Theatre review: Top Hat (West End, London)
Review by: Alexa Williamson
Performance date: 28 June 2012
Rating: ***** (out of 5)
Music and lyrics: by Irving Berlin
Based on the 1930s RKO film
For those who love upbeat musicals and theatre, then look no further as this show is extremely well done with excellent acting, singing, dancing, costumes and sets – with all of these aspects, and even the script, making it an amazing experience. This show is about a man and woman falling in love with various complications, and mistaken identity is the main problem. Jerry Travers (Tom Chambers), a dancer, falls in love with Dale Tremont (Summer Strallen), a fashion model, and they meet in London while he is performing and she is modelling. However Dale thinks that Jerry is Madge (Vivien Parry)’s husband Horace (Martin Ball) (the producer of Jerry’s show) and not the innocent bachelor who has fallen in love with her.
Top Hat portrays all of the dilemmas that follow them and this is the whole, amusing premise of the musical. Jerry keeps trying to win her love but can’t until the very end when she learns that he is actually a free man. Horace and Madge are also excellent and amusing characters in the musical and they help make it sparkle. Based on the 1930s movie, this musical has amazing sets, costumes and dance numbers. It is worth every penny to go see it and happily there are a few reasonably priced tickets. The Aldwych Theatre is also a beautiful theatre so the performance also has the perfect venue.
Much worth catching! And, you will already know and remember the beauty of the famous numbers “Top Hat, White Tie and Tails”, “Cheek to Cheek” and “There May be Trouble Ahead”.
Other credits for a five star production go to supporting actors: Bates (Horace’s butler) – played by Stephen Boswell and hot-tempered fashion designer Alberto Beddini, who is played by Ricardo Afanso. And “hats off to them” production credits go to director Matthew White, choreographer Bill Deamer, set designer Hildegard Betchler, costume designer Jon Morrell, musical director Dan Jackson and casting director Pippa Ailon.