Made In Dagenham

Date 15th November 2019
Society Minerva Club Glasgow
Venue Eastwood Theatre
Type of Production Musical
Director Roy McGregor
Musical Director Andrew Scott
Choreographer Alexander McGuchan-Johnstone

Report

Author: Liz Daniels

Set in the late 1960s, Essex, The Minerva Club took us on a very poignant journey into the lives of families and friends and importantly women as they struggle with everyday life fighting for their rights. This strong storyline had us laughing and crying and the whole ensemble showed their strength in working together to bring a show equally balanced in musical and dramatic style.

A strong principal line up worked closely alongside the supporting ensemble to bring this emotional piece alive on stage. Rita O’Grady played by Eleanor MacKay and Eddie her husband played by Brian Toward both gave strong performances with good vocal and acting ability. I had the pleasure of seeing Leyton Webster and Naiomi Wylie who gave good strong performances in the roles of the O’Grady children.  I am sure Louie Munro and Grace Miller were equally as strong in their roles. Anne Allan in her role as Connie Riley as always brought an excellent performance, and Kerry Marshall, playing the role of Beryl did not hold back on the bad language, delivering it with ease, without it causing offence in any way.   The other female factory workers, Sandra, Clare and Cass gave excellent and convincing performances, and in particular the delivery of This is What We Want.  The male ensemble brought a good balance to the women.

Raymond Morrison played an extremely convincing Harold Wilson, as did Laura Minto in her role as Barbara Castle.  Mr. Hopkins, Stuart McCue-Dick and Lisa Hopkins, Colette Dunsmore were well cast bringing the balance between the factory workers and the management.  

The style of the late 60s was well portrayed and the cast and production team had worked hard to ensure costumes, hair, be it styled or wigs, and  make up were of the period.  

The set design was clever, with the use of a video wall in the top level of the set, and an extension at the front of the stage. The video material was well chosen and gave a different dimension to the staging of the show.   The integration of the cast in the entire production as they created each scene change with ease, was well executed.  Roy McGregor, Director and Alexander McGuchan-Johnston Choreographer brought their vision of the show to life.  That, along with music technology under the direction of James Dumsmore, and strong vocal solo work and ensemble harmonies, and a tight band under the musical direction of Andrew Scott, it all led to a well-rounded performance.  As with all productions, the strength of the backstage and front of house teams is equally as important, and added to the mix of the full cast, and production team, made for a successful audience experience.  Well done to The Minerva Club who continue to go from strength to strength.