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Top Hat, Theatre Royal Glasgow 2nd – 13th December 2014

Published by: Jon Cuthbertson on 4th Dec 2014 | View all blogs by Jon Cuthbertson

Top Hat has been billed as an all singing, all dancing spectacle and it delivers on all those points – then offers even more on top!

 Charlotte Gooch & Alan Burkitt on Glasgow Theatre Royal's grand staircase

Charlotte Gooch & Alan Burkitt (photo: Marion Willshaw) 

From the energetic opening (Puttin’ On The Ritz) to the exciting encore, every tap step and high kick was delivered with precision and panache. Alan Burkitt, in the Fred Astaire role of Jerry Travers, was an enigmatic leading man with a great dance talent. However even he was edged on the dancing by Charlotte Gooch, in the Ginger Rogers role of Dale Tremont. As she put it herself, after joining Mr Burkitt in the outstanding dance routine for Cheek to Cheek, “I did exactly what you did, except backwards….and in heels!”


The opulence of the era was perfectly captured in Jon Morrell’s costumes and the brilliantly adaptable set by Hildegard Bechtler. With Matthew White’s clever direction this set was used brilliantly with clever little vignettes played in front of sliding sections that kept the audience amused and the action and humour ticking along. In the centre of this humour, Clive Hayward as the hapless Horace Hardwick delivered in every scene. His rapport with Bates (a very funny John Conroy) his manservant was only surpassed by his downtrodden responses to the biting wit of his wife played wonderfully by Rebecca Thornhill.


Top Hat has one of the wittiest scripts I’ve seen in a long time – a series of misunderstandings, a misplaced love story, cheesy jokes, snappy put-downs and a little bit of physical humour too had the audience giggling and laughing in all the right places. How could I reach this point and not even mention the music? All Irving Berlin’s classics are here, Puttin’ On The Ritz; Top Hat, White Tie and Tails; Cheek to Cheek; Let’s Face The Music And Dance – the list goes on, all performed with gusto by the live orchestra and the fantastic ensemble. Each of the ensemble have small character roles throughout the show but shine no brighter than when they work together in the stunning dance numbers. How they have the energy to throw in a little (and by little, I mean huge!) production number as an encore is testament to the talent and skill of the entire cast.


This is one production worth getting dressed up for, so look out those Tuxedos, Tiaras and all important Tickets and get down to the Theatre Royal to see Top Hat.


Listing Information

Theatre Royal Glasgow

Tue 2 – Sat 13 Dec 2014

Tue – Sat eves 7.30pm

Wed, Thu & Sat mats 2.30pm

Box Office 08448 717 647 (bkg fee) (bkg fee)


1 Comment

  • Cameron Lowe
    by Cameron Lowe 3 years ago
    Thanks, Jon. This sounds absolutely fabulous! I hope there are some tickets left ...
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