American dancer and star of the show Jerry Travers arrives in London with his rich producer Horace Hardwick ready for his performance. While practicing his dance routine in the hotel, he awakens Dale Tremont who comes to his room to complain. He immediately falls in love with her and then pursues her until she lets down her guard and starts to feel something for him too.
Dale mistakes Jerry for Horace, who is married to her
good friend Madge and she decides that she can't be with him because she won't date a married man. Looking for someone to protect her she agrees to marry fashion designer Alberto Beddini whom she is modelling gowns for. The musical thrives on relentless confusion and misunderstanding and it's an absolute delight to watch.
Top Hat has all of the innocent humour of the 1930s, with a script that is bursting with witty comebacks and snide remarks between the two key couples that delight and entertain throughout. Each member of the core cast had perfect comedic timing and had the audience belly laughing from start to finish.
Top Hat has won three Olivier Awards for Best New Musical, Best Choreography, Best Costumes and the Evening Standard Award for Best Night Out- and I understand entirely why it has been awarded with such accolades. The costumes were stunning- and with over 200 showcased throughout the performance, each one had its time to shine and complimented the actors' dance moves perfectly.
The performances from Alan Burkitt and Charlotte Gooch as the two central lovebirds were unforgettable because their rapport was so convincing as each other's love interest. I have to mention the very strong supporting cast from Clive Hayward as Horace, Rebecca Thornhill as Madge, Sebastien Torkia as Alberto and John Conroy as Bates. The banter between husband and wife (Madge and Horace) was ashamedly familiar and hugely funny and the animated performances from the fashion designer and butler were some of my favourite moments.
It truly does bring the glamour of Hollywood's Golden age to the present, making you slightly envious that we lack some of the things that were once commonplace back then.
Everyone should approach this production with an open mind- just because this is set in the 1930s does not mean it excludes the younger generation. The musical has universal appeal- from those who can remember such times to those who are learning of it though costume, sets and music, this is feel-good entertainment at its best.
With catchy numbers like Irving Berlin's Cheek to Cheek, Top Hat, White Tie and Tails, Let's Face the Music and Dance and Puttin' on the Ritz, the music is both memorable and uplifting.
To sum it up my partner said that it has everything you want from a night out with your loved one and I completely agree.
***** 'A musical like this comes around once in a lifetime'
Tim Walker, The Sunday Telegraph
***** 'A joyous production'
***** 'High class. Absolutely topping'