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Link to NODA information      Cody Musical Theatre Company

26th-30th September 2017



Show handbillInspired by a true story and based on the hit movie, Made in Dagenham is the uplifting new British 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.



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Song List

Act One

  1. "Busy Woman"
  2. "Made in Dagenham"
  3. "This Is What We Want"
  4. "Union Song"
  5. "Wossname"
  6. "Always A Problem"
  7. "Payday!"
  8. "I'm Sorry, I Love You"
  9. "School Song"
  10. "Connie's Song"
  11. "Everybody Out"

Act Two

  1. "This is America"
  2. "Storm Clouds Montage"
  3. "Cortina!"
  4. "The Letter"
  5. "In An Ideal World"
  6. "We Nearly Had it All"
  7. "Viva Eastbourne"
  8. "Stand Up"
  9. "Finale"


Based on the 2010 film of the same name, Made in Dagenham the Musical is drawn from the real-life 1968 sewing machinists strike at the Ford factory in Dagenham, Essex.


This strike was influential in the passing of the Equal Pay Act of 1970. The musical focuses on the leader of the strike, Rita O’Grady, as she 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 real issue becomes clear, that women receive less pay than men for doing work of the same level. Rita and the women have the support of the factory’s union rep, Monty, but other union bosses are opposed to the strike.


After Rita is patronized and snubbed by the factory at a union meeting, the women’s grievances over their worker status turn into a fight for equal pay. Determined not to be treated like the poor relation, the women vote unanimously to strike (“Everybody Out”) and encourage the women at the Liverpool factory to strike also. However, when the American bosses fly in and lay off 5,000 men as a result, including Rita’s husband Eddie, cracks begin to show in the women’s solidarity.


The problem becomes so serious that the UK government’s Employment Minister, Barbara Castle, arranges to meet Rita. Risking her marriage and friendships, Rita continues her efforts for equality and gives a rousing speech at a televised Trade Union Conference (“Stand Up”). Despite threats that Ford will pull out of the UK, Castle agrees to most of the women’s demands, and promises to introduce laws that ensure pay equality between the sexes across the UK. As Eddie finally recognises his wife’s achievements, the women celebrate their life-changing success.



Although the film and musical are based on real events, the story is not completely accurate. There was no real Rita O’Grady - the writers based her character on several of the women. Some of the real Dagenham workers have said that the story is an ‘exaggerated’ version of events. However, one of the most memorable parts of the film - when, by accident, one of the women’s protest banners reads ‘WE WANT SEX’ instead of ‘WE WANT SEX EQUALITY’ - really happened.