Previous Show -Made in Dagenham 2019

Inspired by a true story and based on the hit movie, Made in Dagenham is the uplifting new musical comedy about friendship, love and the importance of fighting for what is right.

Rita O’Grady works for the Ford Motor Co. plant in Dagenham, England. Despite performing the specialised task of sewing upholstery for car seats, women are classified as unskilled labour and paid much less than men. Encouraged by a sympathetic union representative, Rita agrees to bring the women’s grievances to Ford. The meeting goes badly and, outraged by the company’s lack of respect for them, Rita leads her colleagues to strike.

With a laugh-out-loud script by Richard Bean (One Man, Two Guvnors, The Hypocrite) and dubbed “The best British musical since Billy Elliot” by The Stage when it hit the West End in 2014, the show is bursting with catchy songs and feel-good humour.

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Made in Dagenham is a musical based on the 2010 film of the same title. The book was written by Richard Bean and the music by David Arnold with lyrics by Richard Thomas. It had its World Premiere at the Adelphi Theatre in 2014. The story is based on real events at the Dagenham Ford factory in 1968; the action is centred round the women seamstresses making the seat upholstery. When they find out they are being re-graded as unskilled and are to have their pay reduced Rita O’Grady discusses the situation with union leaders Connie and Monty and the battle begins to get equal pay with the men…

Martyn Knight’s direction was fantastic it was fast paced and exciting, the choreography was very 1960’s and the piece was very earthy and real. The musical direction from Graham Tear was superb and his eleven-piece orchestra was excellent.

The principals were all well cast. The central role of Rita O’Grady was outstandingly played by Bethany McDonnell with great sincerity and warmth. Jayne Minter-Maryan as Connie and Keith Loynes as Monty both gave excellent performances. Another outstanding performance was from Dan Hodson as Eddie O’Grady. The two youngsters who played Graham and Sharon O’Grady were delightful. There were excellent performances too from Lottie Franks as Beryl, Sophie Jounet as Clare, Ben Stanton as Tooley, Rachel James as Sandra and Isaac Gavin as Cortina Man/Aide. Two performances that I particularly enjoyed were from Brett Hanson as Harold Wilson and Sally Whitestone as Barbara Castle. Stand out moments for me were “I’m Sorry I Love You”, “This Is America”, “The Letter” and “Ideal World”. The Ensemble for this musical was incredible, probably the best I have seen in an amateur show and what a line-up of men! Well done to you all.

The set for the show was excellent as were the props. The costumes, hairstyles and make-up were all very authentic. The lighting and sound quality was very good throughout the show; just a couple of technical opening night hic-ups.
Congratulations to all at N.M.T.C for this highly entertaining production that was alternately dramatic, funny, exciting and moving throughout.

East Midlands District 8 Noda Representative, NODA

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