Rita Simons, Harriet Thorpe, Hayley Tamaddon, Leanne Jones and Wendi Peters to star in the UK Tour of Stepping Out

David Ball Productions and Paul Woolf for Kings Theatre Portsmouth are delighted to announce the new UK Tour of Richard Harris’s Stepping Out, starring Rita Simons, Harriet Thorpe, Hayley Tamaddon, Leanne Jones and Wendi Peters.  The UK Tour opens on Monday 5 September 2022 at Kings Theatre Portsmouth.

Stepping Out won the Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Comedy when it originally opened in London’s West End in 1984 and the film version in 1991 was directed by Lewis Gilbert and starred Liza Minnelli and Julie Walters.  Richard Harris has worked with the team on this new stage production to update the play and set it in the 2020s.  Mavis, a former professional dancer, teaches a troupe of adult would-be tappers, but before the dancing starts, she must mediate the drama that erupts between this group of students of different ages and from disparate backgrounds until love and friendship unites them all.

Hayley Tamaddon plays Mavis.  She first shot to fame playing Delilah Dingle in Emmerdale.  Other leading roles include Zoe in Waterloo Road, Calista in Shameless and Andrea Beckett in Coronation Street.  Her theatre work includes The Lady Of The Lake in the UK Tour of Spamalot, Roxie Hart in the UK Tour of Chicago, Millie in the UK Tour of Thoroughly Modern Millie and Miss Hedge in Everybody’s Talking about Jamie in London’s West End.

Wendi Peters, who plays Vera, is best known for her role as Cilla Battersby Brown in Coronation Street.  Wendi played the recurring character Cook Jenkins in Hetty Feather (BBC) and her other television credits include Lynda Babbage in Midsomer Murders (ITV), Nicky Connelly in Doctors (BBC), Queen Shania in Hacker Time (BBC), Kelly in Sadie J (BBC), Marion in Crime Stories (ITV) and ‘Podger’ Pam Jolly in Bad Girls (ITV).

Rita Simon plays Maxine and is best known for playing Roxy Mitchell in EastEnders.  Most recently Rita played Velma Von Tussle in Hairspray at the London Coliseum. Previous to this, her credits include Lisa Prescott in The Krays: Dead Man Walking, an untold chapter from the notorious legend of the Kray Twins, Caro Harcourt in the UK Tour of Peter James’s The House in Cold Hill and Miss Hedge in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie at London’s Apollo Theatre.

Playing Dorothy is Harriet Thorpe, who is best known for her roles as Carole in The Brittas Empire and Fleur in Absolutely Fabulous.  Work with French and Saunders includes Girls on Top, the French and Saunders series Mirrorball and The Life and Times of Vivienne Vyle.  Work with Victoria Wood includes Victoria Wood’s Mid Life ChristmasVictoria Wood’s Short Term Memories and Victoria Wood MoonWalking.

Leanne Jones, who plays Sylvia, made her professional debut as Tracy Turnblad opposite Michael Ball in Hairspray at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London’s West End, for which, Leanne won the Olivier Award for Best Actress in a Musical, the Critics’ Circle Award for Best Newcomer and the Theatregoers Choice Award for Best Actress in a Musical.  On television, she has appeared in Unforgotten.  She also appeared in Tom Hooper’s film musical CATS.

Also in the cast will be Elizabeth Power as Mrs Fraser, Deborah Tracey as Rose, Charlotte Bloomsbury as Andy, Nicole Deon as Lynne and Tom Kanji as Geoffrey.

Stepping Out will be directed by Dan Phillips and choreographed by Joanna Goodwin, with set and costume design by Cory Shipp, lighting design by XX and sound design by David Hart for Seventh Wave Audio.

The UK Tour of Stepping Out is produced by David Ball Productions and Paul Woolf for Kings Theatre Portsmouth.

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