Made in Dagenham

Date 11th November 2017
Society Backstreet Theatre Company
Venue Prince of Wales Theatre Cannock
Type of Production Musical
Director Michele Windsor
Musical Director Richard Bradbury
Choreographer Michele Windsor

Report

Author: Brian Hirst

By any standards this was an excellent piece of theatre. It was well directed, choreographed and musically solid. It is a well crafted story moving seamlessly between humour and raw emotion and contains some very good music.

There were so many quality performances in this production that it is not easy to pick out names from the team. However I have got to mention Katie Rowley for her portrayal of Rita O’Grady the shop floor worker thrust into the limelight to lead the battle for women’s equal pay after the sad death of her friend Connie Riley well played by Diane Whylie. Katie must have been exhausted by the end purely as a result of the emotion involved the part. Brett Dewsbury (Eddie O’Grady) had the difficult task of portraying his desperation as he moved from bread winner to support act to his wife’s increasing fame. He managed this very well. Sara Hilditch (Barbara Castle) demonstrated perfectly that although she was opposed to Rita she had sympathy for her ideals. Nathan Owers gave a very convincing performance as Harold Wilson who, as Prime Minister, didn’t know how to respond to the emerging crisis. There were some strong solos from Gayle Allen (Clare), Nathan Owers (Harold), Sara Hilditch (Barbara) Brett Dewsbury (Eddie), Jo Goulding (Sandra Beaumont) and Katie Rowley (Rita). Tom Allsop (Mr Tooley) led the company in the rousing song ‘This is America’. As always with a big production there are many supporting roles adding detail to the plot and this reliable support came from Dave Barr, Stephen Clancy, Caroline Evans, Matt Hunt, Jon Keeling, Dominique Powell, James Price, Mel Ray and Faye Watson. It was also good to see two young people in Abigail Goulding (Sharon O’Grady) and Alex Hilditch (Graham O’Grady) on stage so well done to them.

The ensemble work was very busy and necessary so congratulations to you all and thank you for the quality of the harmony singing. A musical is pointless without the support of a sympathetic band so well done to them also. Lighting plot and costumes all added to a very successful production.

Well done to everyone involved!