Congress Theatre, Eastbourne | until 25th July 2015
Top Hat | Review
Last night I took a nostalgic trip down Memory Lane to the golden age of musicals when I saw the sumptuous ‘Top Hat’ at the Congress Theatre in Eastbourne.
It took nearly 80 years to bring the classic 1935 RKO movie musical starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers to the stage, opening in the West End in April 2012 and just completing it’s year long tour on Saturday at the Congress.
The story is simple case of mistaken identity. A famous Broadway Star falls for a glamorous model who mistakenly believes he is married to her best friend. There is romance, dancing, comedy and a plentiful amount of glamour.
American composer Irving Berlin wrote this timeless score with Puttin’ on the Ritz, Top Hat White Tails and Tails, Cheek to Cheek and Let’s Face the Music and Dance just being a few of the high standards on offer. Despite being written so long ago the songs are so recognisable it is definitely a case of ‘they don’t write them like that anymore’.
I could say it was all about the music, but Bill Dreamer’s breathtaking choreography just enhances the production further, from the amazing company tap numbers to the breathtakingly romantic dances between the lead characters played by Alan Burkitt and Charlotte Gooch. Burkitt is very dapper playing the role of Jerry Travers and proves that his fancy free footwork is a fair match for Fred Astaire’s and Gooch elegantly provides us with a strong female role.
Top Hat is set both in London and Venice in the 1930s giving the designers ample opportunity to use lavish art deco sets and glitzy glamorous costumes.
Top Hat is old-fashioned and predictable and musicals have progressed enormously since the 1930s however as the appreciative audience at the Congress proved last night, there is still a place for music, love and romance, and Top Hat delivers just that. So just sit back, relax and enjoy it for what it is, a nostalgic sophisticated feast for the eyes and ears.
Top Hat is playing at the Congress Theatre in Eastbourne until Saturday 25th July, so hurry and get your tickets now before the tour closes, More Information and Tickets Here.
Further information about the programme at the Congress Theatre in Eastbourne Here