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Top Hat

Music and Lyrics by Irving Berlin

The Lowry, 27 September 2011

Summer Strallen in Top Hat

Summer Strallen in Top Hat. Photo by Alastair Muir

You will hear no complaints or qualms or even qualifications from me regarding this show.

It is superb, indeed the glamour – like an orchid’s tumescent scent – is often overpowering.  There are Irving Berlin’s classic songs such as ‘Let’s Face the Music and Dance’ and ‘Cheek to Cheek’, all consummately performed.  The sets are vividly coloured and have an art deco feel.  And not only is there humour along with the song and dance, but thought has been given as to where it is placed.  At a quarryman’s pace, that’s how surely it proceeds.

All the cast shine and the principals, Tom Chambers and Summer Strallen, radiate high glamour.  Their erotic capital is a safe bet, even considering the state of the current financial markets – so similar to 1935, the year when the original film of Top Hat hit the screens. 

Miss Strallen’s legs in particular are a prize commodity.  She has a lot of leg, more perhaps than one young woman ought or deserves to have.  Her legs when crossed have all the classic elegance of a spiral staircase.  Any shoe, no matter how high the heel, would be an unworthy pedestal to her pins.  You get the drift: it is a glamorous show and Summer Strallen is right at home.

Ten out of ten all around, must be.

Top Hat is at The Lowry until 8 October, further details are here.  Then it tours throughout the UK, details here.