now.