Stepping Out

Date 23rd January 2020
Society The Livingston Players (SCIO)
Venue Howden Park Centre Livingston
Type of Production Play
Director John Hutchinson
Choreographer Pam Murray


Author: Elizabeth Donald

This was a wonderfully entertaining play and so well executed. We were taken on a journey of a tap dance class containing a group of troubled characters who started from no experience to putting on a polished tap dance at the end. The work and choreography that have gone into this is phenomenal. The replication of the stages of learning the tap moves was marvellous. A special note of congratulations is due to choreographer Pam Murray who played one of the inept characters herself. And this show was funny even with all the problems the dancers had in their own lives. Lynne Hurst commanded the stage in the role of dance teacher Mavis, now accepting that she wouldn’t make a big break on stage. She was ably assisted by Niccy Angus as Mrs Fraser the old fashioned, superior and huffy accompanist. Gill Sullivan set up the laughs as the gum chewing, figure conscious Sylvia and Judith Hutchinson gave an experienced, well timed and thoughtful performance as the sympathetic Maxine. Contrasting were the loners: Susie Smail giving a heartfelt performance hiding her husband’s abuse; and Alastair Thomas the only man, inarticulate in his loneliness but setting up the humour too. The energetic and determined Pam Murray as Dorothy and Kate Halliday as the bewigged and brave Rose were sympathetically played but also raised the laughs. In her first performance here, Katy Smith as Lynne the nurse  blended in well with more seasoned performers and developed a sympathetic character. The odd one out, the compulsive tidier and managing role of Vera was well explored by Chris Mitchell. All came to the class to escape their own problems and ended up working so well as a team that they created the final polished tap routine. And let’s not forget Josh Ure in  a small part as Stage Manager but catching the essence of the role. The set of a hired community hall with raised platform and functional chairs and piano at the side worked well. The set was aptly dressed, costumes reflected ordinary folk then surprised in their theatrical extravagance and props were used judiciously. The lighting was apt and unobtrusive. Another success for this talented group.