Made in Dagenham coming to Norwich stage this January

PUBLISHED: 12:30 14 December 2019

Rita and Eddie  Picture: Jaz Instone-Brewer

Rita and Eddie Picture: Jaz Instone-Brewer


The hit musical with a message will be staged at the Theatre Royal until February 1.

Dagenham girls  Picture: Jaz Instone-BrewerDagenham girls Picture: Jaz Instone-Brewer

Ordinary people can do extraordinary things when they stand together. That is the message of the musical Made in Dagenham, which is being brought to Norwich Theatre Royal by Norfolk and Norwich Operatic Society in the New Year.

Inspired by a true story, the show takes a trip back in time to 1968 when the Ford sewing machinists walked out in protest against sexual discrimination and demanding equal pay, which led to the 1970 Equal Pay Act.

It was headline news at the time, and the women were invited to an audience with the then prime minister and campaigner Barbara Castle.

The musical is based on the multiple BAFTA-nominated 2010 film which starred Sally Hawkins, Bob Hoskins, Miranda Richardson, Geraldine James, Rosamund Pike, Andrea Riseborough, Jaime Winstone, Daniel Mays and Richard Schiff.

It was adapted into a musical and opened at the Adelphi Theatre in London's West End in 2014. It will be the first time it has been performed at Norwich Theatre Royal.

Norfolk and Norwich Operatic Society returns to Norwich Theatre Royal following the success of its 2019 production, Guys and Dolls.

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Holly Graham stars as Rita O'Grady - a busy mum, loving wife and hard working Ford factory employee.When Rita and her female colleagues find themselves working long hours sewing car seats for far less money than the men they've had enough.

Finding a voice she never knew she had, Rita leads the women on a trailblazing battle for equal pay, taking on the unions, Ford's top brass and the government. But as the pressure mounts, Rita struggles to keep up the fight and the happy home she's worked so hard for.

Craig Loxton plays Rita's husband, Eddie, with Korben White and Lottie Lake as their children Graham and Sharon. Rowena Croston-Clegg and James Ford play Ford factory workers Clare and Sid.

The production has a cast of more than 40 and the score is played by a full orchestra.

Norfolk and Norwich Operatic Society chairman David Pulling says: "With an inspirational story and a fabulous score, Made In Dagenham is an uplifting musical comedy about friendship, love and the importance of fighting for what is right. It is funny, touching and timeless and shows how ordinary people can do extraordinary things when they stand together.

"It is important when we select a show to make it both appealing for the cast to perform as well as for the audience to watch. Made in Dagenham is not your traditional musical, so it is exciting and challenging when one of the more modern productions becomes available. Our audience can expect a strong, cohesive theme running throughout the show that is as relevant today as it was 50 years ago. The show has a fabulous score featuring both the factory girls and their male counterparts. Our cast of 41 is comprised of all ages and consists of some of the most talented singers and dancers in Norfolk."

Made in Dagenham is at Norwich Theatre Royal from January 28 to February 1. Performances are at 7.30pm, with matinees on the Thursday and Saturday at 2.30pm. Ticket cost £10-25 from the Norwich Theatre Royal box office: 01603 630000.

For a taste of the show, there will be a special preview performance from Made In Dagenham at The Forum on Saturday January 11 between 11.30am and 2.30pm. The cast will be in their costumes and it will showcase the 1968 Ford Cortina which appeared in the 2014 West End production.

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