THE Joseph Rowntree Theatre Company will present the York premiere of Made In Dagenham from February 5 to 8 to raise funds for the community theatre in Haxby Road, York.
Directed by Kayleigh Oliver, this will be the third such musical production after Mel Brooks’s The Producers in 2018 and Cole Porter and Bella and Samuel Spewack’s Kiss Me, Kate in 2019.
David Arnold, Richard Thomas and Hull playwright Richard Bean’s Made In Dagenham is inspired by the remarkable true story of a group of women, working in Ford’s Dagenham car plant, that stood tall against a huge corporation and won the fight for equal pay, a battle still raging all over the world.
Rita O’Grady, a working wife and mother, has her life changed forever when the girls in Ford’s stitching room are told their pay is to be dropped to an “unskilled” grade. It falls to Rita to lead her friends in the fight against Ford and the corruption of the union.
Along the way in their inspiring journey, they learn the value of friendship, solidarity and the importance of fighting for what’s right, as told in a funny, touching and timeless musical that remains as relevant today as ever.
Jennie Wogan, latterly seen in Scrooge, King Lear and Kiss Me, Kate, takes the role of Rita, joined by talent from the York amateur theatre scene, such as Helen Singhateh, from Little Shop Of Horrorsand the UK/European tour of I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change!, as Beryl; Nick Sephton, from Patience and Pirates Of Penzance, as Eddie O’Grady, and Martyn Hunter, from Brassed Off and Calendar Girls, as Prime Minister Harold Wilson.
Malton actor, singer and now producer Scott Garnham starred in the original West End production. “It’s a great show and I’m delighted that someone is presenting it in York, where I started my career,” he says.
“The York premiere really is an event,” says lead actress Jennie Wogan. “It’s a story about love, family and doing what’s right, all told with humour, honesty and some wonderfully written songs.”
Oliver is joined in the production team by assistant director Alex Schofield, producer Tom Diar Davey=Rogerson, musical director Tim Selman, choreographer Lorna Newby and costume designer Karen Brunyee.
Tickets for the 7.30pm evening performances and 2.30pm Saturday matinee are on sale on 01904 501935, at josephrowntreetheatre.co.uk or in person from the JoRo box office. Please note, Made In Dagenham features some very strong language and may be unsuitable for children.
Rita O’Grady – Jennie Wogan
Beryl – Helen Singhateh
Sandra – Jennifer Jones
Clare – Izzy Betts
Cass – Riffat Rizvi
Rachel/Club Singer – Clare Meadley
MC – Hannah Ainscough
Connie Riley – Rosy Rowley
Lisa Hopkins – Karen Brunyee
Barbara Castle – Kayleigh Oliver
Sharon O’Grady – Ella Meadley
O’Grady – Nick Sephton
Graham O’Grady – Ben Wood
Sid/Stan – Tom Diar Davey-Rogerson
Bill/Stan – Cam O’Byrne
Monty – Richard Goodall
Barry – Joe Hesketh
Mr Hopkins – Mark Simmonds
Chubby Chuff – Ben Huntley
Tooley – Chris Gibson
Mr Hubble – Nick Jackson
Mr Macer – Gary Bateson
Wilson’s Aide 1 – Alastair Bush
Aide 2 – Cam O’Byrne
Wilson’s Aide 3 – Ben Huntley
Harold Wilson – Martyn Hunter
Mr Buckton – Gary Bateson
Buddy Cortina – Ben Huntley
Kayleigh Oliver – director
Alex Schofield – assistant director
Tom Diar Davey-Rogerson – producer
Hannah Ainscough – tech manager
Tim Selman – musical director
Lorna Newby – choreography
Karen Brunyee – costume
Ben Huntley – publicity