REVIEW: Taking Steps at the Maddermarket Theatre in Norwich

Maddermarket Theatre.; Photo: Denise Bradley;

Maddermarket Theatre.; Photo: Denise Bradley; - Credit: ©Archant Photographic 2010

With so many plays to pick from it remains a mystery to me why groups so regularly turn to Alan Ayckbourn's playbook. This production of Taking Steps provides no answer.

Billed as a farce there is barely any slapstick, only a smidgen of mistaken identity, and no one loses their trousers. Very little at all happens until the very end of the first act.

Shaun McKay is likeable as naive solicitor Tristram and Mark Sutton is bombastic enough as alcoholic businessman Roland. Ray Tempesta is solid as dull brother Mark, while Dean Bramwell's builder Mark has a worryingly wondering accent. Iscah Montgomerie and Verity Smith try but have scant material to play with. There are a few moments that sparkle but this production never quite comes alive. Jude Wyatt's direction needs to have them taking those steps with much more verve. Taking Steps continues until July 29.

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