Top Hat is the stage musical version of the classic Hollywood musical featuring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. It’s a film I’ve seen, but didn’t particularly love, because honestly I find the plot really dull. Of course it has some lovely songs and some memorable moments, such as Fred and Ginger dancing the glorious iconic number Cheek to Cheek, but overall I don’t rate the movie as one of my all-time favourites.
However, I’d seen and heard great things about the West End production, so when I got the chance to see it in Manchester as part of the current UK tour I was really keen, and I have to say it didn’t disappoint.
I love tap dancing! And this show is full of it, and it’s better than I could have imagined. The choreography is so amazing all the way through, from the little bits in scenes here and there, to the romantic duets, to the huge full cast tap numbers. And Alan Burkitt who plays the lead Jerry does the Fred Astaire part justice – I actually preferred him to Fred as he has more charisma, and was equally as good a dancer!
The only thing that lets this show down in any way is that the story is still quite dull, but really, there’s nothing else that can be done about that! The script has already been updated to incorporate plenty of relevant jokes and they’ve used every spare moment to include as much dancing as physically possible into every scene (which of course I love!), so I think it’s just one of those things really. It’s still a really enjoyable show, full of the glitz and glamour of the golden age of Hollywood. And I always have a thing about theatre costumes, and the ones in this show were to die for!
It’s a show that will definitely appeal to anyone who loves a good, old-fashioned, traditional musical or great dancing, and it’s in Manchester until 21st Feb, touring the UK until July.