Stepping Out
28th June 1996
Photographs by Terry Doherty
Production Officials
Director Irene Bowers
Choreographer Wendy Bromiley
Musical Associate J. Arnold Thornton
Mavis Wendy Bromiley
Mrs Fraser Audrey M'L. Raistrick
Lynne Julie Kirby
Dorothy Dorothy Yardley
Maxine Hazel Gray
Andy Cecilia Keefe
Geoffrey Roger Higginbottom
Sylvia Katherine Turton
Rose Yvonne Neary
Vera Glenys Poole
Stage Manager Andrew Turton
  • The dance class The dance class
  • Mavis Mavis
  • Maxine, Vera, Lynne, Sylvia, Geoffrey, Mavis and Dorothy Maxine, Vera, Lynne, Sylvia, Geoffrey, Mavis and Dorothy
  • Andy and Maxine Andy and Maxine
  • Mrs Fraser Mrs Fraser
  • Vera and Geoffrey Vera and Geoffrey
  • Maxine and Sylvia Maxine and Sylvia
  • Tap lessons Tap lessons
  • Rose Rose
  • Mavis, Maxine, Dorothy, Lynne and Andy Mavis, Maxine, Dorothy, Lynne and Andy
  • Andy and Vera Andy and Vera
  • Stage Manager Stage Manager
  • The dance competition The dance competition
  • "Good Luck" postcard to the cast from Julie Walters "Good Luck" postcard to the cast from Julie Walters

Bolton Evening News Review
Art imitates life in this production of "Stepping Out" by Richard Harris. Wendy Bromiley who plays the central character Mavis, teacher of tap to a class which is at first frustratingly inept, teaches dance in real life.

She is also responsible for the show's choreography and so it is greatly to her credit, both in character and in reality, that her pupils prove to be so capable in the final scene.

You may have seen the film version of this bitter-sweet comedy recently on television. That production, with Liza Minelli as the teacher, was set in America. The very-British stage version, set in a North London church hall, is more believable, not least because Walmsley's production is actually staged in the Parish Hall.

Last night, Audrey Raistrick was superb as Mrs Fraser, the grumpy accompanist whose asides are among the play's strengths. The class of tappers is well cast. In the play they are all, in their various ways, inadequate but teamwork brings them together and enables them to make a fist of things.

Nail-biting Lynne's lack of confidence was well portrayed by Julie Kirby. Bicycling spinster Dorothy (Dorothy Yardley); colourful Maxine (Hazel Gray); timid Andy (Cecilia Keefe); extrovert cockney Sylvia (Katherine Turton); Irish Rose (Yvonne Neary) and quasi-posh Vera (Glenys Poole) were all just right for their roles.

Directed by Irene Bowers, this came close to being an all-women production, but Geoffrey (Roger Higginbottom) as the only male member of the dance class made a big contribution to the success of the show. Andrew Turton makes a late entrance as the camp stage manager but earned his applause.

Doreen Crowther
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