REVIEW: Made In Dagenham, Blackpool Operatic Players

Based on a true series of events, this stage version of the 2010 movie of the same name and performed by Blackpool Operatic Players at the Grand Theatre, tells of the 1968 strike by the Ford female machinists.

Thursday, 20th April 2017, 10:38 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 6:58 pm
The cast of Blackpool Operatic Players' production of Made In Dagenham
The cast of Blackpool Operatic Players' production of Made In Dagenham

These feisty women became largely instrumental in paving the way for legislation on equal pay for female workers.

To be fair, an industrial dispute isn't an obvious go-see for theatre-goers but this vibrant show with it's thoughtful core and catchy tunes, in the battle for fairness, proves otherwise.

Political leaders of the time are there, and what a great double act, with Harold Wilson (Steve Hook) as a comedic, misogynistic Gannex-clad caricature and Barbara Castle (Alima Khan) who portrays warmly and weaves into the clever story alongside the factory-girl vibe and poignant working-class love.

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Rita (Danielle Jones) and Eddie (Steven England) handle their demanding roles with commitment and sympathetic onstage chemistry whilst Tooley (Derek Winward) gives the audience a masterclass in stagecraft.

Beryl (Gill Winward) and the entire company are a delight to watch with nifty moves from choreographer Charlotte Hall. But the lion's share of the praise goes to producer Emma Norman for her imaginative and entertaining take on a slice of modern history which truly captures the striking sixties era.

The ensemble, backed by a superb orchestra under the baton of Helen Harrison, work their socks off and their accurate vocals are clear and confident as is the soaring voice of Clare (Stephanie Goodridge).

This is a must-see British musical with a social conscience and absolutely worth making a song and dance about.

Until Saturday.

Yvonne Fielding