New and invigorating show was polished to perfection
WHAT a ride! That was the feeling the whole audience had after watching the Tinhatters stunning interpretation of Made In Dagenham at the Concordia Theatre in Hinckley last week.
This musical based on the Ford Essex women who struck for equal pay, certainly resonated with today’s theatregoers, who take this concept for granted nowadays; but as minister at the time Barbara Castle remarked: ‘history should place these ordinary working women alongside the suffragettes, for having achieved it.’
Leading the women all the way was an inspiring Michelle Goode as feisty Rita, an ordinary mum of two, whose life changes forever, as she become ever more involved in the fight. Her acting was top rate and her singing exceptional too, especially in the nerve tingling rendition of ‘Stand Up’, along with Eddie and the ensemble.
Mark Baird as husband Eddie, can only watch in bemusement, as his everyday mundane existence seems to crumble before his very eyes and that of his children Graham (Tyler Hopkins) and Sharon (Caitlin Sawyer).
Rita is backed by her fellow females and I loved the foul-mouthed straight talking Beryl, succinctly interpreted by Lisa Hamlington, and sassy Sandra, played by Kirsty Lewis-Stoker.
Of course, men were involved too, with Pete Barber a convincing Monty, the trade unionist, who sympathises with the girls, but worries they are shooting for the moon, while Rachel Fortescue as battling Connie, the women’s union rep, is a perfect foil to his bluster and more pragmatic approach.
Ruthy Rock as Cass and Becky Orton as Clare also helped the plot along nicely with added touches of humour. While Glen Morley added extra gravitas as disciplinarian headmaster Mr Buckton who was determined to show Rita’s scholarship son Graham the right way to approach public school life.
Thom Udall was well cast as factory boss Hopkins, while Sian Franklin as his wife Lisa firmly nailed her colours to the girls’ mast in very convincing fashion and what a voice!
A special mention must be made to Charley Alsop who brought great dollops of humour to his role as a clownlike Harold Wilson, while Luan Bancroft was just mesmerising as Barbara Castle, a battling redhead who would be more than a match for any man at his game and I loved her interpretation of an ‘Ideal World’.
A special scene stealing moment and for me one of the best songs, with very funny lyrics was ‘This Is America’ delivered splendidly by Max Goode as Tooley, the boss who comes from the USA to sort it all out, while ‘Cortina’ sung by Andrew Stewart as Cortina Man was another hilarious moment.
But this was first and foremost a show where the whole ensemble shone, along with excellent scene design and musical backing.
It was great to see a new and invigorating show, which was well worth the entrance money if you could A’Ford it! Made In Dagenham, but polished to perfection in Hinckley.