“Made In Dagenham” by LAOS
Loughborough Town Hall.
Loughborough Town Hall.
Although based in 1968, the echoes of women’s pay equality are still as strong today, but this musical isn’t all about this because it shows the effect the fight for equality has on the women’s home lives.
Directed by Sally Bruton, This is one heck of a pacy play with smooth scene changes, making this a very easy and enjoyable watch. Sally captures the whole feel of the era perfectly, not only with the costumes (Gemma Baxter) but the whole setting (Scenic Projects) and overall feeling.
Musical Director is Kate King who does a brilliant job with the soundtrack. I guarantee that you will have the title song, “Made In Dagenham” as an earworm for a long time after you leave the theatre, but also songs like “The Letter” will evoke a very different emotion.
The choreography by Lianne O Connor. Her dance routines bring back memories of films like "Summer Holiday" with the classic 60's dances. Great fun and full of energy.
Rita is played by Alix Ashurst. What a wonderful ballsy performance, full of passion and energy. Alix really made you root for Rita as her cause gathered momentum, especially when it became apparent that this was more far reaching than first thought.
Rita’s husband, Eddie, is played by James Daw. A lovable blokey character role who has a heart of gold. His loyalty to the cause, his wife as well as his kids is an admirable quality in this role. James also gets to show off a lovely, controlled singing voice. "The Letter" is loaded with passion and this is one of the highlights, among many.
Kirstie Bennett (Connie) gives a spirited performance and, not having seen the film or the musical before, her exit came as quite a shock.
Ian Dean (Monty), shows two sides of the character and a very human side in the second act.
Kevin Clarke (Harold Wilson) brings much of the humour playing Wilson as an absolute buffoon with some similarities to Monty Python.
Natalie Littlewood (Barbara Castle) shows a powerful but human representation of Castle, and i loved the accent.
The three aides are played by Ollie Lewin, Liam Patrick and Josh Hill. Think Monty Python crossed with the bowler-hatted characters from "A Clockwork Orange" and you'll get a feel of this fun trio's roles.
Linda Adlam (Lisa Hopkins) and Adrian Greasley (Mr Hopkins) are one pair which show that opposites must have attrracted at one time in the past.
Debs Pettitt (Beryl), Paige Brierley (Sandra), Nicole Ray (Clare), Sarah Wilson (Cass), Becky Bakewell (Jo), Rosie Morris (Tracey) and the factory girls played by Gemma Baxter, Laura Woolley, Laura Fletcher and Naomi Giglio are all great fun.
Cameron Sim (Sid), Chris Wilson (Bill), Mark Chinnery (Stan), Joe Harrison(Barry), Richard York (Tooley), Andy Marmoy (Hubble) and John Smithdoubles up as Ron Macer & Mr Buckton. This testosterone filled male work gang balance the scales of the female stitchers.
It’s a large cast so it would not be right to leave out the wonderful ensemble of Allison Cundell, Alison Matthews, Clare Proctor, Debby Newton, Joanna Hayes, Julie Rodwell, Len Dobson, Malcolm Nurcombe, Sean Hickling & Sue Reynolds.
The large choreographed sections are done to perfection.
Can I also take time to mention the schoolkids who vocalised so well, especially Josh Fenn-Griffin who gave everything he had vocal wise.
It's a great story, a great soundtrack and a brilliant cast and no wonder the tickets are flying out of the box office and I'm so pleased that this was my first time seeing this musical with such a talented cast.
“Made In Dagenham”, presented by Loughborough Amateur Operatic Society is at Loughborough Town Hall until Saturday 10 March 2018. It has a PG certificate just because of some of the fruity language, but this reflects the emotions and the lifestyles of the characters portrayed.