Per­fectly Made

School stars shine

Wishaw Press - - FRONT PAGE -

Dur­ing the last week of term, the Clyde Val­ley cam­pus as­sem­bly hall jumped back in time to 1970s Eng­land for the school’s pro­duc­tion of the hit mu­si­cal Made in Da­gen­ham.

The show re­volved around Rita O’Grady, the leader of the strike, as she en­cour­aged the women of the Ford fac­tory to walk out af­ter they were re­clas­si­fied as un­skilled work­ers, while their male coun­ter­parts saw their wages in­crease.

Af­ter Rita is pa­tro­n­ised and snubbed by the fac­tory at a union meet­ing, the women’s griev­ances over their worker sta­tus be­comes a fight for equal pay.

Amy Mcleod was mes­meris­ing in the role of Rita O’Grady. She mas­ter­fully por­trayed the raw emo­tion of Rita’s char­ac­ter and clev­erly took the au­di­ence on her jour­ney and fight for equal pay.

Her stage pres­ence and con­fi­dent por­trayal of wife, mother, worker and leader of this his­toric fight had the au­di­ence in her corner from the very out­set.

Stu­art Mur­phy was a master­ful Ed­die O’Grady, play­ing the other lead role with ab­so­lute as­sured­ness.

Stu­art bril­liantly cap­tured Ed­die’s dif­fi­cult jour­ney and tran­si­tion into the stay-at-home fa­ther and husband and led the au­di­ence through h the peaks and troughs of his emo­tional roller­coaster ride. His cute and cheeky ren­di­tion of ‘I’m Sorry I Love You’ won over the au­di­ence as did his pow­er­fully emotive ver­sion of ‘The Let­ter’, as he pon­dered the fu­ture of his mar­riage to Rita.

Amy and Stu­art both demon­strated a re­mark­ably ma­ture abil­ity to move the au­di­ence through their singing, with their so­los and duets to­tally con­vinc­ing.

The chem­istry be­tween the two leads was so strong the au­di­ence re­acted with tan­gi­ble hap­pi­ness, and re­lief, as the cou­ple were re­united dur­ing the pow­er­ful fi­nal song, ‘Stand Up’.

Shelby McEl­roy (Con­nie) pro­vided won­der­ful back-up and en­cour­age­ment to Rita.

Shelby pro­duced many mo­ments of high com­edy but it was also Con­nie’s bat­tle with can­cer, that she did not win, which had the au­di­ence moved to tears.

The girls’ real-life, close friend­ship un­doubt­edly helped to cap­ture the strong bond and chem­istry that the two had on stage.

Paige McLel­land, as the ul­tra- con­fi­dent, out­spo­ken and wildly in­ap­pro­pri­ate Beryl, was a for­mi­da­ble stage pres­ence as she en­joyed life – tor­ment­ing the men in the fac­tory. Along with Cass (Bil­lie Davie), San­dra (Abby Cock­burn) and Clare (Ni­cole Ro­gan), the girls were quick to de­fend and sup­port Rita.

Such was the strength of the women’s move­ment they were able to en­cour­age an un­likely char­ac­ter to join the cause.

Lisa (Kim­ber­ley Bryans) an ed­u­cated, wealthy house­wife was quick to of­fer sup­port to Rita, and even pro­vided Rita with the in­fa­mous ‘Biba’ dress that was worn to the trade union con­fer­ence.

A strong, in­de­pen­dent char­ac­ter, Lisa ig­nored di­rect in­struc­tions from her husband Mr Hop­kins (Euan Brad­shaw) a man­ager at the com­pany, and Kim­ber­ley Kim­ber­ley­was­con­vinc­ing was con­vinc­ing in her­por­trayal her por­trayal of this in­spir­ing char­ac­ter.

Ar­ran Dick­son pro­vided some more com­edy as the egotistical, of­ten chau­vin­ist char­ac­ter of Harold Wil­son. Keep­ing him in check was Bar­bara Cas­tle (Caitlin Steven) a for­ward-think­ing Par­lia­men­tary min­is­ter who of­ten chal­lenged Wil­son and also pro­vided sup­port to the women’s cause.

Caitlin com­manded the stage dur­ing her per­for­mance of ‘Ideal World’ and had the full back­ing of the au­di­ence as she gave words of wis­dom and en­cour­age­ment to the girls at a time when they needed it most.

A cho­rus of some 30 other young peo­ple bril­liantly sup­ported the lead char­ac­ters.

The highly imag­i­na­tive and com­plex sets, linked with the cos­tumes helped recre­ate the at­mos­phere of the time.

The light­ing and special ef­fects matched any pro­fes­sional pro­duc­tion.

The Clyde Val­ley band sim­ply held the pro­duc­tion to­gether and rocked the house all night long.

Made in Da­gen­ham can be proudly re­garded as the lat­est tri­umph for Clyde Val­ley’s pro­duc­tion team (Mrs Anne Traynor, Mrs Claire Fer­rie, Mrs Va­lerie Liv­ing­stone and Mrs Ste­fanie Chalmers).

The cho­rus were: S2: Chloe MacFar­lane, Elise McLel­land, So­phie Tay­lor and Tay­lor Por­te­ous.

S3: Lily McBride, Lau­ren Rankin, Caragh Wil­son and Caitlin Steven.

S4: Eilidh Bur­nett, Sarah Chance, Chloe Magee, Rachel Mur­ray, Daniel Smith, Lewis Phillips and Stu­art Coombes.

S5/S6: Co­lette Black, El­iz­a­beth Hen­drie, Caitlin Jef­frey, Kate Reid, Han­nah Devine, Kim­ber­ley Bryans, Abby Cock­burn, Kayleigh Hart, Ni­cole Busby, Ar­ran Dick­son, Euan Brad­shaw, Stu­art Mur­phy, Ni­cole Ro­gan, Bil­lie Davie, Shelby McEl­roy, Paige McLel­land and Amy Mcleod.

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