WHAT DO WE WANT? ANOTHER MUSICAL BASED ON A BRITISH INDIE INDUSTRIAL FILM! WHEN DO WE WANT IT? NOW! HOW ABOUT AUTUMN? OKAY THAT’LL DO IN A PINCH! Now put the placards down and rest your weary protest legs because the London theatre scene has heard your cries, planning a musical based on 2010’s Made In Dagenham, with Gemma Arterton taking over Sally Hawkins’ lead role.
Admittedly, the idea of yet another musical based on a movie might have some protesting for other reasons, but the team behind Dagenham clearly thinks that Nigel Cole’s film (the second of his to aim for the stage after Calendar Girls’ non-musical debut) is ripe for adaptation. And with the success of Kinky Boots, they at least have a reason for faith.
The story, in case you missed the original, finds female workers in the Ford factory striking for better pay and treatment in 1968, coming up against typically misogynist and disbelieving opposition.
With Arterton (recently onstage in London in The Duchess of Malfi) inheriting Hawkins’ leading mantle and Adrian der Gregorian as her husband, they have a solid gathering of talent backing them up, with One Man, Two Guv’nors writer Richard Bean on book duty and Bond veteran David Arnold, who providing score for the film, bringing his skills to this.
In addition to those two, Jerry Springer: The Opera lyricist Richard Thomas and American Psycho stage director Rupert Goold are also involved. The new show will kick cut-rate Costner and half-price Houston musical The Bodyguard out of the Adelphi for a run that starts in previews on October 9 before it formally opens on November 5.