Little Theatre Company

Live theatre in the heart of Burton upon Trent

Stepping Out

by Richard Harris

Performed: June 2019

Stepping Out by Richard Harris

Review by The Burton Mail's Caroline Kay Assistant Digital Editor (What's On)

Stepping Out taps its way onto the Burton stage and 'it's terrific'.

Fancy 'stepping out' and seeing some of Burton’s finest talent?

If it’s a big fat yes, then you’re in for a treat this week as Little Theatre Company’s latest production, Stepping Out, taps its way onto The Brewhouse Arts Centre stage until Saturday.

The company bring Richard Harris' bittersweet comedy drama to life and is an absolute joy to watch, filling the heart with hope and happiness.

Excellently cast (I would expect nothing less from LTC), each and every one of the actors play their part to sweet perfection.

Heather Gallagher, who has also choreographed the show, plays Mavis, a former professional dancer who teaches tap dance in a dingy North London church hall .

Each week she is joined by a group of seven women and one man - all from different backgrounds with very varied and colourful personalities.

Here they spend a couple of hours doing a hot shoe shuffle to Mrs Fraser’s expert piano playing, all working towards a tap dancing finale where everyone gets to strut their stuff.

Heather is joined by Katie Haywood (in the role of germaphobic snob Vera), Scarlett Marchant (the self-deprecating but oh so funny Sylvia), Jodie Swann (the colourful Rose) Olivia Robinson (perfectionist Lynne), Vicky Fryer (mouthy Maxine), Sue McPhee (the put-upon Dorothy), Jodie Whitehead (downtrodden Andy), Bethan Waite (Mavis’s second mum and hilariously 'dry' pianist Mrs Fraser) and Mike Mear (the mild mannered Geoffrey who is secretly in love with Andy).

Harris’ sublime, subtle and very, very funny script offers a thought-provoking story with many layers, getting a glimpse into each of their lives and find out that not all is what it first seems.

It may be a small cast but it’s perfectly formed and you can’t help but warm to each and every one of the deliciously quirky dancers.

Again this uber-talented ensemble give outstanding performances - and where they all got their energy from to tap dance throughout the show is beyond me.

To be honest I was worn out just watching them.

Heather Gallagher’s choreography is par excellence and her poignant solo tap dance to Adele’s Million Years Ago brought a lump to my throat.

She danced it with such emotion it felt as if an electric current was running through the theatre.

Burton is awash with talent and, again, John Bowness’ clever and meticulous direction has brought a little bit of West End magic to the town.

Stepping Out has a great feel-good factor and it was impossible not to leave the theatre with a huge smile on my face - and the title tune running through my head.

And in the words of my mum: “It really cheered me up. It was terrific!”

I challenge anyone not to agree with her.

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