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Strallen & Chambers Put on Top Hats Next Year

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A new stage version of the classic Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers film Top Hat will embark on a UK tour next year, with a cast led by Summer Strallen and Tom Chambers.

According to the Daily Mail, Top Hat will open in Milton Keynes in August and then tour to Birmingham, Salford, Southampton, Plymouth, Norwich, Canterbury, Marlowe and Leeds - with plans to come to London later in the year.

The new musical will feature the Irving Berlin songs featured in the film (including “Cheek to Cheek” and “Top Hat”) as well as other Berlin numbers “cherry picked” by the show’s creative team - director Matthew White, choreographer Bill Deamer and producer Kenny Wax. These could include “Let’s Face The Music And Dance” and “I’m Putting All My Eggs In One Basket”.

Ted Chapin, president of Irving Berlin Music, told the Mail’s Baz Bamigboye: “Berlin wrote a thousand songs. Within this stage Top Hat there’s a show within a show, so there’s an opportunity to use some perhaps lesser-known Berlin songs as well.”

The 1935 film centres on American dancer Jerry Travers (Astaire) who is working for bumbling producer Horace Hardwick in London. When Jerry practices his new dance routine late one night in Horace's hotel, it wakes the sleeping Dale Tremont (Rogers) below. When she goes upstairs to complain, the two are immediately attracted to each other, but complications arise when Dale mistakes Jerry for Horace, who is married to her friend.

Actor Tom Chambers drew attention to his dance skills when he won the sixth series of Strictly Come Dancing with his partner Camilla Dallerup. He is best known for playing Sam Strachan in long-running BBC medical drama Holby City, while other TV credits include Waterloo Road. Recently he was linked to a forthcoming UK premiere of Big - The Musical, but this has since been postponed.

Summer Strallen - who is Bonnie Langford's niece and Scarlet Strallen’s sister –  is currently starring as Meg Giry in Love Never Dies. She was Whatsonstage.com Award-nominated for her 2008 takeover (from Connie Fisher) of the role of Maria in The Sound of Music, while she won a nomination (and Olivier nomination) for the 2006 revival of Sandy Wilson’s The Boy Friend at the Open Air Theatre. Her other West End musical credits include Guys and Dolls, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Cats and Scrooge.


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