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BLOG : #MondayMotivation Hamilton Speaks Out

By Harriet Wilson
Monday 28 November 2016

 Everybody needs a bit of #MondayMotivation to kick-start the week. And where better to find that motivation than in the everchanging land of theatre? So, I hear you ask, what's my #MondayMotivation this week?

 

 Hamilton Speaks Out
     You have probably heard that, on the 18th November, Hamilton had a special guest in its audience – Vice President-elect Pence. After the show, a few words were said reflecting the messages upheld by many, and conveyed in Hamilton.
     Having watched videos of this speech (which are being widely shared on social media), I have come to believe that it was politely delivered and extremely well said. It was not an 'attack' on Pence – in fact, audiences were asked not to boo...
 “There's nothing to boo. We're all here sharing a story of love.”

      The message that the show wanted to give was simple and honest:
 “We, sir, are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us: our planet, our children, our parents … we truly hope this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us. All of us.”
      Whilst this speech has caused a lot of controversy, I find it comforting to think that theatre refuses to shy away from the politicalsc ene. Theatre always has been, and always will be, a way of speaking out – just think of the influence political plays have had in the past! Theatre should forever remain a place where ideas can be challenged; this, above all, is integral.
       President-elect Trump was not of the same opinion. He posted three tweets about the incident, saying that speeches like this “should not happen” and that “the cast of Hamilton was very rude”. He then demanded that the cast “should immediately apologize to Mike Pence for their terrible behaviour”, and went on to say that the show was “overrated”. Frankly, it seems to me that Trump's response was far ruder than the speech made by the cast of Hamilton.
      Nevertheless, the speech was made and has had a wide reach. Theatre is a powerful tool and, thankfully, is being used in the best way possible – to challenge, discuss and debate. Let's keep it that way. 
 #MondayMotivation
 Until next time – may your Monday be musical.
 Where did you find #MondayMotivation this week? Let me know, by tweeting me.

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Harriet Wilson

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