New and in­vig­o­rat­ing show was pol­ished to per­fec­tion

Hinckley Times - - THE GUIDE - Tony Par­ratt

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.

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