Wallace, Capron & Ashe Stepping Out for 25 YearsDate: 17 June 2009
Jessie Wallace, Brian Capron and Rosemary Ashe will star in the 25th anniversary revival of Richard Harris’ Stepping Out which launches on 8 September 2009 from the Leatherhead Theatre in Surrey, where the play was first performed in 1984. Following the Leatherhead, the production embarks on a 12-week national tour ahead of a possible West End transfer.
In a dusty church hall in north London, an ex-professional dancer holds a weekly tap class. Every Thursday, in stumbles her well-intentioned but not overly talented troupe - nine ladies of assorted ages, ambitions and sizes plus one man who doesn’t want to be noticed - all brought together to dance as if no one is watching, and hopefully no one ever will. That’s until they’re invited to perform at a charity gala. As disbelief is replaced by sheer terror, can this bunch of amateurs pull together and put on the performance of a lifetime?
Harris’ play won the Evening Standard award for Best Comedy when it transferred to the West End in 1984. It transferred to Broadway in 1987, was filmed in 1991 - with a cast including Julie Walters, Liza Minnelli and Shelley Winters – and was also turned into a stage musical (book by Harris, music by Denis King, lyrics by Mary Stewart-David), which Julia McKenzie brought back to the West End in 1997.
In the new revival, Brian Capron, who is best known to as Richard Hillman in TV’s Coronation Street, plays the bumbling Geoffrey. Capron’s stage credits include The Rocky Horror Show, Twelfth Night and Waiting for Godot.
Jessie Wallace, also a favourite with soap fans who know her for long-running role as Kat Slater on EastEnders, plays Sylvia, a woman with two left feet. Wallace made her musical debut taking over from Denise Van Outen in Rent Remixed in 2007, which she followed up with another West End credit in new thriller Haunted.
West End musical stalwart Rosemary Ashe – who, amongst many other credits, originated the roles of Carlotta in The Phantom of the Opera and Miss Andrews in Mary Poppins and was Olivier nominated for The Witches of Eastwick - reprises her role as Mrs Fraser, which she performed in a 2007 Derby revival of Stepping Out.
The new production is directed by Richard Baron and produced by FMH Productions in association with the Leatherhead Theatre and Henry Filloux-Bennett and Stephen Makin. After the Leatherhead, the tour visits Glasgow, Stoke-on-Trent, Preston, Manchester, Torquay, Bromley, Eastbourne and Jersey with further dates to be confirmed.