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Don’t Miss the Uplifting and Inspiring “Made In Dagenham” at The Lights from AMTC

The Andover Musical Theatre Company is set to captivate audiences with their upcoming production of Made In Dagenham, running from Wednesday, May 22nd through Saturday, May 25th at The Lights.

This heart-warming and inspiring show promises to deliver a potent mix of humour, emotion, and a powerful message about gender equality and workers’ rights. Book your tickets here:

Based on the true story that inspired the hit film, Made In Dagenham is set in 1968 Essex, where Ford’s Dagenham car plant drastically cuts the pay of its female workers. The story follows Rita O’Grady, a working mother who becomes the unexpected leader of a strike to demand equal pay. As Rita leads her friends in a fight against the mighty company and a corrupt union, she embarks on a personal journey to find her voice and stand up for what is right.

Louise, who portrays Rita, describes her character as “a working mother who becomes the reluctant leader of the strike action at the Dagenham factory.” She explains, “Throughout the show, we see her journey to finding the confidence to speak up for what she believes in. Like many women, she’s often found herself being spoken down to and burdened with household duties. It’s great to see her rise and stand up to the TUC, to get the ladies the equal pay they deserve.”

The themes of Made In Dagenham resonate deeply with contemporary issues. Louise emphasises the ongoing relevance of the story, stating, “The gender pay gap is still very real and is unlikely to close for another 50 years. Women still take responsibility for the majority of childcare and household chores, which contributes to the disproportion in terms of unpaid time women spend ‘working’ in the home. I feel so passionately about it because, despite holding a senior position, I have often felt overlooked and treated differently as a woman.”

The production’s vibrant music and energetic choreography further enhance its appeal. Musical Director Alun Grace leads a seven-piece band, delivering a lively mix of 60’s pop, Northern Soul, and classic ballads. Louise shares, “The music is a lively mix of 60’s style pop, with some Northern Soul and classic ballads thrown in for good measure.” Director Claire Nias, with her extensive experience in dance and theatre, has crafted choreography that adds energy and inclusivity to the ensemble numbers, ensuring that every cast member shines.

The set design for Made In Dagenham is both innovative and functional, featuring three large walls that transform from a factory to a family home through the clever use of props and lighting. Louise notes, “The set is big and features materials donated from Sydenhams and Howdens, helping us keep costs to a minimum. The sewing machines play an integral role in telling the story, cleverly designed with wheels for speedy scene changes.”

Costume choices play a crucial role in evoking the era and characters’ personalities. The cast has put together their own costumes, resulting in authentic and personalised outfits that reflect their characters. Louise mentions, “Sandra is a ‘bit of a dolly bird,’ so she is all about showing a bit of leg, while MP Barbara Castle has a more classic style with a dress from C&A, which is ‘just for work.’

As the production delves into themes of empowerment, solidarity, and standing up for one’s rights, audiences are sure to find themselves emotionally connected to the characters and their journey. Louise reflects on the emotional impact, stating, “There are many tender and touching moments in the show which have resulted in a lot of emotions in rehearsal. The dynamic between Rita and her friend Connie, as well as the relationship between Rita and her husband Eddie, are particularly moving and relatable.”

Ultimately, Made In Dagenham delivers a timeless message about fairness and equality that remains relevant today. Louise hopes that audiences will leave the theatre feeling both uplifted and inspired. “Feedback we’ve had from people who have previewed in rehearsal is that it is laugh-out-loud funny and moving in equal measure. In short, audiences will come away feeling uplifted, and most likely humming the tunes as they leave the theatre!”

Don’t miss this incredible production at The Lights. Made In Dagenham runs from May 22nd to May 25th, promising a show that is not just good for an amateur group, but a fantastic production that will leave a lasting impression on all who attend. Secure your tickets now and be part of this unforgettable theatrical experience.