Revisit the bygone era of Old Hollywood, experience breath-taking ballroom and sing along to classics such as Mack the Knife and Let There be Love with Putting On the Ritz. A wonderfully easy and nostalgic show featuring a romantic mix of song and dance.

If you are a fan of BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, you will no doubt be impressed by the spectacularly fast, evocative dance sequences by Strictly favourites Robin Windsor & Anya Garnis. Using every muscle and sweeping across the stage you also see fellow dancers from the show; Gordana Grandosek & Trent Whiddon.  Both couples really wowed the crowd with stunning lifts and fast footwork and for me,– seeing them both dance in the flesh was a treat as a self-confessed strictly fan and ex-ballroom dancer!


A lovely surprise and underestimated talent came from Ray Quinn who in my opinion is truly an underrated performer. He showcased his superb singing and dancing skills with classics like Mr Bo Jangles and Mack The Knife (they really suit his voice) and also joined the dancers for an impressive and fast tap routine. He really would have fitted in with the all singing and dancing movie stars of the 1930’s and 40’s. With an almost nervous cheeky smile to the audience made him even more endearing.

I don’t think the show would be complete with the superb vocal talents of the show singers (sorry I don’t have the programme and their names) and the small but perfectly formed dance ensemble. Wow, they can dance! They all injected pure glamour into the show and many a time, I felt transported back to the bygone era of old Hollywood. A period of time I have longed to learn more about since watching the films as a little girl.


Classic songs from Irving Berlin, Cole Porter and George Gershwin combined with beautiful dancing got everyone humming along and singing with the performers. Stunning costumes, dazzling dresses and slick suits completed the look. I caught myself singing along to many of the songs without realising and tapping my feet to the tap sequences.

From MGM favourites like Cheek to Cheek, Night and Day, I Got Rhythm, Easter Parade, and Puttin’ On The Ritz to the smooth Jazz and seduction of the Cotton Club and memories of Fats Waller and Duke Ellington; the show gently took the audience on a magical tour of those old time favourite songs. Simple staging and audience participation really enhanced the production and eased the audience gently into each musical highlight.

With a standing ovation dedicated to all the cast and dancers, I think everyone left the theatre feeling like they had seen a wonderfully entertaining show. I left wanting to put my tap and ballroom shoes back on just to keep the magic going a little longer.

Puttin' on the Ritz is at Bristol Hippodrome until 12th September.

by Lynsey McKinstry


The Bristol Hippodrome
The Bristol Hippodrome

One of the country's top provincial theatres, which proudly continues to stage major West End and Broadway productions.