Daughter #2 had a 16th birthday she won’t forget in a hurry, even though we celebrated it four months late.
Despite yours truly’s best efforts to drag her along to see The Stone Roses, Arctic Monkeys and New Order in the past two years - tickets for which were all politely declined - her heart belongs to musical theatre.
So in January, when the latest batch went on sale, we got four tickets to see Hamilton. But then daughter #1 announced she “doesn’t do musicals” so the birthday girl brought an absolutely thrilled friend along instead. These tickets cost an arm and a leg - and because we booked seven months in advance, we got them for half what you’d pay if you left it late.
And after you’ve factored in the train fare, lunch, dinner and drinks, there’s not much change from £1,000. As days out go, it’s quite pricey. Thank God they do matinees twice a week so we got the red-eye down to London, watched the show and came back that evening, saving a few hundred quid on hotels. Tickets to the hottest show in town are a tout’s wet dream. So the organisers have clamped down on all that by not issuing any until you’re in the venue itself, the Victoria Palace Theatre.
To be honest, I’ve got on planes with less security. First of all, they only let you queue up outside if all of your party are present. Then when you get to the front, the lead booker has to show picture ID, a copy of the confirmation email and the card you booked the tickets with.
The lag between your card being swiped and your tickets being printed felt like about three hours but was in fact only a few seconds - and then we were in. And then that’s when the magic happened. All the wonderful things you may have heard about Hamilton, a sung and rapped-through musical about the life of American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, (music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda) are true. The Stone Roses at Glasgow Green and Kraftwerk at the Liverpool Philharmonic aside, it’s the best show I’ve ever seen. Daughter #2 cried actual tears of joy when it started. Put it this way, you’ll want to be in the room where it happens.