Friday, 15 August 2014

Review: Top Hat (UK Tour) at the New Wimbledon Theatre

Top Hat (UK Tour) 
New Wimbledon Theatre
Reviewed on Thursday 14th August 2014

Following its triumphant Olivier Award winning West End run, Top Hat is back on tour bringing the West End to your doorstep. Taking the audience back to Hollywood’s golden age, Top Hat follows famous American tap dancer Jerry Travers as he travels to London to make his West End debut, but becomes distracted when he meets the girl of his dreams, Dale Tremont.

With music and lyrics by Irving Berlin, Top Hat tells a harmlessly humorous story of love, glamour and mistaken identity. The musical's new stars Alan Burkitt (who understudied the role in the West End) and Charlotte Gooch (who reprises her West End performance) shine as Jerry and Dale, recapturing the musical's original magic. Burkitt and Gooch were born to star opposite each other. Their chemistry couldn't be stronger, particularly during their divine dance numbers - together they are utterly mesmerising. 

I saw both sets of West End leads and certainly think Burkitt and Gooch are the strongest pair to ever lead the company. It is inspiring to see such talented, hardworking performers given the starring roles they deserve. The audience seemed to love every minute, laughing and cheering throughout. The entire cast have a ball, the ensemble numbers are phenomenal and the supporting cast couldn't be stronger.

I find Top Hat joyously hysterical; fans of old-school silly humour will find themselves in heaven. The jokes don't stop coming and, as cheesy as some may be, they are irresistibly funny. Bill Deamer's choreography is astounding, Hildegard Bechtler's set design (which is identical to the West End production) is impressively smooth, grand and slick whilst Jon Morrell's costume design is absolutely stunning.

I've enjoyed Top Hat previously, but last night was the first time I sat back and was truly dazzled by Matthew White’s production. The performance I witnessed was beyond faultless. An absolute must-see.

Reviewed by Andrew Tomlins (Editor)

Top Hat runs at the New Wimbledon Theatre until Saturday 23rd August and at the Milton Keynes Theatre between Tuesday 26th August and Saturday 6th September 2014. The musical tours the UK until Sunday 26th July 2015. Please visit for further information, tour dates and tickets.

Photo Credit: Max Lacome-Shaw

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