Friday, 27 March 2015

Made in Dagenham


I haven't written a theatre review in ages - sorry about that - but that's not to say I haven't been to the theatre, recently. Oh no, I have seen all sorts of things including Shakespeare in Love (the play is exactly like the film but better) Miss Saigon, Matilda, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (with Robert Lindsay - hilarious guy) and Made in Dagenham. Twice.

I have to say I LOVE THIS MUSICAL. Which is why I have seen it twice in the space of three months. It is a new one to hit London, but it has managed to creep into the top 5 out of the 30 musicals and plays I have seen in the West End. Pretty unheard of as I am very critical and new shows are not often as high calibre as some of the old classics such as Les Mis, Wicked or the Lion King. However Made in Dagenham is a gem which you HAVE to go and see before it closes in a couple of weeks time.

Reason One - Gemma Arterton. She is a complete goddess. I genuinely think I love her. I don't know why but it always surprises me when movie actors can sing. And she can sing really well. She makes it look so easy as well, belting out fast catchy numbers one minute, and then performing soft emotional numbers the next. There is a lot of emotion in this particular musical and Arterton leads her character, Rita O'Grady on such a journey from a simple mother working in a factory, to a leading figure of female rights. She plays the ups and downs perfectly and it all looks so natural. A very skilled actor.

Reason Two - the history. The musical depicts such a good story and that's because it's based in truth. Rita O'Grady and all the rest were real people, working in the real Ford factory in Dagenham in the late 60s and they really did secure equal pay for women. I studied history A level and I didn't even know their names. Which is just terrible. They make up an important part of our history and should be remembered accordingly. So here is one really fun way to learn about them - make sure you go and visit the musical.

Reason Three - it's just great. Inspiring, fun, emotional, this musical has everything. It has it's ups and downs and roundabouts. It has hilarious moments, silly moments and teary moments and actually seems pretty realistic. I love musicals that focus on people and stories. And this is one hell of a story. The characters grow so much and the world literally changes by the end. Which, in turn, will make you feel ready to take on the world and start your own protest, changing all that is wrong in the world.

If you are a fan of the grittier musical such as Billy Elliot, you will love this one. So celebrate World Theatre Day and book tickets for Made in Dagenham now. Before it's too late.

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