Hessle brings equal pay battle to musical stage
Hessle Theatre Company’s latest epic musical is Made in Dagenham by Hull-born playwright Richard Bean, which opens at Hull New Theatre on Tuesday 19th March.
Set in the late 60s among economic turmoil for the UK, a group of ordinary women decide to take a stand for their rights, and demand equal pay, a narrative that will resonate just as loudly now, in our ever-evolving society, as it did back in 1968.
Martin Beaumont who is responsible for directing many of Hessle’s hit productions, says: “It’s the personal journey of Rita O’Grady: an ordinary, unassuming mother whose love of her family compels her to find her voice and fight for what her heart believes. It’s an extraordinary story of sacrifice, friendship and love.”
Martin adds: “When I saw the original West End production of ‘Made in Dagenham’, not only did I have a cracking night at the theatre, but I knew straight away that it was show that would suit our company down to the ground. It’s a show you can’t fail to enjoy and one that Hull audiences deserve to see.”
Featuring a song list varying from toe-tapping to tear-jerking, all accompanied by an impressive orchestra, this slice of British musical heaven is sure to have you dancing in the aisles, with joy in your heart.
Leading the ladies’ revolution on stage is Rita O’Grady, played by Hull native Emma Burgess, a familiar face in Hessle due to her ownership of two highly-regarded local businesses. Alongside this, already busy lifestyle, The mother of two feels that the show is: “a true story that people will always relate to, and a subject that is still ongoing.”
Joining her in the cast as Connie Reilly is Emma’s mother, Linda. Not only do they share emotional scenes on the stage in Made in Dagenham, but Linda is also active in helping Emma run her businesses.
The story of Dagenham is one taken closely to the hearts of those in the cast, none more so than Sarah North, who plays former MP Barbara Castle, as she found out after being cast that her auntie worked under Ms Castle as a secretary in the 1970s. She says of this that: “this was a genuine surprise to me and has prompted me to research significantly into the life and work of Barbara Castle.” Not only that but Sarah and her family are active in the Labour Party to this day, and to top it off, she also discovered that another one of her relatives wrote the screenplay for the film version of Made in Dagenham, so the show certainly is a family affair!
Made In Dagenham is on at Hull New Theatre from 19 - 23 March 2019. Book tickets via the Hull Theatres Box Office, call 01482 300 306 or visit: