'Hamilton': London Production Launches With Breakthrough Anti-Scalping Measures

Joan Marcus
'Hamilton' on Broadway.

Lin-Manuel Miranda's hit Broadway musical will reopen the Victoria Palace Theatre by using a completely paperless ticket system in which theatergoers swipe their credit cards to see the show.

The world is wide enough for a third-resident production of Hamilton, which will open on the West End later this year.

Producers Cameron Mackintosh and Jeffrey Seller announced Thursday that Lin-Manuel Miranda's hit Broadway musical will begin preview performances on Nov. 21, ahead of its official opening night on Dec. 7. Reopening the newly renovated Victoria Palace Theatre, Hamilton is scheduled to run through June 30, 2018.

Though the musical, which won 11 Tony Awards, continues to be a sold-out hit on Broadway, it's also a central target of ticket bots, scalpers and scammers, which lowers accessibility for audiences of all economic backgrounds and even deceives potential patrons with fake tickets. Last year, Miranda penned a New York Times op-ed against the use of illegal bots by third-party vendors who then mark up the prices by sometimes more than 1,000 percent. "Tickets are taken out of circulation, punishing people who can't afford to pay more than face value," he wrote. "The extra money doesn't provide a better concert or show experience for you, the fan. Instead, it goes straight to the broker's bottom line."

Therefore, to protect theatergoers from paying highly inflated prices from third-party resellers, the show's producers have teamed with Ticketmaster to launch a paperless ticket system — the first of its kind on the West End. No physical tickets will be issued in advance; instead, patrons will swipe the payment card used to originally purchase their tickets to gain admission into the theater. Additional security measures to prevent profiteering of tickets purchased by cash customers will also be in place.

"By not issuing physical tickets in advance, we aim to dramatically reduce the ability to resell seats at a hugely inflated price on secondary ticketing websites," said Mackintosh in a statement. Seller added, "Hamilton is for everybody. I am gratified that our partner Cameron Mackintosh is working tirelessly with his team to insure accessibility for all audiences."

Additionally, 295 seats per performance will be sold at £37.50 or less, as well as daily and weekly lotteries for £20 tickets. Excluding premium tickets, the top priced set is an all-inclusive £89.50. Priority tickets go on sale Jan. 16 at noon, followed by sales to the general public on Jan. 30 at noon.

Along with Broadway's Richard Rodgers TheatreHamilton is playing indefinitely at Chicago's PrivateBank Theatre. A U.S. tour launches in March at the Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco.

Hamilton is produced in London by Jeffrey Seller, Sander Jacobs, Jill Furman, The Public Theater and Cameron Mackintosh.

comments powered by Disqus