Alcester Musical Theatre Company
MADE IN DAGENHAM: THE MUSICAL
2-5 October 2019
Redditch Palace Theatre
Director: Bev Hatton
Assistant Director: Mandy Alexander
Musical Director: Phil Radden
Choreographer: Naomi Beckford
Book: Richard Bean
Lyrics: Richard Thomas
Music: David Arnold
Based on the 2010 film of the same name, Made in Dagenham dramatises the real-life story of the Ford Dagenham sewing machinists and explores how their 1968 strike began the fight that led to the introduction of the UK’s Equal Pay Act in 1970.
The musical focuses on machinist Rita O’Grady, who finds herself taking a stand after the women at Ford Dagenham are re-graded as unskilled workers while the male workers see their wages increase. After the company management refuses to acknowledge the women’s concerns, the pay grade grievance turns into a battle for equal pay and Rita leads the women on strike.
Ford’s American bosses respond by laying off 5,000 Dagenham men – including Rita’s husband Eddie – and the women’s solidarity begins to fracture. Risking her marriage and friendships, Rita vows to continue the fight for equality and travels to the Trade Union Congress (TUC) conference in Eastbourne to make one final impassioned speech.