The West End production of Stepping Out opened for preview performances at London’s Vaudeville Theatre last night but without one of its stars.
Tamsin Outhwaite has had to withdraw for the time being on the advice of medical staff.
The heart-warming comedy charts the lives of seven women and one man attempting to tap their troubles away at a weekly dancing class led by their ever patient teacher, Mavis.
Tamsin, who was due to play Mavis, has been forced to rest from the production with a stress fracture of her foot.
Stepping into Ms Outhwaite’s tap shoes until she has been given the medical all clear will be Anna-Jane Casey (West Side Story, Chicago and Billy Elliot), who will temporarily join the cast from next week, prior to which the role will be played by Katie Verner.
Anna-Jane Casey joins sister Natalie Casey (as bubbly Sylvia) and the previously announced Amanda Holden (as perfectionist Vera), Tracy-Ann Oberman (as the mouthy Maxine), and Nicola Stephenson (as shy Dorothy).
Directed by Maria Friedman, this new staging of Richard Harris’s award-winning play, which toured UK venues last year, has an official opening on March 14.
Amanda Holden said: “It is sad to lose Tamzin. It is ironic and, of course, in keeping with the theme of the show in many ways.
“However we can assure everyone who comes a fun and entertaining evening and we can’t wait to get started with the previews. We look forward to Tamzin returning very soon.”
The uplifting comedy premiered in the West End in 1984 starring Barbara Ferris and Marcia Warren, winning the prestigious Evening Standard Award for Best Comedy and enjoying extended runs both in the West End and on Broadway.
Stepping Out was later made into a musical, which became a film in 1991, starring Julie Walters, Liza Minnelli and Shelley Winters.