6 February 2024

Joint senior production – Made in Dagenham

Our spectacular joint senior musical production, Made in Dagenham, featuring performers from both St Helen’s and Abingdon School wowed audiences.

Reflecting on the show, director and Head of Drama, Miss Grandi said: ‘It has been a sheer delight to direct this production of Made in Dagenham. From our very first rehearsal in September 2023, this cast have been fully invested in the world of the play, and their commitment has helped to make this piece a high-energy juggernaut that takes the audience from laughter to tears. The outstanding performances were supported by our band and stage crew, made up of students from Years 10–Upper Sixth. From laughter to tears, this show has a whirlwind storyline, that carries the audience along with the characters on their journey as they stand up for women’s rights. It has been such a pleasure to see audiences enjoying the production this week. We could not be more proud of everyone involved in our production of Made in Dagenham!’

Head of Music, Ms Rakowski added: ‘Working on Made In Dagenham has been a real privilege. We could tell from the very first auditions that we had a very special and incredibly talented group of students and they have gone from strength to strength since then. Not only are they tremendously skilled actors and musicians, but they have really bonded as a company – cast, band and crew – to produce something of such professional quality. I am so proud of their achievements, and delighted that so many audience members have enjoyed the production.’

Leading lady Megan (U6F) who played the protagonist, Rita, commented: ‘I was extremely fortunate to be given the opportunity to bring Rita alive in Made in Dagenham, and I thoroughly enjoyed exploring her sass, determination and strength. Of course, I couldn’t have done it without the amazingly talented cast and crew, Ms Rakowski, Miss Brockbank and Miss Grandi. Although the rehearsal process was tough at points, our shared love for theatre provided us with the final push, which resulted in an encapsulating and heart-warming show. I will hold this show close to my heart and could not have thought of a better production to finish off my time at St Helen’s.’

Katie (11L) who played factory worker Clare in the show, reflected: ‘The process of rehearsing Made in Dagenham was the most fun six months I’ve had whilst being at St Helen’s. At our first full-cast rehearsal, we quickly realised how amazing the show would be. We also had an incredible backstage crew who put in so much hard work to help everything run so smoothly. Miss Grandi, Ms Rakowski and Miss Brockbank brought so much fun and laughter to learning the show, and the best part of my day would always be spending time with the cast in the evening rehearsals. I picked up so many acting and vocal skills whilst being a part of Made in Dagenham, and I’ll cherish the feeling of singing with my friends during such a fun-spirited show for a long time!’

Lucy (U6C) added: ‘In the senior production of Made in Dagenham I was thrilled to play the part of Beryl, the foul-mouthed factory girl and Rita’s right-hand woman. Over months of rehearsals we as a cast bonded so much, and I enjoyed every bit of the process which led to the phenomenal performance in February. So much of the credit must go to Miss Grandi, Ms Rakowski and Miss Brockbank, who all worked extremely hard to put the show together. Dagenham will always hold a special place in my heart and it was the best way to end my time at St Helen’s.’

After three sell-out shows, we were thrilled to see coverage of the show in the Oxford Mail – read more.

Find out more about drama at St Helen’s:


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