Puttin’ on Astaire’s own shoes

Top Hat's Alan Burkitt with shoes belonging to Fred Astaire

Top Hat's Alan Burkitt with shoes belonging to Fred Astaire

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Top Hat star Alan Burkitt has tried on a pair of tap shoes said to belong to tap dancing great Fred Astaire.

The shoes belong to Simon Brown from St Leonards and given by his mother, Elizabeth Webster, a fashion designer in the 1950s.

Fred Astaire was said to have given many of his shoes away as keepsakes. Mr Brown says the shoes are signed with Fred in three places, are in size 8 ½, which is Astaire’s size, and made by theatrical supplier Annello and Davide. Alan said the shoes fitted perfectly, and gave them a twirl.

Catch Top Hat at the Congress Theatre until Saturday July 25, with performances at 7.30pm and a 2.30pm matinee on Saturday afternoon. Tickets £30 – £44.50. Book online at eastbournetheatres.co.uk or call box office on 01323 412000.