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REVIEW: Top Hat, Lowther Pavilion, Lytham

The cast of Top Hat in rehearsal
The cast of Top Hat in rehearsal

Top Hat will be forever Fred and Ginger’s show and this stylish performance by St Annes Musical Productions does them proud.

Joe Appleton is effortlessly engaging as Jerry Travers, balancing perfectly Charlotte Dalton’s snappier Dale Tremont. They sing and dance at the same time brilliantly energetically – not an easy task.

Steve Hook as the twittish Horace and Joanne James as the hard-boiled Madge are right on the money, while there is much skilled comic timing from Neil Bates as the enigmatic butler Bates and Derek Winward as the flamboyant Alberto Bedini.

Tap dancing is at the heart of the show and choreographer Sarah Cosgrove draws a precise and lively performance from the chorus, aided by musical director Rachel Hall and her 10-piece band, glorious costumes, as well as clever lighting and projection.

Director Michael Cosgrove successfully steers a path between paying homage to Astaire and Rogers and creating distinctive performances from his own cast.

The audience lapped it up and, with catchy numbers like Puttin’ On The Ritz and Cheek To Cheek, this is not just Top Hat but top quality.

JULIAN WILDE