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Review of Top Hat at The Churchill Theatre Bromley

Top HatFresh from its triple Olivier Award-winning run in London’s West End, ‘Top Hat’ brings all the spectacle from its West End production to The Churchill Theatre, Bromley as part of its UK Tour.

Telling the story of Broadway Superstar, Jerry Travers, as he dances his way around Europe to win the heart of society girl Dale Tremont, we are taken back to the 1930s and reminded of the classic Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers’ film which this musical is based on.

From the off we are serenaded by a tuneful 12 piece Orchestra marvellously conducted by Jae Alexander, followed by a fantastic opening of ‘Putting On The Ritz’ which sets us up for what is to come. Bill Deamer’s choreography was delightful and every musical number was elegantly performed by his ensemble of dancers who could have well and truly been from that era. Their passion for the dancing was prominent in all their numbers. The choreography made every transition seamless as the impressive set designed by Hildegard Bechtler was ever changing.

Alan Burkitt and Charlotte Gooch as Jerry & Dale danced and sang their way through some complicated musical numbers portraying the effortless and elegance look of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, their ‘Cheek to Cheek’ was a genius crowd-pleaser. Supporting leads Clive Hayward and Rebecca Thornhill had the audience in stitches with their comic timing and brilliant delivery of the one liners. Sebastien Torkia’s performance of ‘Latins Know How’ was a particular highlight as he danced around his bedroom chamber in his nightwear. Stealing the show was John Conroy as Horace Hardwick’s man servant ‘Bates’ as he was sent off to spy on Dale. Ridiculously he took this too far and we experienced him in ever changing outfits such as a gondolier and an Italian waiter; comedy at its best.

This production had just the right mix of song, dance and dialogue to keep the audience engaged throughout. If clean comedy, song, dance and plenty of ‘glitz and glamour’ is your thing, then head to see Top Hat in its final few weeks on tour, although by judging from the full house and audience singing the songs as they left, I’m sure it won’t be too long until we see this triumphant production return to the stage!

4 stars

Review by Daniel Bell

Top Hat
Music & Lyrics by Irving Berlin
Based on RKO’s motion picture

Winner of three Olivier awards for Best New Musical, Best Choreography, Best Costumes and the Evening Standard Award for Best Night Out, this spectacular West End production is now touring the UK, wowing audiences and sweeping the board with 5 star reviews. Top Hat brings the glamour of Hollywood’s golden age and the glorious, tap-dancing magic of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers to the stage in one of the greatest dance musicals of all time.

Packed full of Irving Berlin’s greatest hits including, Cheek to Cheek, Top Hat, White Tie & Tails, Let’s Face the Music & Dance and Puttin’ on the Ritz, Top Hat tells the story of Broadway sensation Jerry Travers who dances his way across Europe to win the heart of society girl Dale Tremont. An uplifting and hilarious romantic comedy celebrating 1930s song, style and romance, Top Hat dazzles with over 200 beautiful costumes, breathtaking dance and a love story that will set the pulse racing!

Top Hat
Churchill Theatre Bromley
16th to 21st June 2015

Wednesday 17th June 2015


  • Neil Cheesman

    First becoming involved in an online theatre business in 2005 and launching londontheatre1.com in September 2013. Neil writes reviews and news articles, and has interviewed over 150 actors and actresses from the West End, Broadway, film, television, and theatre. Follow Neil on Twitter @LondonTheatre1

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