Tip top tap

Stepping Out - The Musical, book by Richard Harris, music by Denis King, lyrics Mary Stewart-David, Stowmarket Operatic and Dramatic Society, The Regal, Stowmarket, until May 10.

Lynne Mortimer

Stepping Out - The Musical, book by Richard Harris, music by Denis King, lyrics Mary Stewart-David, Stowmarket Operatic and Dramatic Society, The Regal, Stowmarket, until May 10.

THIS show, about a group of inexpert women and one man who take tap dancing lessons overseen by an enthusiastic teacher and dour pianist, is a perfect ensemble piece.

The cast of 10 have to sing, tap dance and act and if they can all do that, it's a sure fire winner.


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This production by SODS delivered on all fronts. The pool of talent the society has to draw on is truly enviable.

In the original play, Harris has brought us a raft of characters that we quickly come to love. They are funny, stressed, bawdy, largely normal people but each of them has a reason for joining the tap class and, as the story unfolds, we find out what it is.

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The music adds an extra dimension and the stylish orchestra, under the able direction of Simon Pulham accompanied with sensitivity in the solos and duets and with verve in the tap numbers.

As the tap class's confidence grows we see their dance and personalities blossom and the audience is soon aching to find out if they all live happily ever after.

Poor prim, tactless Vera, why is she so repressed? Are sad Geoffrey and nervy Andie meant for each other? What is up with Mavis, their teacher?

The action moves from dance class to pub to café to lobby and the wonderful set - on what is at best a compact stage - moved gracefully between scenes.

Strong direction and well-developed characterisation made this a great evening's entertainment.

But it is simply not possible to pick out any one actor from this group and say they were the best for there were no weak links in this totally absorbing, splendid production.

Lynne Mortimer

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