HAVE no doubts that it requires a great deal of skill to hoof it as a tap dancer - skill and an enormous amount of sweat one imagines.

Few not trained from a young age can manage it with style, as those who enjoy TV amateur dance programmes will appreciate.

For the cast of this revival of Richard Harris's classic 80s tale of an evening tap class in the community hall, where an assorted group of ladies of an assorted age and assorted sizes find an escape from the cares of everyday life, it is certain then that not all will take to the art form like Fred and Ginger.

Which is all part of the draw of the piece. Will the assembled cast of well- known faces actually be able to pull it off by curtain down?

Hampshire's own Amanda Holden - no stranger to talent contests herself in her judging role for Britain's Got Talent - plays Vera, the over- fussy, terribly irritating, foot-in-mouth newcomer to the group who manages to upset just about everyone with her elephant-sized lack of tact.

Shades of Julie Walters from the film version, perhaps too many, but the audience wait on her every costume change and stunningly inappropriate attempts to prove helpful.

Tamzin Outhwaite is class teacher Mavis, onetime chorus girl and now eking out a living persuading the awkward and lumpy to find their inner grace. Tracy-Ann Oberman as the feisty frock shop owner Maxine gives Vera a run for her money with witty one-liners.

Dominic Rowan is Geoffrey the brave sole male in attendance, Rose Keegan is awkward Andy who may or may not be his new love interest.

Angela Griffith plays Sylivia, defensive of her jack-the-lad other half who seems just the wrong side of the tracks, and Nicola Stephenson blunders around as Dorothy, cycling helmet and often cycle seemingly permanently attached.

Sandra Marvin is wonderfully loud as Rose and Jessica-Alice McCluskey the nurse with a heart. Judith Baker is a marvellous, cantankerous Mrs Fraser, doyen of the piano.

As the group are persuaded to stage a dance routine show for real, tensions bubble to the surface as the toe-taps become ever more frantic.

Thirty years on from Steeping Out’s first success and tap and dance are now firmly back at the top of the entertainment agenda. A pity then that when the girls – and Geoffrey – get their hoofing together for the final scenes the show doesn’t tap on for a little longer.

Runs until Saturday November 19.