Having only assistant directed one play in Durham before, the prospect of taking on a musical with a 30-strong cast and a variety of scene changes, including one with a car (watch out for that), was not something I would undertake lightly. Yet the songs, message and humour that are wound up in the two acts of Made In Dagenham, persuaded me that this was something I had to bring it to life. The relevance of the Ford factory strike in 1960’s is reflected in the recent women’s marches all over the world, and shows the importance of telling this story. The fact that it’s conveyed through the medium of song and dance makes it all the more wonderful. In terms of an artistic vision, I wanted to keep the set simple as the characters, dances and songs really speak for themselves. Whilst some of these are very much tongue-in-cheek caricatures, it is important that they contrast with the more poignant moments.
In general, the characters are brilliant, the songs catchy and the dances simply amazing (thank you Annabel Allen, you are a star). One of the things I’ve really enjoyed is setting the less dance-heavy songs myself – my favourite being “I’m Sorry I Love You”, which is just adorable. Another incredibly rewarding aspect of bringing this show together is that, for many of the cast, this is not just their first musical in Durham, but their first musical ever. The professionalism, enthusiasm and overwhelming talent of the cast have honestly blown me away and you will not find a group of people who have so much fun yet work so hard. If this isn’t enough to persuade you, check out the “Meet the Cast” on the event page for some choice quotes from the musical. Ultimately, you will leave this show with a smile in on your face and the belief that ordinary people can do extraordinary things.
‘Made in Dagenham’ is being performed from the 23rd-25th February in The Assembly Rooms Theatre.
Tickets can be bought below: