Preview: Top Hat at Sunderland Empire
CAST ANNOUNCED FOR TRIPLE OLIVIER AWARD-WINNING MUSICAL
Wednesday 24 June – Saturday 4 July 2015
Top Hat, winner of three Olivier Awards, for ‘Best New Musical’, ‘Best Choreography’, ‘Best Costume Design’ from its seven nominations and winner of the Evening Standard Award for ‘Best Night Out’, is on an epic 47-week UK tour, visiting 24 theatres nationwide and returning to the North East to play Sunderland Empire from Wednesday 24th June – Saturday 4th July 2015.
The world premiere stage production of Top Hat opened in the West End at the Aldwych Theatre on 9 May 2012 where it played over 600 performances during its run of nearly two years. Prior to the West End, the production previously enjoyed a sell-out UK Tour in 2011.
Stepping into the shoes of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in the lead roles of Jerry Travers and Dale Tremont, are Alan Burkitt and Charlotte Gooch, who both return to Top Hat having previously performed these roles in the West End. They are joined by Clive Hayward who returns as Horace Hardwick, the role he played in the West End, Rebecca Thornhill as Madge Hardwick, Sebastien Torkia as Alberto Beddini and John Conroy as Horace’s valet Bates.
Ensemble and swing members are Lucy Ashenden, Thomas Audibert, Caroline Bateson, Sophie Camble, Matthew Caputo, Kristy Cullen, Paul Farrell, Ian Goss, Carys Gray, Alyn Hawke, Rebecca Hodge, Samuel Humphreys, Thomas Inge, Thomas-Lee Kidd, Sarah-Marie Maxwell, David McKechnie, John McManus, George Olney, Ben Palmer, Holly Rostron, Maria Ward, Amy West and Monique Young.
Top Hat is directed by Matthew White and choreographed by Bill Deamer (Olivier Award winner for Best Choreography), set designs are by Hildegard Bechtler (Olivier Award nominee for Best Set Design), costume designs by Jon Morrell (Olivier Award winner for Best Costume Design), lighting design by Peter Mumford, sound by Gareth Owen (Olivier Award nominee for Best Sound Design), new orchestrations by Chris Walker and musical supervision by Richard Balcombe.
Jerry Travers (Alan Burkitt), the famous American tap dancer, arrives in London to appear in his first West End show. Travers meets the irresistible Dale Tremont (Charlotte Gooch), the girl of his dreams, and follows her across Europe in an attempt to win her heart.
With music and lyrics by Irving Berlin and based on the RKO motion picture, the screenplay by Dwight Taylor and Allan Scott has been adapted for the stage by Matthew White and Howard Jacques and is presented by arrangement with RKO Pictures LLC, Warner Bros Theatre Ventures Inc. and the Irving Berlin Music Company.
Nominated for four Academy Awards, RKO’s Top Hat was the most successful picture of the nine movies Astaire and Rogers made together. It premiered at the Radio City Music Hall in 1935 where it broke all box office records. Within a few weeks, all five songs from the film occupied the top five places on the American Hit Parade. It is still widely regarded as one of the greatest dance musicals of all time.
Performed by a cast of 29 and accompanied by 11 live musicians, this multi award-winning musical comedy includes Irving Berlin classics from the movie such as Cheek to Cheek, Isn’t It a Lovely Day to be Caught in the Rain and Top Hat, White Tie and Tails. In addition, from Berlin’s 1200 strong back catalogue, a further ten numbers have been interpolated including well-loved favourites Let’s Face the Music and Dance and Puttin’ On the Ritz.
Alan Burkitt started his career winning the All England Tap Dancer of the Year award. A member of the original West End cast of Top Hat at the Aldwych Theatre, Burkitt understudied the lead role of Jerry Travers for both Tom Chambers and Gavin Lee. He received rave reviews when he stood in for Lee on press night, a success story documented by Channel 4 for the TV series ‘The Sound of Musicals’. Other recent stage credits include: Singin’ in the Rain, Andy Lee in 42nd Street (Chichester Festival Theatre), the Prince in Adam Cooper’s Shall We Dance(Sadler’s Wells), Cats (German Tour) and We Will Rock You (Dominion Theatre).
Charlotte Gooch took over the lead role of Dale Tremont from Summer Strallen in the West End, performing alongside Tom Chambers as Jerry Travers. Gooch performed the lead role of Penny Johnson in Dirty Dancing in the West End at the Piccadilly Theatre and also in the original national tour. Other recent stage credits include: the lead role of Sandy in Grease (UK Tour), Cats (German Tour) and the workshop of Swing Time, dancing a duet with Anton du Beke.
Top Hat is produced by Kenny Wax, and his partners on the production are Stewart Lane and Bonnie Comley, Ted Hartley, Flora Suk-Hwa Yoon and Lee Menzies.
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Tickets available in person at the Box Office or booking online at www.ATGtickets.com/Sunderland* plus a transaction fee applies. Premium seats also available.