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Aldwych Theatre

Aldwych WC2B 4DF

Top Hat

Aldwych Theatre 3D location mapMap ©Silvermaze Ltd 2008 Aldwych Theatre photoPhoto ©Tony Reading 2008

Show Details

Preview 19th Apr 12
Opens 9th May 12
Closes 26th Oct 13

Show Times

Tues - Sat 7.30 pm
Matinée Tues, Thurs & Sat 2.30 pm
Length of show - 2Hrs 50Mins

Local Info

Top Class restaurants nearby;

Mon Plaisir (French)
21 Monmouth Street
020 7836 7243

Loch Fyne (Fish & Seafood)
2 - 4 Catherine Street
020 7240 4999
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Top Hat Fairies

Top Hat Come Dancing

A classic viewing of all the Theatreland play houses by night. The authentic commentary, by Ben Shafik - a player himself - gives an authentic feel to the West End's theatres - and is backed by real music.
Next version will be more upbeat as, suggested, to celebrate Britannia's unbeatable heritage.
(Over 6000 viewings and all good reviews to date).
Let us know what you think.

A note from the author

I took these pictures to show off London theatres as they are seen -most often - by theatre goers, at night.

Thanks to Ben Shafik for his lighthearted and informative commentary and Fionn O'Lochlainn for the original music.

Watch out for the new version with current liveries and the names of the theatres as they appear.


Ensemble & Swing

  • Lucy Jane Adcock
  • Lauren Appleby
  • Caroline Bateson
  • Jeremy Batt
  • Alan Burkitt
  • Hannah Cauchi
  • Adam Rhys Charles
  • Matthew Cheney
  • Russell Leighton Dixon
  • Charlotte Gale
  • Ian Goss
  • Alyn Hawke
  • Paul Kemble
  • Jenny Legg
  • Martin Mccarthy
  • Grace Mckee
  • Carley Meyers
  • Kay Murphy
  • Tom Partridge
  • Alexandra Waite-Roberts
  • Holly Rostron
  • Charles Ruhrmund
  • John Stacey
  • Callum Train

Top HatNearly all the songs in this show are some of Irving Berlin's greatest hits. It was principally the dancing that was almost shockingly good. Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers were immaculate and had a spontaneous way of dancing that WAS choreography - it needed no choreographer to direct them because they were the epitome of the AS ONEness that is the holy grail of all dancing. Although it looked as though they were making it up as it went along they would spend hours and days working out routines together. At one with the music and with each other. This is something that has been captured rarely since then. The thing is that they were in love and played as a pair in many movies and shows. Anybody knows that this continuing romance can transcend the ordinary - and even the very very good.

Top Hat

How do you pay tribute to these greats? Well copying them is a good way to enjoy the songs again in context. The players are practiced enough having done New York and an English tour to give it a good best.

Top Hat SailorsBringing in the Busby Berkeley element where he used intense choreographic extravaganzas suitable for hollywood hugeness was maybe a mistake to keep the show really true to form. Half Busby did tip the Top Hat towards the OTT feel of America in those times - however the Aldwych is hardly the big enough venue for 30 bellboys and 50 showgirls and men in tails with canes doing strict Berkley discipline. Moreover the Come Dancing influence was felt in some of the gymnastic aspect of boys (albeit in swiming suits) bearing the maidens aloft.

The music of the day was swing and jazz - easier to dance to freely than orchestral - which the tight and expert orchestra just missed. However what the singers dancers and musicians have brought with them is palpable energy and a beautiful selection of old hit songs. The love story is felt as an improvement on the awkwardness of the 30s when they were still trying to distinguish between all out post war madness from Victorian shame. That's one problem we have less of these days.

The story

Top Hat Romance was... well girl meets boy thinking he's married when he's not. There are many ways through this conundrum and the show introduces humour to make it fun. Any fan of musicals should see this because it will bring back memories of a love story in the 30s that established an all time high for some amazing dancing and lifted the spirit of all who saw it then. This show will lift yours as you indulge in some heartfelt nostalgia.


  • Gavin Lee - Jerry Travers
  • Kristen Beth Williams - Dale Tremont
  • Clive Hayward - Horace Hardwick
  • Vivien Parry - Madge Hardwick
  • Alex Gaumond - Alberto Beddini
  • Stephen Boswell - Bate

Top Hat Summer Strallon


  • Composer - Irving Berlin (music & lyrics)
  • Director - Matthew White
  • Lighting - Peter Mumford
  • Choreographer - Bill Deamer
  • Set Designer - Hildegard Bechtler
  • Costume - Jon Morrell
  • Sound - Gareth Owen
  • Orchestrations - Chris Walker
  • Musical Supervisor - Richard Balcombe
  • Musical Director - Dan Jackson
  • Casting Director - Pippa Ailon
  • Producer - Kenny Wax
© 2017 Updated 9th Nov 2013