Friday, 15 August 2014

Review - Top Hat, at the New Wimbledon Theatre and then on tour


FROM the moment the curtain goes up on Top Hat you know you are in for a treat. The musical has just started a nationwide tour beginning at the New Wimbledon Theatre after its huge success in the West End, in which it won three Laurence Olivier awards including Best New Musical.
Top Hat is based on the film of the same name which starred Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers and features the music and lyrics of Irving Berlin.
It tells the story of Broadway sensation Jerry Travers and self confessed confirmed bachelor who dances his way across Europe to win the heart of society girl Dale Tremont with whom he has unexpectedly fallen in love.
There are plenty of twists and turns along the way which are interspersed with some glorious dancing and song with music and lyrics
Celebrating the golden era of Hollywood, it is an uplifting romantic comedy, full of slapstick, farce and hilarity, and while it may not be the most original of storylines it is nonetheless an absolute belter of a show.
As Jerry and Dale, Alan Burkitt and Charlotte Gooch the light up the stage. They have great chemistry and sing and dance beautifully.
Clive Hayward and Rebecca Thornhill are great as the wisecracking and bickering Hardwicks and John Conroy does a delightful Bates.
One of the stars of the show is undoubtedly Sebastien Torkia whose petulant, passionate and outrageous fashion designer Alberto Beddini is a dream.
The attention to detail is spot on in every respect - from the silk of the top hats which makes them shine under the spotlights, to the sumptuous art deco set, the fabulous costumes and the pitch perfect singing.
But the real stars of the show are of course the dance routines and the songs which include Cheek to Cheek, Puttin’ on the Ritz, Let’s Face the Music and Dance and, of course, Top Hat, White Tie and Tails.
It is the most joyful, sublime, fun and exuberant production. The West End’s loss is the provinces gain as this fabulous show tours the country – catch it while you can.

Top Hat is on at the New Wimbledon Theatre until Saturday, August 23. Tickets from £15. Visit or call the box office on 0844 871 7646 

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