Review: Top Hat at Nottingham Theatre Royal

TOP HAT THE MUSICAL 'Photo by Max Lacome
TOP HAT THE MUSICAL 'Photo by Max Lacome

THERE’s no need to dress up if you’re going to Nottingham’s Theatre Royal in the next few days.

But, if you do you will be hard matched to rival the stylish and slick designs sported by the cast of the all-singing and dancing ‘Top Hat,’ which is on until Saturday, November 15.

This stage adaptation of the 1935 musical comedy, which starred Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, has already wowed West End audiences, winning three Oliver Awards, and now stops off in Nottingham as part of a year-long, 24-venue UK tour,

While this must-see show is in town, music and dance fans will delight in a superb feast of entertainment, whether it’s a showcase of songs from Irving Berlin or standout dance routines that echo the golden age of Hollywood.

Reprising the roles of Fred and Ginger are Alan Burkitt and Charlotte Gooch bringing youthful enthusiasm and elan to the roles of Broadway star Jerry Travers who heads to London to star in a new show- only to meet and fall for society girl Dale Tremont.

She is staying at a top city centre hotel, which is also the temporary home of impresario Horace Hardwick (Clive Hayward), who is staging a new show with Jerry as the lead . . . and so begins a comedy of mistaken identity.

That and a showcase of Berlin classics - ‘Cheek to Cheek’, ’Let’s Face the Music and Dance’, ‘Isn’t It a Lovely Day (To Be Caught in the Rain)’ and ‘Top Hat, White Tie and Tails’ - brush away the autumn chills and transport the audience to warmer climes.

So, leaving London, it’s off to Italy as Jerry goes in hot pursuit of Ms Tremont as she heads to Venice in the company of fashion designer Alberto Beddini played to perfection by Sebastien Torkia making the most of the pitfalls in his English/Italian dialogue.

He had as many memorable lines as the roles played by John Conroy who, besides playing Hardwick’s long-suffering butler, was also a bogus priest (marrying Ms Tremont and Mr Beddini before the truth was revealed) and an accident-prone gondolier as the Venetian backdrop provided a happy conclusion to a superb evening of entertainment where both cast and audience can enjoy ‘Puttin’ on the Ritz.’

Further details of ticket prices, £19 to £45, and showtimes can be obtained from the Theatre Royal box office on 0115-989-5555, or via the website at www.trch.co.uk

Ticket prices are £19 to £45, contact 0115 989 5555, or www.trch.co.uk

TONY SPITTLES