Top Hat is a top show, excellent dancing and totally heart-warming, it shouldn't be missed!
Based on the classic 1935 film of the same name, which has gone down in history as the most successful for the partnership of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Top Hat as a stage musical had a lot to live up to and by and large, it lived up to it.
A story of love and mistaken identity, the show opens with the classic broadway song, ‘Puttin’ On The Ritz’, and immediately I could see what a quality production this was going to be. Although it took until mid way through the first Act to get into the swing of things, once it did, the show surged into action with great set, props and costume. All of this complimented the superb dancing, particularly with the ensemble, who did not put a foot wrong. The opening scene belonged to Alan Burkitt however, as Jerry Travers, his dance talent is incredible and despite the stage having around 20 people on it he stood out just as a leading man should.
In fact, as a lead, Burkitt produced an exceptional performance, stealing almost every scene he appeared in. Charismatic, charming, and a delight to watch, Burkitt is sensational in all but one area: his American accent. I have to confess that this was one of the most frustrating parts of the show, it was never the greatest accent, but once you factor in singing and dancing, it dropped on many occasions. Although this was a slight disappointment it can be forgiven as the talent that he displayed through singing and dancing was simply incredible, particularly moving between dance styles so effortlessly.
Charlotte Gooch was also very impressive as female lead, Dale Tremont. Sassy and vulnerable, Gooch captured the essence of the character every time when on stage. Alongside Burkitt there was a sizzling chemistry, making the romance very believable. Her dancing ability was as impressive as Burkitt’s, and happily, her American accent was not at all distracting.
I must also give a special mention to the supporting cast, Clive Hayward, Rebecca Thornhill, Sebastien Torkia and John Conroy, as they all were vital to making the show so entertaining. Whenever they were on stage they had amazing charisma and energy, and despite being supporting cast members they held their own among Burkitt and Gooch, and were a delight to watch. If anything, I would have liked to have seen them more.
Overall, this was a show that I would heartily recommend seeing, as even if you think that a musical, or this type of classic is not your thing it will be hard for you not to leave with a giant smile on your face. It was heart warming, genuinely funny, and had some very impressive singing and dancing led superbly by Alan Burkitt and Charlotte Gooch. I loved it so much, I may end up going to watch it again!
Top Hat can be caught until the 23rd May and tickets can be purchased here.