Tag Archives: Letitia Hector

Hamilton (Lewis) – 3 Stars


Hamilton (Lewis)

King’s Head Theatre

Reviewed – 6th September 2018


“it is this playful sense of fun, championed undoubtedly by director Benji Sperring, that saves the production from stalling at the starting line”


“We love Hamilton” intone the cast on a bare stage at the King’s Head Theatre in Islington, “and we found it hilarious that when Hamilton was first announced, loads of people thought it was a musical about Lewis Hamilton”. I’m not sure if this is really true, and not particularly hilarious, but somehow the misconception hatched the idea: “… wouldn’t it be funny to write a musical about Lewis Hamilton?” the cast then further expound. We are barely sixty seconds into the show and I think I already have the answer to the question.

Lewis Hamilton, arguably the most successful British F1 driver in the history of the sport, is less the subject but more of a vehicle, albeit a high-speed one, for a series of quips and smart references to the modern-day concepts of celebrity, media awareness and corporate sponsorship juxtaposed with and the age old ‘love versus career’ dialogue. If the jokes are occasionally a bit thin, the performances are consistently full bodied, and the four actors do rev up the material with their infectious energy. Although a sporting superstar, Lewis has been frequently described as running low on personality, but Letitia Hector pumps life into the character, fuelled by a sharp sense of irony and fun. Hector depicts Hamilton as a starry-eyed innocent, quickly apprised by the pantomime figure of his team member Fernando Alonso (Louis Mackrodt) and manager Big Ron (Jamie Barwood). “Drive less, smile more” Alonso advises, steering Hamilton headlong into the path of high-profile branding and trophy girlfriends. Cue Nicole Scherzinger; a skilled yet playful performance by Liberty Buckland, who somehow manages to turn caricature into a fully fleshed character.

In fact, it is this playful sense of fun, championed undoubtedly by director Benji Sperring, that saves the production from stalling at the starting line. Fiona English’s book relies on too few gags and David Eaton’s brilliantly scanned lyrics, while well-crafted and witty, are let down by unmemorable music.

There is an overall sense of ‘it seemed like a good idea at the time’ that courses through this show, and maybe it hasn’t travelled well from Edinburgh to London. The haphazard nature, though, does give the show an anarchic edge and it is refreshing to see a company make just as much fun of themselves as the subjects, while riding teasingly close to the wrong side of our libel laws. Yet it also falls victim to these very qualities that do suggest a work in progress; with the chequered flag still a few laps away.

In the prologue, the audience are told that it has taken Lin Manuel Miranda four and a half years to get his hit musical “Hamilton” to where it is. This musical, though, has literally raced to get where it is. And unfortunately, it shows.


Reviewed by Jonathan Evans

Photography by The Other Richard


kings head theatre

Hamilton (Lewis)

King’s Head Theatre until 22nd September



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Holy Crap – 2*

Holy Crap

King’s Head Theatre

Opening Night – 13th June 2017




“fleeting moments of entertainment within its daunting 135 minute run-time”


The unholy love-child of Jerry Springer the Opera and Rocky Horror Picture Show, Holy Crap feels like a sequel to a celebrated B-Movie, desperately trying to reach the status of cult classic through an endless tirade of Carry-On sex jokes. In this tiresome ‘comedy’, the Heather Brothers’ work returns to the stage, directed by Benji Sperring at the Kings Head Theatre, the home of some of the best fringe theatre in London. Attempting a farcical indictment of the role of sex and consumerism in modern media, Holy Crap mutilates an interesting concept with a limp meandering narrative and musical numbers that imitate a sexed-up version of lift muzak.

Holy Crap follows the story of a pay-per-view religious channel, run by a motley crew of scheming conmen. As the televised religious fanaticism popular in the states fails to capture the attention of the British public, the frontman of the group, the ‘hallelujah cowboy’ Bobby de la Ray (John Addison) and his team turn G.O.D. TV, run by the very British and genuinely religious Destiny and Rex, into a thinly-veiled hard-core porn channel.

Unfortunately, the cast seemed to be still finding their feet in this performance, for characters that rely on charisma and confidence, generally the performances felt lacklustre and apologetic making the comic moments much less gratifying. However, specific mention must go to Rachel Marwood (Clarissa La Fayette) who’s standout comic performance carried the show through its more trying times.

Though the majority of the songs are generally forgettable patter numbers, inundated with biblical innuendo, vocal performances were excellent and the voices of Rachel Marwood and Letitia Hector are truly stunning to behold, leaving much of the audience slack-jawed. John Addison (Bobby) and Arvid Larsen (Rex) live up to the excellence of their credits with their vocal performances, howevers the characters’ lack of depth leaves them seeming caricatured by a rather unsteady hand.

Sperring’s direction is clear and distinct, taking full advantage of the intimacy of the space, the more interactive sections of the piece were certainly the most enjoyed, but his work is largely undermined by the amateur and derivative feel of the writing.

With Lucie Pankhurst’s cheeky choreography and some glowing moments of witty dialogue, Holy Crap provides fleeting moments of entertainment within its daunting 135 minute run-time, but in its critique of a world that holds ‘style over substance’, the Heather Brothers’ new musical mistakes its own failings for satire.


Reviewed by Tasmine Airey




Holy Crap

is at the King’s Head Theatre until 2nd July