Made in Dagenham

4
Fri, 3rd Nov 17
WODS perform sold out shows at The Blakehay Theatre

Picture: Ben Hurst

I never saw the professional production of this show but I had noticed that a lot of amateur clubs  have picked it up since the licence was made available so I was interested to see what it was all about. I know what the original event was all about of course, I'm old enough to remember it - and the times of strife and strikes way back then when one group of workers or another was always withdrawing their labour over some reason. This strike was, of course, completely different and led to the Equality Act and, more importantly, a change in society towards a fairer, more equal workplace - though there's still a long, long way to go.

Well, I was very pleasantly surprised - there are some good songs here, a powerful story and some excellently drawn characters - though Wilson was anything but a buffoon I can allow that it makes for a better musical and this is not a documentary ;-) We genuinely care about the lives of those on stage and can feel their anger and frustration.

Given the somewhat small and odd stage at this theatre the set and staging was excellently managed though at times there were simply too many people to see what was going on. The period was well drawn even if let down by some finer details e.g. The Times was a broadsheet and unlikely to have been the paper of choice of the unskilled worker and mask out those barcodes!

The principles were almost universally good with some truly lovely voices occasionally let down by missed microphone cues. Pace was nearly great but suffered some first night slow cue pick-up and there are some odd, unmotivated moves for the cast that should be ironed out - I know musicals are different to plays in many respects but I still like to feel that people move for a reason rather than just to change a picture or fix a masking.

Well done WODS, a good choice performed to a high level and getting a standing ovation from the appreciate audience ... it wasn't always slick but 4* for effort and entertainment value. Want to see it? Sorry, sold out! 


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