Review by David Munro
RICHARD Harris' Stepping Out, originally produced
in 1984, has been turned into a film with Liza Minnelli and a
musical neither of which have detracted from the intrinsically
funny premise of a group of disparate females and one male attempting
to learn the intricacies of tap routines with only a modicum of
The current revival at the Richmond Theatre
features Patsy Palmer as the harassed dancing instructor, a role
which sadly seems beyond her capabilities.
She dances adequately but I am afraid she could not convince
me that the character, as she portrayed it, was able to cope with
the rigours of taking a dancing class.
She did not help by delivering her lines at times inaudibly and,
when they could be heard, in a flat monotone.
The rest of the cast made the most
of their lines although, again, I was not impressed by occasional
moments of overacting which tended to reduce some of the characters
The blame for this, I feel, must be laid at the door of the
director, Martin Connor, who did not allow the lines to speak
for themselves but overlaid them with fussy bits of business that
blunted the humour and gave the piece the air of a pantomime.
The audience, however, took the play at its face value and seemed
to enjoy it, but I am afraid I did not feel overall that this
revival was worth stepping out for.
Stepping Out by Richard Harris. Directed by Martin Connor;
Choreographer, Bill Deamer; Designer, Julie Godfrey; Lighting,
CAST: Patsy Palmer; Chrissie Furness; Nicky Callanan; Yvonne Edgell;
Norma Atallah; Sarah Haynes; Mathew Phillips; Suzie Chard; Yvonne
Newman; Sara Weymouth.
Richmond Theatre, The Green, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 IQJ.
Mon, Feb 14 – Sat, Feb 19, 2005
Matinees Wed. & Sat. 2.30pm
Box Office:- 020 8940 0088