Welcome! This is your first free article. Get more free articles when you sign up with your email.

Stepping Out

“Joyful revival”

Richard Harris’ popular and frequently revived play about the world of amateur dance was written in 1984 and is set firmly in the early 1980s.

Much like Alan Ayckbourn’s 1970s farces, it’s a product of the style and culture of the time in which it was written. The women in Harris’ play have lives that mainly revolve around men. Their weekly tap dancing class is the only escape from the confines of relationships that haven’t worked out the way they hoped.

In Paul Robinson’s slickly directed production, Claire Eden’s bawdy and hilarious Sylvia keeps the momentum going, Gemma Page’s accidentally insensitive Vera manages to get everybody’s backs up by just being herself, and David McKechnie’s Geoffrey is a study in limp passivity, until the moment he isn’t. But it is Joanne Haywood, as the put upon, yet magnanimous Mavis who evokes the most sympathy, without ever overtly expressing a desire for it.

All the performers are light on their feet and thanks to some intuitive choreography by Erin Carter, it feels completely believable that dancers of this quality would emerge from a church hall tap club.

Helen Coyston’s detailed set design coupled with some clever scene changes makes for a nostalgic, but absorbing and joy-inducing experience.

Related to this Review

Present LaughterPresent Laughter

Production Details
Production nameStepping Out
VenueStephen Joseph Theatre
StartsJune 20, 2019
EndsAugust 23, 2019
Running time2hrs 20mins
AuthorRichard Harris
DirectorPaul Robinson
Set designerHelen Coyston
Lighting designerJason Taylor
Sound designerSimon Slater
CastAlix Dunmore, Angela Phinnimore, Claire Eden, David Mckechnie, Fenella Norman, Gemma Page, Joanne Heywood, Natasha Calland, Sarah Pearman, Suzanne Procter
Stage managerFleur Hill-Beeley
ProducerStephen Joseph Theatre
VerdictPaul Robinson directs a joyful revival of the popular play set in the world of amateur dance
Add New Comment
You must be logged in to comment.

Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue

Invest in The Stage today with a subscription starting at just £3.98
The Stage
© Copyright The Stage Media Company Limited 2020
Linked In