November 14, 2017

Made In Dagenham

I went to see Pirton Players production of Made in Dagenham on Thursday night.  I had already got a sense that this was proving a very successful run by feedback on social media and the fact that I only just managed to get a ticket as most nights were sold out. I will be honest with you, I tend to prefer straight plays but Made in Dagenham may just have converted me!

So apart from being a musical which has comedy and romance, what was this play about? A quick check on Wikipedia will tell you that…

“Based on a true story, Made in Dagenham explores the movement that caused a significant law reform. Rita O'Grady (a fictional character) leads the 1968 Ford sewing machinists strike at the Ford Dagenham plant, where female workers walk out in protest against sexual discrimination, demanding equal pay. This strike causes a lot of public attention around the world and was seen as out of the ordinary to many because it was not in a woman's nature to do anything else other than the traditional family roles. The strike is successful and leads to the Equal Pay Act 1970…”
 
Anton Jungreuthmayer, the Director wrote in the programme that “It’s not often that a piece of light entertainment touches on important issues of social change, but it’s the perfect vehicle to highlight the equal pay struggle of the 60s and 70s which still continues 50 years later…”

So how do you create a car production line in our village hall, the answer turned out to be a wonderfully creative backdrop of corrugated iron and a minimalistic set of blocks which turned into conference tables, sewing machines and that production line.  And who needs props when you can use mime to show you are having a drink, reading a letter, or sewing a car seat cover!  The costume team’s choice of costume quickly took us back to the 1960s with mini-dresses, eye boggling patterns and crimpolene suits!

Sitting as an undercover reviewer in the audience I noted some comments which might give you an idea of how this show was received…

“Really summed up the spirit of the time”

“Brilliant! Just brilliant!”

“When are they going to take it to the West End?!”

The cast and musicians got a standing ovation on Thursday night for an energised and passionate performance of a very high standard.  What struck me most though was the effort and time that everyone involved in this play must have put in to get it to the polished version I saw on Thursday.  

Behind this polished final version are the team that had the vision and imagination to develop and refine the production, the Director, Anton Jungreuthmayer and Duncan Sykes the Music Director along with Amanda Vines as Choreographer and Stella Turner as Producer.

Pirton Players productions are a team effort… so congratulation Made in Dagenham team. You were fabulous! From front of house, bar staff, back stage crew, technical crew and musicians to the actors and the production team.

The cast’s enjoyment of this play came across strongly, they all looked like they were having such a good time! In a production where the standard of singing and acting were all of a very high standard, Kat Foxworthy as Rita and Clive Dancey as her husband Eddie were particularly noteworthy.

So Pirton Players, when is the next musical? [Review by: Deb Bassnett]

 

Director - Anton Jungreuthmayer
Musical Director - Duncan Sykes
Producer - Stella Turner

Cast
Ford Dagenham Factory Workers:
Rita - Kat Foxworthy
Beryl - Lorna Sexton
Connie - Amanda Vines
Sandra - Justine McCreith
Clare - Dannielle Peters
Cass - Julie Dawson
Emma - Stella Turner
Tracy - Rebecca Turner
Eddie - Clive Dancey
Sid - Trevor Clark
Bill - Alan Gibbs
Stan - Graham Gibbs
Barry - Joe Emler
Monty - Michael Tackley
Bar Man - Tom Gammell

Ford Factory Management:
Jeremy Hopkins - Mark Sadler
Ron Macer - Mark Savage
Gergory Hubble - Dave Tinney
Tooley - Tom Gammell

Westminster:
Harold Wilson - Duncan Sykes
Barbara Castle - Alison Gibbs
Civil Servants - Dave Tinney, Mark Savage & Chris Peters
Lisa Hopkins - Janet Tackley
Mr Buckton - Chris Peters
Chubby Chuff - Paul Ribbans
Reporters - Mark Savage & Paul Ribbans
Busy Women - Sophie Davies, Julia Hawkins, Jill Rogers, Janet Tackley, Antonietta Tinney & Viv Tyler
Cortina Man - Joe Emler
Cortina Girls - Mel Abrook, Stevie Gibbs, Liz Taylor & Victoria Turner

Graham (Wednesday & Friday) - Callum O'Dowd
Graham (Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday) - Amelie Peters
Sharon (Wednesday & Friday) - Lauren Robins
Sharon (Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday) - Elodie Peters

Crew
Director - Anton Jungreuthmayer
Musical Director - Duncan Sykes
Producer - Stella Turner
Choreography - Amanda Vines
Wardrobe - Valmai Guess, Stella Turner, Antonietta Tinney, Ann Peters
Set Design - Anton Jungreuthmayer
Set Construction - Graham Gibbs & Mark de Salis
Stage Manager - Paul Kerswill
Hair - Victoria Turner
Lighting - Stuart Clark & Peter Johnson
Sound - Mark Sadler & Clive Griffin
Box Office Co-ordinator - Stella Turner
Poster & Programme Design - Emily Daniel
Publicity - Mark Sadler
Website - Dave Woodward
Photographer - David Joyce
Promotional Video - Adam Tyler
Bar Manager - Ed Picken
Front of House - Ann Peters & Team

Musicians
Keyboard - Duncan Sykes
Baritone Sax & Alto Sax - Lucinda Rowe
Clarinet, Alto Sax & Double Bass - Howard Etherington
Keyboard & Trumpet - Thomas Rowe
Percussion - Gary Steward

 

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