Made in Dagenham

When I walked in to a packed reception at the Berry, with a lot of happy anticipating chat, I got the feeling that I was going to be in for a good evening. I was.

Warmly greeted by Lisa, the treasurer, who then proceeded to sell me the obligatory raffle tickets, I collected my tickets and took my seat into a very warm auditorium.

The lights dimmed and the curtain remained closed as the band, ably directed by Chris Ball sbegan te overture. The curtains were struck to reveal a kitchen scene where Rita (Kimberly King) was getting the children whilst Eddie her husband was still asleep in an upright bed above. The sound could have been clearer, however this seemed to improve as the show progressed.

The set then turned on its axis to become the factory. A good set, well lit, which made useful room of the limited space on the smaller Berry Stage. A good strong girls chorus who did well coping with the Essex accent along with Stephanie Radleys good direction and choreography. (well done Stephanie). The men did very well too with many in multi roles and in some cases very quick costume changes.

Rita, a strong willed character was played very well by Kimberley who made the role both believable as a reluctant union activist but also the emotions drawn between loosing the family but not loosing the fight. Good strong back up performances from the rest of the girls, particularly the potty mouthed, but very funny Beryl (Katy Stone) and Clare (Emma Harris) who made use of the wrong words very well.

However Andrew Hussey who played Harold Wilson, with wit, a great northern accent and a pair of Union Jack boxer shorts made me laugh long and loud.

This was a well delivered very strong show. It’s a powerful, emotional and at times humerous story but SMS you did a great job. Not one complaint from the audience I spoke to as I left. A packed house great too see had more than their moneys worth.

Very very well done.

Mark Allen

Noda Representative – District 17


Southampton Musical Society                             Registered Charity No 299426