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Friday, 31 December 2021

Pocket Picks: Best Shows of 2021

Here at Pocket Size Theatre, we are lucky enough to see some wonderful shows; some entertaining, some mindblowing, some beautiful and even some life-changing. We've accumulated a list of our top-rated shows from 2021, what a year it's been! Take a look at our list and start thinking of your theatrical highlights and share them with us on Twitter! @PocketSizeBlog

A quick note, even though these are our top shows of the year, we applaud and would like to congratulate every single person involved in putting on ANY show this year. It's been another tough year for our industry and anyone who provides entertainment and live theatre is a hero. You're amazing! 

"Carrie-Anne Ingrouille’s choreography is slick and on and there are no words for how marvellous Gabriella Slade’s out of this world costumes are. The musical is aimed at a younger audience; with bright lights, confetti, glittery outfits and modern references- which makes you feel like you’re seeing a girl band live rather than sat in a history lesson. The best of both worlds! The Queens are sarcastic and feisty in their comic delivery, and SIX has that kind of self-awareness that holds onto the element of intimacy that I would imagine wowed the very first audiences at the Edinburgh Fringe 4 years ago."

"They have the perfect recipe to appeal to and entertain any member of the public. I think you would be hard-pressed to find someone who didn’t smile at least once throughout a Mischief Comedy production. If you are looking to escape the challenges of reality for a few hours, then rush to buy a ticket for this show. Treat yourself to an evening of truly joyous tomfoolery and talent; I can assure you; you won’t regret this magical treat!"


Tuesday, 26 October 2021

REVIEW: Top Hat at the Mill at Sonning

When we saw the wonderful 1934 Anything Goes musical revival at the Barbican this summer, I wondered how long it would be before I saw anything that good again with its starry cast, fabulous production values, funny script, and delightful Cole Porter music. Yet the Mill at Sonning’s revival of the 2013 stage version of the 1935 RKO Pictures classic black and white Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers movie Top Hat, featuring the music of Irving Berlin, runs it a very close second on a fraction of the budget . This remarkable intimate little theatre is making something of a habit with brilliantly staged and choreographed musicals for Christmas following successes with My Fair Lady, Guys and Dolls and Singing in the rain.

The auditorium has been transformed into an Art Deco/Egyptian wall which opens up to become the stage of Broadway and West End shows, hotel rooms in London and Venice and intervening external locations. Its cleverly designed by Jason Denvir to facilitate slick changes but creates clear distinctive locations with the wonderful lighting design, by Nic Farman, not only beautifully changing the colours but also adding nice touches with room numbers projected on the floor to provide important clarity about which floor we were on or a red spot to illuminate a top hat. It sets a perfect scene and is a great showcase for the talents of Master Carpenter and his team of scenic artistes. The design allows the maximum space to be available for the big showstopping dance sequences while still providing more intimate spaces for the comedy and romance.

Saturday, 16 December 2017

REVIEW: Top Hat at Upstairs at the Gatehouse

Top Hat hit the screens in 1935 with legend Fred Astaire in the lead role with Ginger Rogers playing his love interest, Dale Tremont. The film was the 4th most popular film at the British Box office in its year of release and it hit the West End stage in a new version starring Tom Chambers and Summer Strallen in the leading roles after a UK tour. It ran through 2012 and closed the following year before hitting the road again in another tour of the UK. 

The show is being revived Upstairs at the Gatehouse in a new version directed by John Plus and choreographed by Chris Whittaker with Strictly Come Dancing star Joanne Cliffton and West End performer Joshua Lay taking on the leading roles.

Firstly, the organisation skills of the theatre need to be reassessed. Being asked to constantly move and being told where we should sit isn't really necessary, if its a problem then they should be printing seat numbers.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

REVIEW: Top Hat at the New Victoria Theatre in Woking

Based on the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers classic film, Top Hot tap dances its way to Woking on the latest stop of a UK tour. Recent Olivier award recipients for choreography (amongst others) expectations were high.

The farcical story follows the blossoming romance between Broadway star Jerry Travers and the gorgeous Dale Tramont and the chaos of mistaken identity that sees the story hop from the US, London and Italy.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

FIRST LOOK: Top Hat, currently touring around the UK

The show first toured the UK in 2011 prior to its West End premiere the following year. It went on to win three Olivier Awards, including Best New Musical.
Alan Burkitt and Charlotte Gooch both return to the show having previously performed the lead roles of Jerry Travers and Dale Tremont in the West End.
Adaped from the classic Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers film, Top Hat is directed by Matthew Whiteand choreographed by Bill Deamer.
The story centres on Jerry Travers, a famous American tap dancer, who arrives in London to appear in his first West End show. Travers meets the irresistible Dale Tremont, the girl of his dreams, and follows her across Europe in an attempt to win her heart.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Cast for UK Tour of TOP HAT announced, Alan Burkitt and Charlotte Gooch to lead

Alan Burkitt and Charlotte Gooch will lead the cast of Top Hat when it embarks on its second UK and Ireland tour later this year.
The show first toured the UK in 2011 prior to its West End premiere the following year. It went on to win three Olivier Awards, including Best New Musical.
Burkitt and Gooch both return to the show having previously performed the lead roles of Jerry Travers and Dale Tremont in the West End.
Adaped from the classic Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers film, Top Hat is directed by Matthew Whiteand choreographed by Bill Deamer.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Olivier Awards: Full Short List of nominations

James McAvoy for Macbeth at the Trafalgar Studios
Luke Treadaway for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at the NT Cottesloe & the Apollo
Mark Rylance for Twelfth Night at Shakespeare's Globe & the Apollo
Rafe Spall for Constellations at the Royal Court & the Duke of York's
Rupert Everett for The Judas Kiss at Hampstead & the Duke of York's

Billie Piper for The Effect at the NT Cottesloe
Hattie Morahan for A Doll’s House at the Young Vic
Helen Mirren for The Audience at the Gielgud
Kristin Scott Thomas for Old Times at the Harold Pinter


Sunday, 24 February 2013

Top Hat the Musical: Theatre Review

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers created the roles of Jerry Travers and Dale Tremont in the 1935 film of Top Hat, that one sentence would make anyone think ‘why hasn’t this been made into a musical sooner?!’. But in late 2011 the musical premiered at the Milton Keynes Theatre before embarking on a UK Tour and after that the show transferred to the Aldwych Theatre in London’s West End in April 2012. The show opened with Tom Chambers and Summer Strallen in the lead roles (With Charlotte Gooch taking over Strallen in November 2012) and since opening it has an almost entire new cast.
I've never seen the movie before nor do I know anything about the plot so going along to see this musical was pretty exciting for me. Jerry Travers (Gavin Lee) is a Broadway star and comes over to London to open a new show. Whilst there he stays with Horace Hardwick (Clive Hayward) who is producing the show, whilst in their hotel he awakes Dale Tremont (Kristen Beth Williams) who is staying below them and Jerry instantly falls in love with her, however she mistakes him for Horace who is her friend Madge’s new husband so she gets very disturbed when she realises this because they’ve basically fallen in love. They all go (separately) to Italy where Dale confronts Madge about this and after lots of tap dancing and plenty of scene changes the whole thing gets resolved.

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