Made In Dagenham - In Concert

Made in Dagenham celebrates its ten year anniversary with a concert at The London Palladium. Based on the film with the same name, the show transports us back to 1968, Essex, where ladies of Ford Dagenham’s car plant are forced to take action as the company drop their wages, however the male wages stay the same. Based on a true story, we see the ladies fight for equality and even thought it isn’t easy, they make history. 

The show opens with a full ensemble of 31 London School of Musical Theatre performers. The energy in the opening is electrifying. We then meet the lead characters Rita O’Grady (Pixie Lott) and Eddie O’Grady (Killian Donnelly).  The chemistry between the two is perfect as they play out the frustrations of married life. Pixie Lott is great as the leading lady and she plays the strong, working class, independent woman character well, although you can’t help see ‘pop star Pixie’ in her big musical numbers. Killian Donnelly on the other hand sings ‘The Letter’ with passion and from the heart to the packed Palladium audience, so silent you could hear a pin drop. Bonnie Langford wows us with her Margret Thatcher-esque performance as politician Barbra Castle. Her performance of ‘Ideal World’ is show stopping, honestly is there anything this lady cannot do?  

All Dressed Up costume hire supplies all the costumes which helps set the scene and takes us in to the swinging sixties. There are no props or big musical set changes so the costumes played a big part. Sadly the piece lacked the musical magic of London’s West End. The performance, being two and a half hours, was far too long for a concert version of a musical. The script felt messy in places and needs a tidy up, with some of the songs requiring a trim. Trevor Dion Nicholas opens act two with ‘This is America’ hitting the audience with his amazing vocals and playing the perfect baddie as Mr Tooley. As the piece takes a turn you hear the audience gasp as he sabotages Rita’s fight for equality. Jenna Boyd also provides some well needed light relief as Beryl. She has some cracking one liner’s and is absolutely hilarious, having the audience eating out of the palm of her hand. 

It was lovely seeing the multi talented band on stage and the cast work really hard, some barely leaving the stage. It was an enjoyable night of girl power, you leave the Palladium feeling refreshed and it’s great to see how far society has come. 

This concert was reviewed on the 16th March 2024 at the London Palladium.

Review written by Sam Sadler

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