This autumn, Artistic Director Douglas Rintoul launches his first season at the Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch with the first ever revival of the hit musical Made in Dagenham. Bringing the West End hit back to its roots just a stone’s throw from The Ford Factory Dagenham in which it is set, the co-production with New Wolsey Theatre Ipswich presents a company of twenty-one actor musicians which is bolstered further by six members of the Queen’s Youth Theatre. This is the largest ever cast to appear on the theatre’s stage and is led by Daniella Bowen as the busy mum, loving wife and hard-working Ford factory employee, Rita O’Grady.
Set in Dagenham in 1968, Made in Dagenham tells Rita’s story who, along with her female colleagues, finds herself working long hours sewing car seats for far less money than the men. The women have had enough. Finding a voice she never knew she had, Rita leads them on a trailblazing battle for equal pay, taking on the unions, Ford’s top brass and the Government. As the pressure mounts, she struggles to keep up the fight and the happy home she’s worked so hard for.
Based on the Woolley/Karlsen/Number 9 Motion Picture, Made in Dagenham is inspired by the true story of the sewing machinists’ strike at the Ford factory, which eventually led to the Equal Pay Act of 1970.
Daniella Bowen, whose other credits include the West End’s Dreamboats and Petticoats as well as tours of Mamma Mia and Our House, is joined by Angela Bain, Daniel Carter-Hope, Dan de Cruz, Sophie-May Feek, Jeffrey Harmer, Callum Harrower, Joey Hickman, Anthony Hunt, Martina Isibor, Graham Kent, Claire Machin, Wendy Morgan, Jamie Noar, Loren O’Dair, Elizabeth Rowe, Sioned Saunders, Sarah Scowen, Steve Simmonds, Thomas Sutcliffe and Alex Tomkins. Written by Richard Bean with music by David Arnold and lyrics by Richard Thomas, Made in Dagenham is directed by Douglas Rintoul with musical direction by Ben Goddard, choreography by Tim Jackson, design by Hayley Grindle, lighting design by Paul Anderson and sound design by Emma Laxton.
Douglas Rintoul says: “’This is a real homecoming, a wonderful chance for us to relive a truly momentous piece of our area’s history at a time when the gender pay gap is once again on the political agenda. After its West End success, the play will now have its regional premiere in the most fitting location – a producing theatre just a few miles away from the Ford plant in which it is set. It’s a brilliant way to open our autumn season – with a fantastically large-scale, uplifting musical filling our stage, featuring wonderful actor-musicianship and choreography, and celebrating the achievements of local people.”
Douglas Rintoul’s debut season at The Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch also includes A Month of Sundays (Sept 23 to Oct 15) and Agatha Christie’s Partners in Crime (Oct 28 to Nov 19).
AUGUST 26 – SEPTEMBER 17
The Queen’s Theatre, Billet Lane, Hornchurch, RM11 1QT
Previews | Fri 26 & Sat 27 Aug | 8pm | Mon 29 Aug | 4pm
Opening Night | Tue 30 Aug | 7.30pm
Perfs | Mon – Wed | 7.30pm | Thu – Sat | 8pm
Matinees | Thu 1, Thu 8, Sat 10, Thu 15 Sep | 2.30pm
Tickets: £12.50 – £30
Box Office: 01708 443333 / Website: queens-theatre.co.uk
SEPTEMBER 21- OCTOBER 15
New Wolsey Theatre, Civic Drive, Ipswich, IP1 2AS
Perfs | Mon & Wed Sat 7.45pm, Tue 7pm
Matinees | Thu 22, Sat 24, Wed 28, Sat 1, Wed 5, Sat 8, Wed 12, Sat 15
Box Office: 01473 295900 / Website: www.wolseytheatre.co.uk