A/V Room









A revival not worth Stepping Out for

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 talent.

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 to caricatures.

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, Peter Kramer.
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
Evenings 7.45pm
Matinees Wed. & Sat. 2.30pm
Box Office:- 020 8940 0088

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