A Saint She Ain't



Music by Denis King - Lyrics by Mary Stewart-David - Book by Richard Harris.

Publisher:Samuel French Ltd
Music Publisher:Eaton Music

Based on Richard Harris’ hit comedy “Stepping Out” about tap-dancing as therapy. A group of seemingly hopeless amateurs from a variety of backgrounds sign on for a weekly evening class, none of them bent on fame or life in the chorus line, their common motive purely a couple of hours a week away from home, where they can briefly escape the cards life has dealt them.

“A lot of people thought the play Stepping Out was a musical, but it was a play about people who dance. Now it’s been totally re-shaped as a musical. I’ve had to change and cut the play drastically to accommodate 14 songs. STEPPING OUT - THE MUSICAL should be seen as an entirely new piece. It’s one of the most enjoyable things I’ve done because I like the genre so much. I love seeing the choreographer working--we’ve got a very good one, Kenn Oldfield--I love listening to people sing--I love listening to Denis King playing the piano and somebody singing. I just find that very exciting. Something about the music lifts me, and when the band arrives, there’s another lift. I think most people get a lift out of music; it’s an emotional charge. I hope we get the same feeling that we did with the play. The idea is to just give people a good time, really. A happy couple of hours in the theatre.”  Richard Harris

Kings Comment


First performed the the Theatre Royal Plymouth, 7 November 1996
A Theatre Royal Plymouth and Thorndike Theatre Leatherhead Co-production

Director: Bob Tomson
Design: Sean Cavanaugh
Choreographer: Kenn Oldfield
Lighting: Chris Ellis
Sound: Jon Miller
Orchestrations: Chris Walker
Musical Director: Jo Stewart

CAST (1M, 9W)

Helen Bennett, Olivia Breeze, Jan Hartley, Diane Langton, David McAlister, Yvonne Newman, Liz Robertson, Rachel Spry, Gwendolyn Watts, Joanne Zorian

Opened Albery Theatre, London, October 1997, following a tour; Bill Kenwright producing in association with the Churchill Theatre, Bromley, and Tyne Theatre & Opera House, Newcastle

Director: Julia McKenzie
Designer: Sean Kavanaugh
Choreographer/Assoc Dir: Tudor Davies
Lighting: Mark Pritchard
Sound: Terry Jardine
Orchestration: David Cullen
Musical Director: Stephen Hill


Liz Robertson, Helen Bennett, Sharon D Clarke, Helen Cotterill, Felicity Goodson, Carolyn Pickles, Rachel Spry, Colin Wakefield, Gwendolyn Watts, Barbara Young


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Original Cast Recording, produced by Chris Walker and Denis King Recorded at CTS Studios Wembley, 16 -20 February 1998; Engineer: Dick Lewzey. John Craig for First Night Records

New Americanized version, “ONE NIGHT A WEEK” published by Samuel French Inc. with full orchestral backing tracks available on CD as well as vocal guide track. 


I’d never seen his play “Stepping Out”, but when Richard Harris asked if I’d be interested in working on a musicalized version of it with him, I felt instinctively that we’d benefit from having a female lyricist on board, as the cast is predominantly women. Enter the talented Mary Stewart-David. After the three of us went to see a production of the play at The Mill at Sonning, we had no doubts that it would work beautifully as a musical. How we three would work together, beautifully or otherwise, was something yet to be discovered. Briefly, the main problem with the collaboration, it transpired, was that Richard and Mary, though deeply respectful of one another’s talents, didn’t particularly get on, and eventually refused to speak to each other.

By some miracle, the team produced some fine work and we
accomplished what we set out to do. We premiered the show at Plymouth. It was successful, and the producer, Bill Kenwright, decided to take it into the West End. Unfortunately, a new director and choreographer were brought on board and this set off a chain of events which ultimately did the show no favours whatsoever. The only thing that kept my spirits up was working with the cast, especially the lovely Liz Robertson, who throughout all the dramas was the ultimate professional, not to mention spectacular in the role of Mavis.  Denis King
Fact of the Day
Denis wrote an album with and for Albert Finney in 1977 which was released, somewhat bizarrely, by Motown Records in the U.S.
Listening Post
Gotta Feeling - 1961 Doris Day Vocal