Stepping Out written by Richard Harris follows a group of random people brought together in a dance class. They all have their own personal reasons for coming to the class, but for each of them, including their teacher, the class is an escape, time for themselves when they can put aside the difficulties of everyday life. Naturally, in such a diverse group of people there are frictions. And these come to the surface as the pressure of taking part in a charity show for the public begins to place a strain on the group.
They group members have various degrees of dancing skill and the play follows their progress from self-conscious beginners and enthusiastic amateurs to a group capable of perfoming in public. Friendships, rivalries and more are formed in the course of the class. Situations arise bringing humour and conflict. Secrets and weaknesses are revealed, anxieties voiced and tempers naturally flare as nerves take hold. In the end differences are put aside and the group acheive their goal and take part in the Charity Show.
Directed by Sally-Anne Cooper and choreographed by Julie Bowman this is an engaging production. There is a great deal of humour and the dancing is excellent - from the first tentative steps to the grand finale you will belive that some of these characters have never tap danced before and you will be amazed at their progress.
The warmth of friendship that formed between various characters was portrayed well, but I was less convinced by the conflicts that flared up. That said, there were some excellent performances. Alison Carr as the poisonous Vera, and Roger Liddle as the awkward, shy Geoffrey to name two. And of course the finale is brilliant - full of spangle and pizazz and not a foot out of step!
Overall, worth stepping out for - and definitely some better footwork than you'll see in the football!
Stepping Out is on till Sat 21st June.