'Made in Dagenham'

HCP PRESENTS

‘MADE IN DAGENHAM’ - THE MUSICAL

REGENT CENTRE, CHRISTCHURCH 26-29 JULY 2017


It’s back to the swinging sixties as the award-winning Highcliffe Charity Players get groovy with their latest musical – ‘Made in Dagenham’, the inspiring, heart- warming story about a group of Dagenham female factory workers who made history fighting for women’s rights against the might of Ford. It is staged at the Regent Centre, Christchurch, for five performances (including a Saturday matinee) from Wednesday 26th to Saturday 29th July 2017, and sponsored by local Ford dealers, Keith Motors.

Adapted from the much-loved 2010 British film, this fun-filled, high octane, feel- good show was inspired by true-life events – the 1968 women sewing machinists’ strike at the Ford Motor Company’s Dagenham plant in Essex, which would lead to the Equal Pay Act of 1970.

The show is written by playwright Richard Bean (One Man, Two Guvnors) with a catchy rock and pop score from Grammy Award-winning British composer David Arnold (Sherlock, Little Britain, Independence Day and Quantum of Solace) and lyrics by Richard Thomas (Jerry Springer:The Opera).

This uplifting new British musical comedy was premiered at London’s Adelphi Theatre in 2014 starring former Bond girl Gemma Arterton. The story follows Rita O’Grady, a working woman and mother, who leads Dagenham’s feisty sewing machinists on their life-changing journey from factory floor to the House of Commons, fighting for sexual equality in ‘60s Britain.

Says HCP Chairman Georgina Smith: “Made In Dagenham has a rousing, toe- tapping sixties’ beat and very witty lyrics. It’s an energetic, funny and moving show that makes you laugh and cry in equal measures – just perfect for HCP!”

Directing the Company for the first time is Southampton-based Adam Myers of Music Theatre South, an accomplished actor, musician, producer, director and choreographer. Says Adam: “I am absolutely delighted to be working with HCP, who I have performed with and supported for many years. Made In Dagenham is proving an exciting journey - I love that we get to work on a story that is real, and about real working people. It is unusual to find such earthy and honest characters in musical theatre and, as well as being a lot of fun, it’s a great opportunity to bring this important story to local audiences.”

The cast is led by HCP’s Beth Chumley as Rita who says: “I feel absolutely honoured to be playing such a strong-willed character in such a moving show – I can’t wait!” Her fellow sewing machinists are played by Nikki Wilson (Shop Steward, Connie), Lucy Lamb (Beryl), Lucy-May Alner (Sandra), Jade Morrell (Clare) and Yvonne Gray (Cass).

Daniel Murrell plays Rita’s husband Eddie, Stephen James is Dagenham’s Union Convenor Monty, Barry Gray appears as Factory MD Mr Hopkins with Emma Barrington as his wife, and Martin Mansfield plays Ford US Representative Mr Tooley.

Denis Carlton (well known locally for his portrayal of Mr Harry G Selfridge in The Real Mr Selfridge Experience at Highcliffe Castle) now takes on Prime Minister Harold Wilson, with Valerie Gillard appearing as Employment Minister Barbara Castle. HCP’s Musical Director Stuart Darling conducts a 10-piece band.

The production is sponsored by local Ford Dealers, Keith Motors making their first venture into arts sponsorship. Says Operations Manager Robert Keith: “Sponsoring Made in Dagenham is a great way for us to say thank you to our local community for all the trust and support they have shown us over the years.” And Keith Motors’ Administration Manager Tara O’Connell adds: “We are extremely excited about this unique collaboration between Keith Motors and Highcliffe Charity Players and can’t wait to see the show coming to life.”

HCP’s Made in Dagenham runs at the Regent Centre for five performances from 26-29 July 2017. Tickets are £14.50, Concessions £13.50, from the Regent Centre Box Office (01202 499199) and online: www.regentcentre.co.uk

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