BWW Review: MADE IN DAGENHAM at Kulturama
Swedish opening night of Made in Dagenham 8th of May 2019 at Kulturma in Stockholm.
Made in Dagenham premiered in London November 9, 2014. Almost 4.5 years later it has it´s opening night Stockholm, Sweden as the adult students at the Musical section at the school Kulturama has chosen it as their spring musical. I think it is fun and very wise to do a musical which has been done before in Sweden as everyone will be able to create their roles without an influence of how it been done before. Although I have seen many musicals in London, I haven't seen this one before. Already at the first tones I thought that this is a musical that I will like as is has happy and positive feeling in the music. The music is written by David Arnold with lyrics by Richard Thomas and the translation into Swedish was made by Johan Schildt.
Made in Dagenham is about a group of female car factory workers at Ford in Dagenham in 1968, who, as they learn that their jobs will be downgraded to unqualified, decides to go on strike. But they also go on strike for equal payment, not just the 87% of the male salaries they had before. This is not appreciated by either the union, the management, the prime minister and not by their husbands. It is based on a real strike that took place 51 years ago and where the women broke historical ground for labour equality, unfortunately equality is still not fully reached so it is a very current story.
Rita O'Grady (Isabelle Persson) is the woman who becomes the leader more or less by chance. She and the other women receive unexpected support from Lisa Hopkins (Sara Kilagård) who is married to CEO Mr. Hopkins (Joel Lättman). Lisa is tired of living her life as a luxury wife as she actually has a degree in History from Cambridge which comes in handy when they need arguments for their equality fight.
This is a musical where the strong women roles dominate and most strong ensemble numbers are focused around the women. But there are some good numbers where some of the male roles are allowed to shine. Mr Tooley (Oscar Söderman) is the American who comes from Ford's top management to Dagenham with a mission to stop the strike and to show who decides. He makes the opening number in act II "This is America" to one of the highlights in the show. Rita's husband Eddie (David Larsson) has an emotional song in the second act. All students are performing very well both in the main roles and the large ensemble from class grade 1. The strength of this musical is on the ensemble numbers as "Made in Dagenham", "Everybody out" and "Stand Up". In these numbers where more or less everyone is on stage that you feel the energy, the joy, the fighting spirit and a lot of girlpower. No chance they will not make their voice heard when they are together.
If you haven't seen Made in Dagenham, I absolutely think that you should take this opportunity to see it. It is a positive musical with good music and besides that you get to see a really new musical you get an opportunity to see new musical artists. It will be interesting to follow their careers. It is played till the 12th of May so do not miss it. Tickets are on sale here: