Stepping Out - performed October 1999

By Richard Harris

Performed with the kind permission of Samuel French - London

Director - Kate Sheffield

Kate came on board for the production of "Out of Order" and has recently participated in several ways with The Royal London Drama Group and "The Lincoln Mystery" play in Coggeshall as a community project. Kate is a former teacher of drama and is this years adjudicator for the North East Essex Theatre Guild.


(in order of appearance)

Mavis Jo Simons
Mrs Fraser Patience Ling
Lynne Vikki Wheatman
Dorothy Jessica Boulton
Maxine Jan Mason
Andy Liz Porter
Geoffrey Graham Boulton
Sylvia Jenine Collier
Vera Kerry King
Rose Maureen Bancroft

Production Team

Chris Bush, Jenny Rollings, Ray Chinn, Martin Rayner, Bruce Emeny, Maurice Barber, Paul Spendley, Kevan Porter, Kate Sheffield, Terry Cousins, Roger Licence, Di Greening, Anne Rodgers, Lyn Weatherill, Liz Wilson, Jenine Collier, Kerry King, Vikki Wheatman, Steve Sadler, Yvonne Cobbold.

The Play

Written by Richard Harris (Outside Edge, The Darling Buds of May), this hilarious story of the lives, laughs and lvoes of a weekly tap-dancing class with nine ladies of assorted ages, ambitions and sizes - plus one man who doesn't want to be noticed, and usually isn't - combines comedy, singing and dancing with brilliant effect.


Another hit for group

To open their new season the Manningtree-based Manifest Theatre Group chose the comedy Stepping Out by Richard Harris.
The storyline might not be as strong as in some of their other productions and the prompt was heard more often than usual, but nevertheless the group had added another hit to its list of successes. This was a really entertaining evening from the beginning, but while the audience could just sit back and relax, those on stage had to work very hard indeed.

There were many and numerous dance routines and while mostly of short duration, the apparent bungles were probably far harder to do than the precision dances. Several of the cast had to take tap dancing lessons in readiness for the production, directed by Kate Sheffield, but their efforts were all worthwhile, especially in the splendidly dazzling finale.

There were great performances for all the cast – in particular Jenine Collier as the brash, gum-chewing Sylvia and Kerry King as the snooty Vera, as well as Jessica Boulton and Liz Porter. But the real surprise was Patience Ling. A long-time member of the group, Patience, better known as the Manifest’s musical director and treasurer, quietly stole the show with her quips and muttered comments. This was her first time on stage and said it would be her last, but from the audience’s reaction this would be a shame,

The only drawback of the evening was that with so much laughter going on on stage and the click of the dance shoes, some of the words were lost, but it did not spoil the overall effect.
Lesley Pallett

Photo Shoot

If you have photos from this production, then please let us know.