Made in Dagenham

We knew the story; have seen the film; know the historical statement, but The New Wolsey in Ipswich do musical comedy drama so well, we were keen to see how it played out on stage as a musical.

This was the first night, which can often be tough, but despite that they did an excellent job as usual. The actors and musicians were all excellent, and the characters were genuine, and comical in all the right places. Rita (Daniella Bowen) and Eddie (Alex Tomkins) portrayed the torment of a loving couple that were pulled apart by something very real and passionate, which did actually help change modern history. There was a great deal of feeling in their performances.

I don’t like to single out one amusing scene, as there were many, but the security guys behind the yank (boo, hiss!) had some hilarious dance moves, and there was a notable performance from Steve Simmonds, who played several characters very well, adding his own kind of amusing cheek to them all.

The audience were wrapped up and appreciative of every scene, applauding each song. A highlight in particular was the moment Eddie sang a gentle and emotional song, pleading with Rita to come home, and we all took on his emotion, albeit misplaced; and when he finished we dwelled in that emotion and didn’t applaud! So, I will applaud for all of us for Eddie’s song, well done!

I am of an age that just about recall the dramatic fall of the British workforce, and this society of forced inequality. I believe Made in Dagenham may take its place in the history books of the future.

I think The New Wolsey has met it’s own mark with this musical, and everyone should appreciate the talent all round, so I urge you to go and see it!

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Made in Dagenham runs at the New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich until the 15th October.

For more information or to book visit www.wolseytheatre.co.uk.

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