Top Hat, Aldwych Theatre, London WC2


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The Independent Culture

The producers of this irresistible show, a freely adapted version of the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movie, don't subscribe to the precept of deferred gratification. Once the deliciously orchestrated overture is over, Matthew White's production unleashes a knock-'em-dead account of "Puttin' on the Ritz".

As thundering tap sounds seem to cascade down the nonchalantly relaxed trouser-legs of Tom Chambers, and as the massed canes that have been thwacking the stage are hoisted to form elating straight lines for the pay-off, you may feel that they have decided to start with the full-on finale first and then work backwards.

In fact, after a slightly fumbling start, this adaptation is a divinely daffy delight. As New York showman Jerry Travers, who is in London to headline a musical, and as Dale Tremont, the woman who falls in love with him, Chambers and Summer Strallen bring their own witty inflections to a plot of mistaken identity and flirtation by sparring.

Go. (0870 400 0805; to 26 Jan