Stepping Out

 

Performed between 10th and 13th October 2012
at the Cottiers Theatre, Glasgow.

Stepping Out is a play written by Richard Harris in 1984. It was produced in the West End, London, where it received the Evening Standard Comedy of the Year Award.

The play concerns eight individuals from disparate backgrounds and with differing motivations who attend the same weekly tap dancing class in a dingy North London church hall. Despite the students at first treating the classes as social occasions, and showing little co-ordination, they later develop a level of skill and cohesiveness. The dance routines are the background for the focus of the play, the relationship and interaction of different people.

According to the play’s writer, Richard Harris, the inspiration for the show came from his late wife, the actress Hilary Crane: “My wife started her career as a dancer and she liked to keep her foot in, as it were, so she went down to the local dance class and when she came back she suggested that I should go and have a look as she felt there might be a play in it for me.”

Taking his wife’s advice, Harris visited the local church hall, a setting very much like that in the play, where a tap dance class was in progress. “My wife hadn’t been to the tap dance class”, he explains. “She went to join a modern dance group, so it was by pure luck that I happened to go there and look through the window when a tap dance class was going on. It struck me that they all seemed to be thoroughly enjoying themselves and I thought if I could capture that, the pleasure they are clearly getting out of the class, I might be a winner. So I spent a period researching and going to various dance classes and then wrote the play.”

Stepping Out was produced as a film in 1991, 3 times James Bond director Lewis Gilbert was at the helm, and starred Liza Minnelli, with Julie Walters who was nominated for a BAFTA Award.

 

 Credits 
Director – Alan C. Jones
Choreographer – Amanda Letarte

Cast & Production Staff:

 
Mavis – Catherine Mackenzie
Dorothy – Lorna Ramsay
Lynne – Emily Thomson
Mrs Fraser – Dorothy Webster
Maxine – Catherine Brannan-Usher
Andy – Morven McCallum
Geoffrey – Martyn Agnew
Vera – Patricia Welch
Sylvia – Elaine Wilkie
Rose – Helen Minnis

Stage Manager & Set Design – Jack Murdoch
Continuity – Liz Lightbody
Wig & Hair Supervisor – Sandra Simpson
Company Manager – Drew Montgomery
Printing Manager – Iain Fraser