Made in Dagenham

Date 15th March 2018
Society Blyth Music and Theatre Company Ltd
Venue Phoenix Theatre Blyth
Type of Production Musical
Director Jackie Grey
Musical Director John Hudson
Choreographer Jackie Grey

Report

Author: R J Lowry

Made in Dagenham is not common fare for amateur musical societies. It is a relatively new show (released for amateur production) and the language the characters use may ruffle a few feathers in more traditional companies. The show deals with contemporary issues (the gender pay gap) in a lively and provocative way; and judging by the enthusiastic crowd in the auditorium, this attracts a younger audience who seem to enjoy this energetic and pacy entertainment and who hopefully will be become regulars for the productions this excellent company puts on. The fixed all-purpose set (complimented by back-slides) sets the scenes satisfactorily and the excellent off-stage orchestra (directed by John Hudson) does remarkably well accompanying the on-stage action (some of the music cues are tricky but they work well in spite of the distance between cast and musicians). Even the sound levels are spot-on (but an occasional non-miked player struggles to be heard). The show pivots around the lead character Rita O’Grady and she is played on the mark by Rebecca Currie well supported by her on-stage husband Eddie (Paul Godfrey).Other main parts are well played (Fraire Godfrey as Clare stands out). And it’s great to see Harold Wilson (Michael Douglas) and Barbara Castle (Mel Purdy) again and brought to life in such an enjoyable way. The whole cast fill the stage with life and character in the guise of the men and women of Dagenham and the other players in this tale of oppression, struggle and triumph set in the past but still relevant today. Blyth Music and Theatre Company these days offer an interesting and appealing programme of productions. May they go from strength to strength and can attract good audiences to support what they do.