A smash-hit in the United States where it has bagged a sackful of awards including a Pulitzer Prize for its creator, Hamilton is now set for a massive UK tour which will keep it on the road until October 2025. The stage musical has arrived for a nine-week run in Edinburgh for what will be its only Scottish performances. Grab your tickets now.

What is it?

Nothing less than a bona fide cultural phenomenon is what. The musical, which blends song and rap, opened Off Broadway in February 2015. Six months later it transferred to the storied Richard Rodgers Theatre on West 46th Street, where Guys And Dolls had premiered in 1951. A UK production landed in London’s West End in 2017, by which time Hamilton had scooped a record-breaking 11 Tony Awards. In London it won big at the 2018 Laurence Olivier Awards, bagging seven prizes including Best Director.

Who’s it about?

The Hamilton of the title is Alexander Hamilton, and the musical tells his life story. Youngest son of an Ayrshire laird and one of the so-called Founding Fathers of the United States, he was a trusted ally of George Washington and fought alongside him against the British in the Revolutionary War. He was rewarded by Washington with the position of Treasury Secretary in his first cabinet, but died (spoiler alert) in spectacular fashion in July 1804 when he was fatally wounded in a duel – with then US Vice President, Aaron Burr, the man he meets in the musical’s opening scene.

Who wrote it?

A labour of love which took seven years to come to fruition, the musical is the work of actor and composer Lin-Manuel Miranda and was inspired by a best-selling 2004 biography of Hamilton. But in a twist, Miranda gave it a predominantly Black cast. He himself played Hamilton – he is of mixed Puetro Rican, Mexican and African-American heritage. “America then, as told by America now,” is how he has described his approach.

Who’s in it now?

The production arriving in Scotland stars Shaq Taylor as Hamilton, Charles Simmons as George Washington, Maya Britto as Hamilton’s wife, Eliza, Daniel Boys as luckless King George III – and Sam Oladeinde as sharp-shooting Aaron Burr.

What’s so good about it?

Everything, in short, but the musical numbers especially. These are delivered in a mixture of song and rap, and the award-winning score includes tracks such as crowd-pleasing opener Alexander Hamilton alongside fan favourites Burn, One Last Time, Wait For It and Satisfied. When the original cast album was released in 2016, it became the biggest-seller since 1961 and bagged a Grammy. It also became the first ever cast album to enter the US rap album charts at number one. In 2020 Disney released a film of the stage version on streaming platform Disney+.

Where is it on?

Hamilton runs at the Festival Theatre in Edinburgh until April 27. There are 69 performances in total before the production packs up and moves on again, with one special schools matinee performance on March 26.

How do I get tickets?

Tickets start at £25 with discounts for groups of eight and over (Monday, Tuesday and Thursday matinees only), and concessions for all shows except Fridays and Saturdays subject to availability. There are audio description and British Sign Language-enhanced performances on March 23 (2.30pm) and April 9 (7.30pm), and captioned performances on March 14 (7.30pm) and April 2 (7.30pm). Tickets can be booked online from the Capital Theatres website, portal for all ticket sales at the Festival Theatre. The matinee on March 9 is sold out but there is limited availability still for all other dates.

To avoid tickets being re-sold through unauthorised sites, the venue is operating a Lead Booker system whereby the booking account holder is named on the tickets and must be able to supply photo identification and a booking receipt email is asked for them.