Made in Dagenham (musical)
|Made in Dagenham|
|Setting||Dagenham in 1968|
2010 film Made in Dagenham written by |
|Premiere||5 November 2014 : Adelphi Theatre|
|Productions||2014 West End|
Made in Dagenham is a musical with music by David Arnold, lyrics by Richard Thomas, and a book by Richard Bean. Based on the 2010 film of the same name, which in turn was based on the real events of the Ford sewing machinists strike of 1968, the musical made its West End and world premiere at the Adelphi Theatre in 2014.
The 2010 film received several award nominations, and the following year, it was announced that a musical was under development. Former Bond girl Gemma Arterton was cast in the role of Rita, a working woman and mother who becomes a union leader amidst the strike, despite the wishes of her husband and children, who feel neglected by her focus on labour issues.
Made in Dagenham opened for previews on 5 October 2014 at the Adelphi Theatre. It opened on 9 November to mixed but generally positive reviews. Despite the good reception, it is closed on 11 April 2015, due to poor ticket sales.
The musical is based on the 2010 film Made in Dagenham, which in turn centred around the true-life events of the Ford sewing machinists strike of 1968. The film principally follows the main character of Rita O'Grady, who acts as the spokesperson for a group of female workers at Ford's Dagenham plant, who go on strike to fight the inequality that becomes apparent when women workers were to be paid less as they were classed as unskilled. In contrast, their male colleagues were classed as skilled and ultimately received more pay. These actions led to the creation of the Equal Pay Act 1970. It received four British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) nominations, including Outstanding British film.
In December 2011, it was first revealed that a musical adaption of the film Made in Dagenham was being worked on. A reading of the book from the show took place the same month with two workshops also being held the following year. During these workshops, actress Gemma Arterton played the lead role of Rita and in August 2013, Producers Stage Entertainment revealed that they would like Arterton to play the role subject to scheduling and were seeking an autumn 2014 opening.
On 3 March 2014, the show was officially confirmed and it was announced that the show would premiere in London in autumn 2014. The musical has a book by Richard Bean and is directed by Rupert Goold, with choreography by Aletta Collins, set and costume design by Bunny Christie and lighting by Jon Clark. The musical's score is composed by David Arnold, with lyrics by Richard Thomas and sound design by Richard Brooker.
Describing the production, producers revealed that whilst based on the film, it would not be a direct copy, saying "Some of the characters from the film will be dropped, and new ones introduced. Not all the elements from the film will be on stage, and we'll expand on things the film barely touched on".
The show's premiere production began previews at the Adelphi Theatre in London, on 9 October 2014, with its official opening night coming on 5 November. Rehearsals for the production began on 4 August, with their first public outing coming on 28 September, with an appearance on Sunday Night at the London Palladium and in November the cast performed "Everybody Out" on the BBC's Children in Need. The lead role of Rita is played by Arterton, with husband Eddie being played by Adrian Der Gregorian. A typical London performance runs two hours and 45 minutes, including one interval of 15 mins. The production closed on 11 April 2015, despite positive reviews due to poor ticket sales. Made In Dagenham was replaced by Kinky Boots at the Adelphi Theatre in London on 15 September 2015, with previews from 21 August.
In April 2016 it was announced that a new actor/musician co-production by the Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch and New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich will be performed from 16 August to 17 September in Hornchurch, and 21 September to 15 October 2016 in Ipswich. It will be directed by Queen's Theatre artistic director, Douglas Rintoul, designed by Hayley Grindle with musical direction by Ben Goddard. Cast is to be announced. Oxford University will be staging a production early in 2017 at the Simpkins Lee Theatre at Lady Margaret Hall, with casting yet to be announced.
On 13 June 2014, the first song from the musical was revealed as Everybody Out and was released on SoundCloud, with two other tracks, "The Letter" and the musical's title song "Made in Dagenham" also released on SoundCloud and via the show's website. In addition Everybody Out was released as a single on 28 July 2014. Shortly prior to the show's West End closure it was announced a cast recording would be released. Recorded live at London's Adelphi Theatre the soundtrack was released on digital formats only on 18 May 2015, via First Night Records.
|Made in Dagenham|
|Cast recording by the Original London cast|
|Released||18 May 2015|
|Label||First Night Records|
|2.||"Made in Dagenham"||3.20|
|3.||"This Is What We Want"||3.00|
|5.||"Always A Problem"||3.00|
|7.||"I'm Sorry, I Love You"||3.49|
|10.||"This Is America"||4.59|
|15.||"We Nearly Had It All"||3.49|
Principal roles and original cast
|Character||Original West End Performer|
|Rita O'Grady||Gemma Arterton|
|Eddie O'Grady||Adrian Der Gregorian|
|Mr Tooley||Steve Furst|
|Prime Minister Harold Wilson||Mark Hadfield|
|Barbara Castle||Sophie-Louise Dann|
|Mr Hopkins||Julius D'Silva|
|Lisa Hopkins||Naomi Frederick|
|Buddy Cortina||Scott Garnham|
|Tea Lady||Kath Duggan|
|Sharon O'Grady||Grace Doherty|
|Graham O'Grady||Harry Marcus|
The musical received mixed but generally positive reviews. Quentin Letts deemed it "witty, fun, fitfully inventive and distinctly English". Henry Hitchings, for the Evening Standard, regarded it as "robustly likeable — mixing passionate populism with bursts of big-budget flamboyance". Paul Taylor, for The Independent, called it "a West End musical you can be pleased to acknowledge was 'made in Britain' ".
Nevertheless, even some of those who praised the musical criticised some aspects of the production, with Hitchings calling it "occasionally crass and a little too manipulative (the final number ["Stand Up"] is an especially brazen bid to get us on our feet)". Taylor suggested Made in Dagenham was "uneven but captivating".
Others were more critical. Simon Edge, for the Daily Express, complained of an "underpowered central performance from Gemma Arterton as Rita ... she lacks any of the goofy charisma that Sally Hawkins brought to the film role, so that it's hard to see how her character ever came to the fore of this dispute". Michael Billington, in his review for The Guardian, opined that Arnold's score "rarely rises above the functional".
Awards and nominations
|2014||Whatsonstage.com Awards||Best New Musical||Nominated|
|Best Actress In A Musical||Gemma Arterton||Nominated|
|Best Set Design||Bunny Christie||Nominated|
|Best Lighting Design||Jon Clark||Nominated|
||Laurence Olivier Award||Best Actress in a Musical||Gemma Arterton||Nominated|
|Best Set Design||Bunny Christie||Nominated|
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