Audiences will be transported back to the sixties - theatre company looking for stories about inspirational women

Made in Dagenham

Made in Dagenham - Credit: Archant

The Musical Theatre Company will transport its audiences back to the sixties when it performs the musical version of Made in Dagenham in February.

The show, which is adapted from the critically-acclaimed 2010 film of the same name, is based on the true story of the Ford sewing machinist strikes in 1968. A group of female workers at the car manufacturing plant, in Dagenham, went on strike to fight for equal pay. The machinists were paid less than men as the work they were doing was classed as unskilled. The strikes divided families and went all the way to the heart of the government, and, thanks largely to Barbara Castle, MP, led to the introduction of the Equal Pay Act in 1970.

Kate Cashmore, from The Musical Theatre Company, said the story of the women’s fight was inspiring and the cast were excited about the production.

“It is a journey filled with strength, friendship and large helpings of humour and the cast are very excited about the production and making sure we get the clothes and hairstyles of the day just right, which has been a lot of fun. There is a serious side to the story, because the fight for equal pay provides an interesting snapshot of the late sixties, but this is also about the empowerment of women and the personal journey of Rita O’Grady who acts as a spokesperson for the group.”

The production is centred around a largely female cast, and with this in mind, the theatre company thought it would be fun to set up a display focusing on inspirational women who were living or working in the local area in the 1960s. Information will be displayed in the foyer of the arts centre before each performance.

“This could be local midwives or women who set up businesses or those who have memories from the time, whether they were adults or children at school,” explained Kate.

“The stories don’t have to be about women in the workplace, but can be any uplifting and inspiring anecdotes of women in Huntingdonshire.”

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The cast will be accompanied by a full live orchestra and performances run from February 14-17 at Hinchingbrooke Performing Arts Centre.

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