A little while ago I told myself that I most probably was not going to write about all of the shows I have been seeing recently because in comparison to the many thorough reviews I read at work, I really wouldn’t have much to add…HOWEVER, having just watched Made in Dagenham for the second time and left the theatre feeling (potentially) even happier than I did the first time, I just HAVE to tell everyone about it!
Granted I am a sucker for a good girl power story with some belting tunes (take my obsession with Legally Blonde for example!) but this show also has an extremely poignant storyline, an incredibly clever script which I picked up on more the second time around, and some ridiculously talented cast members!
If you’re reading this wondering what a musical based in Dagenham could possibly be about then I shall tell you…
In 1968 the women who worked as Machinists at the Ford factory in Dagenham had their pay downgraded to B grade meaning they were considered unskilled workers. What then started as a fight for grade C pay developed into a fight for equal pay for women. This musical tells the true story of the women of Ford Dagenham and their fight.
It has just the right amount of politics to do justice to this true story, combined with humour, emotion and some amazing scenery to put together a fantastic show I would happily go and watch again tomorrow! Gemma Arterton stars as the lead, Rita O’Grady, and despite sometimes disagreeing with shows which cast celebrities purely to, in my opinion, sell tickets, I think that Gemma plays the role perfectly requiring her to go on an emotional roller coaster throughout pretty much the entire second half, get the audience on her side almost instantly to ensure they believe in everything she is fighting for and sing almost every number in the show. She is a beautifully talented leading lady I would happily watch again in future productions. Other amazing cast members are Emma Lindars who belts some insane tunes throughout the show and who’s parts I could only dream of managing, Sophie Isaacs who also has an incredible voice and is an eye catching cast member throughout, Sophie Stanton who is just downright hilarious the whole way through and who brings some light hearted moments to an otherwise very serious second half, Sophie-Louise Dann as Barbara Castle with her powerful voice in ‘Ideal World’ and finally Adrian der Gregorian who’s song ‘The Letter’ hasbeen stuck in my head since the first time I saw the show! That is just to name a few…really the entire cast is amazing and Mark Hadfield probably can’t go without mention for his extremely funny portrayal of the Prime Minister.
In all honesty I cannot recommend this show enough for a light hearted night out which leaves you with a serious message and a ridiculously catchy soundtrack in your head. There have been rumours of quiet audiences at Made in Dagenham but tonight there was a standing ovation just like the last time I saw it and rightly so, if you’re reading this and haven’t been lucky enough to see the show yet then don’t wait, don’t listen to any negative rumours you might hear, just BOOK YOUR TICKETS now and thank me when you are as enthusiastic about it as I am!
Tara for now, I’m off to vote in the WhatsOnStage awards! You should too =) Xxx