Made in Dagenham

Date 11th May 2019
Society The DODS
Venue Lister Hall, Long Street, Dursley
Type of Production Musical
Director Helen Desoisa & Scott Sharp
Musical Director Roger Winter
Choreographer Val Lockley

Report

Author: Dee Way

This is a show that requires excellent planning and organisation on the part of the Director, with very good stage skills within the cast.  The songs need to be delivered with feeling and verve, while the acting needs to be convincing.  I am glad the say that this production showed all of these qualities throughout the show.

The direction demonstrated very good planning, as the many scene changes were efficient and mostly unobtrusive.  There was a good sense of business, purpose and direction to the moves throughout the production. There was also a very good sense of teamwork amongst both the male and female worker groups. This is a tricky thing to generate but is most effective in this show.  

The scenery was excellent, with the opening kitchen scene very nicely dated and furnished, with its period touches.  The setting of the office downstage left but separated by steps from the stage level worked very well indeed, as office dialogue and reactions were clear. I loved the notion of posting pictures of the period's models of Ford cars around the stage - quite a trip down memory lane! The inside and outside of the factory using lit windows was ingenious and worked extremely well, while the move to Liverpool was very neatly done.  In the second Act, the scene changes were very well devised and planned, with just enough scenery to suggest the places but not clutter the stage.

The music for the production was beautifully played, with good variety of rhythm, mood and vivacity, supporting the singers well and setting the scenes with sensitivity. Sound cues were well timed and effective in suggesting such landmarks as Big Ben in London, while lighting was decisive, well designed and worked extremely well.  

The choreography was very well suited to the period, with suggestions of current dances, such as the Twist, in good evidence.  It was also lovely to see a variety of costumes, for the ladies in particular. Rather than all dressed in miniskirts, this was a body of ladies who dressed for comfort at work - a nice contrast to the disco costumes and the London delegation.  It was also lovely to see the orchestra all in Ford overalls - a splendid idea!

The performances from the cast were outstanding.  The songs were very well sung, with feeling and variety. The script was delivered in a convincing manner and the arguments could well have been real.  Altogether, this was a very well prepared and thought through production that fully used the range of talents of the cast and stage crew.  The response of the audience said it all in the standing ovation at the end. Congratulations on a superb production!