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Top Hat is probably the best loved of all the Astaire and Rogers musicals.  In this fabulous production, the story, and the 30s era are brought vividly to life by a terrific cast, in a whirl of lovely songs courtesy of Irving Berlin, some mesmerising dancing, beautiful costumes and lots of laughs.

The story revolves around American Broadway star Jerry Travers (here by played by Alan Burkitt), who comes to England to star in a new show, and falls for society girl Dale Tremont (Charlotte Gooch).  However, in a comedic case of mistaken identity, Dale believes that Jerry is Horace Hardwick, Jerry’s producer and the husband of her friend Madge Hardwich, which causes complications in their budding romance.

I can’t say enough good things about this show.  After a successful run in the West End, it is now on tour and delighting audiences around the country.  The two leads were both excellent.  Alan Burkitt was a sensation as Jerry – his dancing was flawless and a marvel to watch.  His singing also suited the songs wonderfully.  Charlotte Gooch matched him as Dale, looking and sounding gorgeous, and with some amazing dance moves of her own.

The show is packed with familiar songs, such as Puttin’ on the Ritz, Let’s Face the Music and Dance, and Cheek to Cheek.  The supporting cast were all terrific, with special mentions for Clive Hayward and Rebecca Thornhill as Horace and Madge, John Conroy as Horace’s Butler Bates, and Sebastien Torkia as Alberto Beddini, a clothes designer who is also in love with Dale.  As well as the music and dancing, there was also a lot of humour, and the costumes were so glamorous – a real feast for the eyes.

In short, if you like musical theatre, then you absolutely should see this show.  It’s beautifully and imaginatively staged, and each performance was superb.  If I sound like I’m gushing, that’s because I am.  I’d highly recommend this show, and am already determined to buy tickets to see it later on its tour.

(For more information about this production, please click here.)

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Click here for my review of the 1935 film.

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