Stepping Out

Written by Richard Harris. Directed by Ruth Crowder.

Performed on Thursday 22 March - Saturday 24 March 2007 at Pentyrch Village Hall


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This is a story about a tap dance group who meet weekly at a dingy church hall, under the tutelage of Mavis, an ex professional dancer. When asked to perform at a local charity performance, suddenly this diverse group of eccentric individuals must interact, overcome their differences and become a whole under Mavis's guidance and inspiration. Can the group conquer their inhibitions and overcome their innumerable personality differences in time for the performance? Will the constant bickering within the group mean it all ends in tears as Mrs Fraser, the cantankerous piano accompanist, predicts? Will Sylvia work out right from left in time? Will Rose's hair look all right on the night? Will Vera abandon her Marigolds and bleach for the bright lights? Surely Maxine will get the hats sorted out? Will they fall prey to stage-fright? Or will they succeed, gaining fame and fortune, or a nice round of applause? Stepping Out is a beautifully constructed comedy by Richard Harris that is full of sparkle and zest, about the lives, laughs and loves of ordinary people 'stepping out' of everyday life into the magical world of dance


In March, the Pentyrch Village Hall was an appropriate setting for this clever play by Richard Harris, which gently probes into the lives of a desperate group of people who come together once a week in a dreary hall for a tap dancing lesson. Anyone who has been a part of an amateur group will recognise these people and perhaps see ourselves in the mirror. One by one we glimpse behind the facade and find that it is sheer escapism, a brief respite from mundane home life, their work, marriage, their loneliness which is the motivation and therein lies all the sadness, pathos, joy and humour of their strange association. As the play unfolds we care for these people. The enthusiastic, disillusioned choreographer, the sensitive crabby pianist, the superior organiser, the large brash lady, the timid one, the tactless, the hopeless and the one shy, introvert male. Each has a moment centre stage, we learn of their problems and the superficial humour becomes bittersweet.

In an impressive production by Ruth Crowder, assisted by Mary Hampson and well choreographed by Victoria Graham, an excellent and all-round balanced cast bristling with talent, gave defined and contrasting character performances rich in comedy, sadness and joy. In an extensive cast list no names, no stars. This is essentially an ensemble piece where each character is equal and dependent on the others and all come together in a jubilant and triumphant tap-routine exhibition finale.

Reviewed by Frank Wooles



Mavis                           Angie Dymott

Mrs Fraser                  Brenda Slaughter

Lynne                          Jenna Claridge

Dorothy                       Heather Major

Maxine                         Siān Davies

Andy                            Tracy Richards

Geoffrey                      Ian Jones

Sylvia                          Gail Alford

Rose                           Tracey Francis-Hardy

Vera                            Linda Coombes

Fairies                        Helen Page, Sara Pickard

Stage Manager        Martyn Lench


Production Team



Producer / Director              Ruth Crowder


Assistant Director                Mary Hampson


Choreography                      Victoria Graham


Music                                      Robert Edmunds


Dance Captain                     Angie Dymott


Stage Manager                    Wayne Brewer


Properties                             Raynor Phinnemore


Set Design/Construction  Wayne Brewer, Raynor Phinnemore, Josh Cripp, Nathan Brown


Lighting/Sound                   Wayne Brewer, Nathan Brown


Continuity                             Anne Morris


Wardrobe                              Mary Hampson, Anne Morris, Karen Claridge


Make Up                                Karen Claridge


Business Manager             Helen Page


IT Manager                           Richard Jones


Local Publicity                    Bob Petersen


Poster Design                     Robert Edmunds


Photography                       Dai Williams


House Manager                  Steve Williams


Bar Manager                        John Major


Front of House                    Members and Friends of Hilltop


Box Office                             Heather Major