Top Hat is an award winning musical based on one of the most celebrated films that Fred Astaire and Ginger Roger’s featured in together. It’s safe to say I was pretty excited whilst heading to see the production at the Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre with its silver ceiling both unexpected and ornate.
Having not seen the film before attending the show; all I knew beforehand was that I would love the costumes, there would be lots of dancing and that I’d fall in love with the music quicker than I could get the lid off of my obligatory theatre show ice cream pot.
Top Hat met my expectations and more. Writing a review for such a flawless (minus a reluctant opening curtain) is just as easy as watching it!
The costumes, something I always lust over in any period performance, were gorgeous. Not only did they look pretty authentic but they suited the original films release date of 1935. ‘The dress’ was naturally all I had hoped and to see those feathers glide across the stage was a delight. When Dale first stepped onto the stage in ‘the dress’ the whole audience was buzzing, amid many ‘oohs’. It was a much anticipated moment made even better for me; as having interviewed Jessica Plew (the Top Hat Deputy Wig) for Vintage Life, I was aware of the quick wig change and had an increased awareness of just how much preparation goes into that one moment.
The men looked dapper in their tails and it was great to see such strong dance performances from the whole of the cast. The art deco set was equally enticing, and I particularly enjoyed the way that flights were portrayed. However it was the use of a shadow dancer, one mimicking another’s performance at the same time, that was really impressive. Keeping in time to music for me is a big hurdle, let alone the idea of keeping in time with someone else!
But what really had me and my Boyfriend singing Top Hat’s praises, as well as the songs for weeks and weeks, was how hilarious it was. (Note that this performance isn’t just for girls.) I hadn’t accounted for the comical nature of the performance at all!
Particular highlights came in the form of an unexpectedly old romantic who goes by the name of Bates, as well as Alberto Beddini better known as ‘The Latin’ who sings the wittiest solo of the whole performance. Not only this; but the relationship between the feisty Dale Tremont and persistent Jerry Travers are played excellently through a fun and light hearted script. Sassy Dale has Jerry swept off his tapping feet in no time!
It is always a delight to write a review that comes so easy, particularly when it is such a positive one! I cherished my glimpse of 30s glamour whilst watching Top Hat and enjoyed the bursts of comedy that had the whole audience laughing out loud. If you are hoping for an entertaining performance accompanied by impressive dancing and wonderful music, performed by a live orchestra, then Top Hat is the theatre show you have been looking for.
Has my review made you dizzy for tickets? The Tour has performances running until the end of July and you can find tickets via TopHatonStage.com.