Made in Dagenham the Musical heading to Woodbridge this June

The Riverside Musical Theatre Company are back on stage at The Riverside this June as they bring Made in Dagenham the Musical (MID) to Woodbridge.

MID tells the real-life story of the 1968 sewing machinists strike at the Ford factory in Dagenham, Essex, the strike that was influential in the passing of the Equal Pay Act of 1970.

Focal character, Rita O’Grady, encourages the women of the Ford factory to walk out after they are re-classified as unskilled workers, while their male counterparts see their wages increase. The women’s grievances over their worker status turn into a fight for equal pay and they vote unanimously to strike and encourage the women at the Liverpool factory to join them and strike also.

Earlier this month, we welcomed cast members from the highly acclaimed company to our FordStore Ipswich for an access all areas photoshoot providing the perfect backdrop to help promote the show. Dressed in 1960’s clothing and authentic blue Ford uniforms the enthusiastic cast were given a full backstage pass as they stepped back in time and recreated the iconic strike scenes from the show.

Matthew Wright, our Group Ford New Car Sales Manager, said: ‘It was an honour to be able to support the cast with them being able to use our Ford dealership facilities to promote their show.

"For those who are not aware of the impact this story tells regarding the cause for women’s rights around the world, then it’s worth going to see!’

The story takes a dramatic turn when the American bosses fly in and lay off 5,000 men as a result of the strike, including Rita’s husband Eddie. Risking her marriage and her friendships, Rita continues with her efforts for equality and gives a rousing speech at a televised Trade Union Conference leading to the passing of equal pay within the union.

Director and Choreographer, Samantha De Vita says “When you start thinking about shows to perform it was never our intention to present back-to-back musicals at The Riverside in Woodbridge but with the overwhelming success of Calendar Girls the Musical in 2023 and the emotional response that it received from audiences and the cast, it seemed fitting that we would consider another show with a strong female led cast fighting for a cause that is so close to their hearts. So here we are, already in rehearsals for Made in Dagenham telling the story through music of a strike that changed the course of history with the passing of a law that makes it illegal to have separate pay scales for men and women based on their sex”.

The first concert that The RMTC performed was to help raise money for the roof of St Mary’s Church in Woodbridge, a venue that the company has performed in many times. The company continues to raise money for local charities and is proud to have donated more than £20k to date. For this production the company will be supporting a charity that is very close to their hearts - The Blossom Appeal, an appeal by Colchester and Ipswich Hospitals Charity, the official partner of East Suffolk & North Essex NHS Foundation Trust to continue with the development of their brand-new Breast Care Centre in Ipswich.

Tickets for Made in Dagenham are £20.00 and will go on Sale on Monday 4th March at The Riverside Theatre in Woodbridge.
To book call the Box Office on 01394 382174 or book online at www.theriverside.co.uk