A brand new staging of Richard Harris’s award-winning comedy Stepping Out starring Amanda Holden, Angela Griffin, Tracy-Ann Oberman, Tamzin Outhwaite and Nicola Stephenson, opens at the Theatre Royal Bath from Wednesday 12th October to Saturday 22nd October prior to a short UK tour and West End transfer, directed by multi award-winning Maria Friedman.
Wonderfully funny and heart-warming, Stepping Out charts the lives of seven women and one man attempting to tap their troubles away at a weekly dancing class. Initially all thumbs and left feet, the group is just getting to grips with the basics when they are asked to take part in a charity gala. Over the course of several months we meet the group, and all of them have a story to tell. There’s perfectionist Vera, mouthy Maxine and uptight Andy, bubbly Sylvia and shy Dorothy, eager Lynne and cheerful Rose, and, of course, Geoffrey. At the piano is the dour Mrs Fraser and spurring them all on, the ever-patient Mavis.
One of the UK’s best-loved personalities, Amanda Holden plays Vera. Nominated for an Olivier Award in 2004 for her leading role in Thoroughly Modern Millie, she also starred in the West End in the UK premiere of Shrek the Musical as Princess Fiona. She last performed at the Theatre Royal Bath in Arsenic and Old Lace in 1994. Her numerous television credits include Wild at Heart, Kiss Me Kate, The Grimleys, Cutting It, Big Top and Hearts and Bones. She has been a judge on the award-winning Britain’s Got Talent throughout all of its ten series.
Sylvia is played by Angela Griffin. Well-known for her role as Fiona Middleton in Coronation Street, her numerous television credits also include Kim Campbell in Waterloo Road, Darcey Henshall in Cutting It, DS Lizzie Maddox in Inspector Lewis, and most recently, Nita in Brief Encounters. On stage, she starred in One Man, Two Guvnors in the West End.
Tracy-Ann Oberman plays Maxine. Her many television roles include Chrissie Watts in more than 200 episodes of EastEnders, Fiona Kennedy in New Tricks , Mrs Purchase in Toast of London, and Val in Friday Night Dinner. Her stage credits include Edmond with Kenneth Branagh, and the West End run of Boeing-Boeing. Previously at Bath’s Theatre Royal, she has performed in Macbeth in 1994, The Vagina Monologues in 2010 and Earthquakes in London in 2011.
Mavis is played by Tamzin Outhwaite. On television, she is well known for her role as Melanie Healy in over 400 episodes of EastEnders, DCI Sasha Miller in New Tricks, Rebecca Mitchell in Hotel Babylon, and Sgt. Jo McDonagh in Red Cap. Her West End stage credits include Sweet Charity, Boeing-Boeing and How the Other Half Loves. She last performed at the Theatre Royal Bath in Grease in 1990.
Nicola Stephenson plays Dorothy. Her many television credits include Tess Harris in Emmerdale, Mum in All at Sea, Julie Fitzjohn in Holby City, Allie Westbrook in Waterloo Road, Suzie Davidson in Clocking Off and Margaret in Brookside. Her stage credits include War Horse in the West End and roles with the National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company.
Mrs Fraser is played by Judith Barker, whose previous performances at the Theatre Royal Bath include Last Tango in Whitby in 1991 and Happy Families in 1993. Rose Keegan appears as Andy with Sandra Marvin as Rose, Jessica-Alice McCluskey as Lynne and Dominic Rowan, who last played the Theatre Royal in Private Lives in 1999, as Geoffrey. The Ensemble features Janet Behan, Emma Hook, Katie Verner and Nick Warnford.
Best known as a three-time Olivier Award winning star of the musical stage (with seven nominations), director Maria Friedman made her directorial debut in 2012 with a hugely acclaimed staging of Stephen Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along. Last year, she directed a highly praised production of Cole Porter’s High Society at The Old Vic in London.
This uplifting comedy originally premiered in the West End in 1984 starring Barbara Ferris and Marcia Warren – winning the prestigious Evening Standard Award for Best Comedy – and enjoying extended runs both in the West End and on Broadway. Stepping Out has also been made into a musical, which became a film in 1991, starring Julie Walters, Liza Minnelli and Shelley Winters.
A prolific writer for both television and stage, Richard Harris’s credits include A Touch of Frost, Shoestring, The Darling Buds of May, The Last Detective, and Outside Edge, which won the Writer’s Guild Best Comedy Award, the British Comedy Award for Best Comedy Drama Series and the Television and Radio Industries Club Award for Best Comedy.
Stepping Out appears at the Theatre Royal Bath from Wednesday 12th October to Saturday 22nd October. Tickets are on sale at the Theatre Royal Bath Box Office on 01225 448844 and online at www.theatreroyal.org.uk