Updated: Aug 27, 2019
It’s no secret, I love ‘Made in Dagenham’ and so this was always going to be an exciting evening for us.
On arrival in the hall, the seating arrangement was drastically different from the usual layout as this evenings performance was technically in the round with a large stage area on the floor in a T-shape coming down from the stage. This worked really well giving a larger performance area for the company numbers.
From the opening Number ‘Busy Woman’ the show charged along with its own momentum with slick scene changes and strong performances.
Debbie Stevens as Rita O’Grady gave a fantastic performance both in her portrayal of the mother torn between her family and her responsibility. She took us on the journey with her and we appreciated every step. James Hughes as her husband Eddie, had all the rough edges of a Dagenham Boy and all the charm too. His rendition of The Letter was lovely.
The Dagenham Girls were all strong characters with Sarah Neary as the foul mouthed and down to earth Beryl, Emma Thwaite as Dolly Bird Sandra, Lucie Burrow as forgetful Clare and Sarah Taylor as ambitious pilot Cass. Lucie did a fantastic job with ‘Wossisname’ and she maintained the character throughout which was fantastic.
I also really liked by contrast Amy Pudney as Lisa Hopkins, she gave a very sympathetic interpretation of the posh wife of Dagenham plant manager Mr Hopkins, played by John Hughes.
Harold Wilson was played admirably by Andrew Raymond, who got all the humour in the role of the hapless Prime Minister and Lisa Rawlings gave a powerhouse performance as Barbara Castle – I really enjoyed her delivery of ‘An Ideal World’ which was excellent. In addition, I also really liked the characterisation of Nic Rayment as the American Ford Boss Tooley.
All the chorus numbers were well delivered with some well thought out choreography which was a real bonus for the show. The Band did an amazing job in fact had we not known it was only a four piece band we would never had known as the sound they produced was excellent.
In fact this was a hugely enjoyable performance from start to finish, in fact compared to some groups we have seen in larger venue or larger towns this stood head and shoulders above them and this was definitely the best production we have seen in Blackmore to date.
Massive congratulations to all involved
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