Saw this last night with sisters and friends. My sister's second time. I would go again. Very funny and thought provoking. Just amazing. Men still earn more than women though!!
Made In Dagenham
Until Sat Mar 28 2015
© Manuel Harlan
'Made In Dagenham'
Time Out rating:
Not yet rated
Time Out says
Posted: Thu Nov 6 2014
Much like the epithet ‘the best David Bowie album since “Scary Monsters”,’ describing a show as ‘the best British musical since “Matilda”’ is becoming one of those platitudes that sounds a bit less enthusiastic every time it’s trotted out.
Nonetheless: ‘Made in Dagenham’ is the best British musical since ‘Matilda’, a funny, messy, surprisingly idiosyncratic movie adaptation that’s powered by a lot of heart, a lot of jokes, a fair few clichés and a fantastic performance from screen star Gemma Arterton.
That said, your love of Rupert Goold’s production is likely to hinge less on Arterton’s sweet, sassy, self-doubting Rita – reluctant leader of the 1968 sewing machinists strike at the Ford plant in Dagenham – and more on Mark Hadfield’s unabashedly broad portrayal of Labour PM Harold Wilson.
Barely present in the film, here the ludicrous, ineffectual Wilson represents the acme of the anarchic humour that playwright Richard Bean has injected into his very free adaptation of the 2010 film. It's very silly, and wryly nostalgia for Old Labour and the foibles of the Britain that 58-year-old Bean grew up in – the ‘One Man, Two Guvnors’ writer has unmistakably imposed himself on the show.
It’ll be up to you whether you think the Bean-sourced silliness compliments, undermines or makes up for the more conventional main story of Rita and her colleagues, who strike for equal pay after Ford downgrades its female machinists to ‘unskilled’. Clichés abound: sassy Essex ‘girls’ with lovably incompetent husbands; deep-and-meaningful conversations on park benches; a key character who dies of cancer; a believe-in-yourself-and-you-can-do-anything feminism lite message. Earnestness isn’t Bean or lyricist Richard Thomas’s forte, and they often handle it clunkily.
But if you’re onboard with the jokes, there are easily enough to see you through even the most po-faced sections. And if you’re not into the gags, well there’s still the fabulous Arterton: she lights up the stage in a very un-Hollywood way, poised but modest with an in-the-moment vulnerability and lovely, quavery singing voice. It’s not a showy performance, but it’s an impressive, impassioned one, and certainly proves once and for all that she’s no lightweight.
For me, ‘Made in Dagenham’s mix of lumbering big-heartedness and wild facetiousness worked better than it had any right to do. It’s true that David Arnold and Richard Thomas’s peppy pop/soul numbers songs could be catchier – though a noble exception goes to wonderful first half opener ‘This is America’, a psychotically OTT stab of self-aggrandising pomp rock delivered magnificently by Steve Furst’s bastard US factory boss. But the songs are all at least pleasant, Goold’s production is stylish and zippy, and there’s a wonderful Airfix-style set from Bunny Christie.
My head tells me there’ll be a new best British musical since ‘Matilda’ along in a year or two; my heart doesn’t really care – its still enjoying the afterglow of this wonky gem, unabashedly made in London.
Adelphi Theatre The Strand
- Venue phone:
020 7492 9930
Tube: Charing Cross
- The Strand
- 020 7492 9930
- The Strand
- Adelphi Theatre
- Categories :
Theatre. Musicals. West End
Made In Dagenham 2014 - 2015
- Date Time Price information
Wed Nov 2615:00£25-£69.50. Runs 2hr 45minBuy tickets
Wed Nov 2619:30£25-£69.50. Runs 2hr 45minBuy tickets
Thu Nov 2719:30£25-£69.50. Runs 2hr 45minBuy tickets
Fri Nov 2819:30£25-£69.50. Runs 2hr 45minBuy tickets
Sat Nov 2915:00£25-£69.50. Runs 2hr 45minBuy tickets19:30
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Average User Rating
4.1 / 5
- 5 star:8
- 4 star:1
- 3 star:2
- 2 star:1
- 1 star:1
Saw this last night. Highly recommend. The prime minister is hilarious
Very important story.
Will run forever in the west end.
Absolutely fantastic! What an atmosphere! The best musical in the west end! First act is so funny. The prime minister hilarious!
Have to go back.
LOVED this. Gemma Arterton - what a star! (I mean she is a bond girl)
Great tunes, great story, female emancipation.
Loved the American song too!
Did not expect it to be that good ! Brilliant.....Loved the 'American piece' after the intermission, worth it just for that !
I enjoyed this - A LOT! Amazing set and storyline, great acting and singing, and just a lot of fun. All in all a great night, definitely worth seeing!
Really enjoyed this - feel good, fun music and Gemma Arterton is excellent. I agree with the comments below to an extent, but believe it's worth more than 1 or 2 stars.
Massively disappointing. For a show that is supposed to be about overcoming prejudice it is full of racial and sexist stereotypes, not just women but gays and americans. The characterisation of Wilson as a bumbling idiot completely undermines the struggle these women had to undergo to take on the British Government and a global company. The songs are cheesy, crass and forgettable. Watch the film instead.
So, MiD is not without charm, the songs have proper tunes with lyrics you can understand, and at times it can even be genuinely funny!
But oh my god does it lay on the sentiment thick. It's like a freakin' OXO commercial on stage.
MUMS! WHAT WOULD WE DO WITHOUT THEM?!
MEN! A BIT USELESS AIN'T THEY, BUT THEY MEAN WELL!
WORKING CLASS PRIDE, YEAH?
AND WHAT DO GIRLS LOVE? SHOES AND THAT!
It was all way too saccharine for me. I bet some people will like it though.