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Theatre Works • Made in Dagenham
  • Cast Highlights:
  • Adrian der Gregorian
  • Isla Blair
  • David Cardy
  • Heather Craney
  • Sophie-Louise Dann
  • Character: Rita O’Grady
    Venue: Adelphi Theatre in London
    Release Date: October 9, 2014 (UK)
    Director: Rupert Goold
    Book: Richard Bean
    Music: David Arnold
    Lyrics: Richard Thomas
    Genre: Musical

    Plot Outline:
    Inspired by a true story and based on the hit movie, Made in Dagenham is the uplifting new West End musical comedy about friendship, love and the importance of fighting for what is right.

    Essex 1968. Like millions of other working women, each morning Rita O’Grady is just trying to get her husband out of bed, get the kids off to school and get to work at the factory on time. But life is about to change forever when it’s announced that the girls in the stitching room of Ford’s Dagenham car plant will have their pay grade dropped to ‘unskilled’. Quickly drawing on a strength she never knew she had, Rita leads her friends in a battle against the might of Ford and the corruption of the Union supposed to protect them. As the girls’ inspiring journey gets bigger than anyone could have imagined, the pressure is too much for some, but can Rita keep up the fight and the happy home she’s worked so hard for?

    Funny, touching and timeless, Made in Dagenham shows how ordinary people can do extraordinary things when they stand together.

    Starring Gemma Arterton (The Duchess of Malfi at the Globe Theatre, Quantum of Solace and Tamara Drewe), and directed by multi-award-winning Rupert Goold (Artistic Director of the Almeida Theatre, American Psycho, Oliver!, Enron), Made in Dagenham has a book by Richard Bean (One Man, Two Guvnors, The Heretic, England People Very Nice), music by BAFTA and Grammy award -winning composer David Arnold (James Bond series, Hot Fuzz, and Sherlock) and lyrics from Olivier Award winner Richard Thomas (Jerry Springer The Opera, The Royal Opera’s Anna Nicole and Shoes at Sadler’s Wells).

    Gemma’s Role:
    Rita O’Grady (played by Gemma Arterton) leads the 1968 Ford sewing machinists strike at the Ford Dagenham plant, where female workers walk out in protest against sexual discrimination, demanding equal pay. The strike is successful and leads to the Equal Pay Act 1970.

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    Gemma Arterton Quotes:

    • “The musical will be a fitting companion to the Nigel Cole’s 2010 film.”

    “I think it is really brilliant and very special. The music’s fantastic, the script is brilliant.”

    “Richard Bean, the guy who wrote it, wrote One Man, Two Guv’nors so it is so funny and moving. So I’m really excited about it, if not completely nervous about having to sing in front of millions of people.”
    – Gemma Arterton

    • “It resonates with my childhood – the British humour, the very strong women. It reminds me of my mum and her friends, they were like a gaggle of hens together.”
    – Gemma Arterton

    • “I’m doing a new musical at the end of the year at the Adelphi, Made in Dagenham [based on the 2010 film], and we’ve got to sell it out. I’m like, ‘How are we gonna sell out, with all these musicals that are closing, when the tickets are so expensive, and the theatres are so big?’ I’m not that famous… It’s not like they’ve got Keira Knightley or Natalie Portman. I’m sure people will see my name on the poster and they’ll say, ‘Who’s that?”
    – Gemma Arterton

    • “That’s a good story for a woman to tell, because a lot of the time it’s quite boring when you read scripts – it’s always the same old s**t, you know, girlfriend or victim or whatever. You are looking for something that’s got a bit more balls to it, and a good story for women.”
    – Gemma Arterton

    • “I can sing, but I’m not like Mariah Carey. And I can sing and act at the same time. I remember when I saw Les Misérables I thought, ‘Oh God.’ That’s X Factor-type musical theatre. I love the proper, Sondheim-y kind of stuff. I’m not going to be doing all the trills but hopefully it’ll be a bit more sort of… moving.”
    – Gemma Arterton

    • “I’m beyond thrilled to be playing Rita O’Grady in Made in Dagenham. It’s an important story that I’m passionate about telling, and we intend to tell it with wit, warmth and, of course, a lot of singing and dancing in this production! Roll on October!”
    – Gemma Arterton

    • “It’s about really grounded, rooted real women who stand up for what they think is right and change things.”
    – Gemma Arterton