Reviews


Made in Dagenham - June 2018

"There was so much to admire in this production of Made In Dagenham. The casting was very strong in all roles and the show has a very compelling storyline about the rights of Ford Motor Company sewing machinists to fight for equal pay and strike actions in 1968 and the very serious tensions that it created amongst workers and family relationships.
I feel that all the cast really got very motivated by this storyline which they all performed with great conviction.
So many of the cast deserve mentions so I hope they will forgive me if I just mention two or three. Eleanor Aldous (Rita O'Grady) one of the machinists gave a most confident performance in both singing and acting. Lee Gray (Eddie O'Grady) the long suffering husband who finally gave up under the pressure his wife's actions were putting the family under also displayed a fine singing voice and some super acting qualities. The five other machinists Beryl (Alex Bush) Cass (Alice Fearnley) Clare (Clare Heins) Sandra (Sophie Moss) and Emma (Nicole Walton-Turek) all contributed with great style and conviction.
The most musical number in the show is without doubt the final number 'Stand Up' it ended the show in great style. Without question the finest feature of this production was the fantastic stage settings created by the Video/AV and Videography perhaps the best I have witnessed as a Rep for the last thirty years. Congratulations to the team who organised it. A fine night's entertainment for us all to enjoy."

Noel G Rigg, NODA Representative

"Absolutely brilliant performances by everyone on stage. The set was very cleverly conceived by using large video screens, this must have taken a good number of hours to perfect it and perfect it was. Massive congratulations to everyone at Encore."
Les Smith, NODA Regional Councillor

"We went to see the show last night, it was great!!! A very talented group enjoyed every minute of it. Never seen work from this company before but will look out for them again. Well done!" Maureen Moran

"Loved every moment - cast were superb, set innovative and costumes spot on for the era. This should be performed in York or Leeds - it’s certainly professional enough. Fabulous show" Teri Aldous

"A triumph, so uplifting and well performed. Totally bloody brilliant! Well done to everyone" Kerry Chapman

"Four of us came on Saturday night.We all enjoyed every facet of your wonderful production.The main characters casting,support casting,musical backing,modern technology scenery.At the close I turned to the young lady sat next to me and said that I felt “Drained”, as though I had been on a wonderful entertaining happy/sad journey.We send our congratulations to EVERYONE involved for giving us such a fantastic evening’s entertainment.You should all be very proud!" Gordon Merrick

"One of the best, perhaps the best performance that I have seen from an amateur theatre group. Amateur in name only; professional in every other way We saw JCS last year, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I think Made in Dagenham has just blown that out of the water! What an excellent show with fantastic performances by all. There were some very moving scenes, interspersed with plenty of comedy. The final scene was very emotional, and the staging was also spot on. Well done everyone!." Peter Barker

"The best performance ever myself and my girls attended the Saturday evening performance and it was amazing a mix of laughter and amazing vocals by all performers truly professional in every way carnt wait for the next one xxx well done all" Lindsay Hughes

"Absolutely amazing! Loved, loved, loved made in Dagenham. A show filled with talented individuals. Fantastic!" Donna Berry

"Absolutely fantastic show, great storyline, brilliant vocals, good acting, and a superb cast! Well done everyone." Anita Jane

"Wonderful show , had a really lovely evening , my Husband stated it was his favourite show by the Encore Theatre Company , Thank you and well done to every member of the cast." Sandra Turner

"Wow! What an incredible performance of Made in Dagenham! It was wonderful casting with particularly fabulous performances from Eleanor Aldous and Bev Maher. I laughed, cried and left feeling inspired. Congratulations to all involved." Rebecca Threapleton

"A piece of recent history set to music and song and brought convincingly to life by Encore Theatre Company in a performance which brought London’s West End to Castleford. With a strong cast, great musical numbers and a superb script with witty dialogue containing humour and lump-in-throat pathos the story unfolds as we meet Rita and her friends, Eddie her husband and the workers at the car plant. The show is based on the true events of 50 years ago when women machinists at the Ford Motor Company’s factory in Dagenham brought the factory to a standstill and won their fight to get equal pay for women. Rita O’Grady (stunningly portrayed by Eleanor Aldous) discovers that female machinists jobs have been reclassified as unskilled, downgraded from semi-skilled, and when friendly union shop steward Monty (Richard Goodall) tells her that it isn’t about skills but because they are WOMEN Rita decides to call a strike. Their actions are not always popular with their menfolk as the American owners lay off the male workforce including Eddie (a powerful performance from Lee Gray as Rita’s husband) as without the seat covers that the girls make the cars can’t continue down the production line. Rita and her fellow machinists – a strong and feisty bunch of ladies (Alex Bush – who made swearing into an art form as Beryl, Alice Fearnley as Cass, Clare Heins as Clare, Sophie Moss as Sandra and Nicole Walton-Turek as Emma) - continue their fight in order to get the wage they’re entitled to. With no money coming in marriages – including Rita’s, as Eddie has taken the children and gone back to live at his mother’s – are falling apart and friendships are tested to the limit when Sandra takes a job ‘promoting’ the new Cortina for £50.
The cause leads them and their strike action all the way to Government and Downing Street and to the Employment Secretary Barbara Castle (great characterisation from Bev Maher) and Prime Minister Harold Wilson (Ralph Jagger). Barbara Castle tells Rita to speak at the Trade Union Congress - aided and abetted by the Plant Manager’s wife Lisa (Vikki Vaughan) – and her argument wins over the TUC who vote for equal pay. The Government and the TUC support Rita and her movement and Ford has to back down and pay the female machinists the same rate as the men. Eventually Eddie realises that Rita’s fight for equality is right and is proud of her and her achievements. As they are reconciled, the girls go back to work and in 1970 the government of the day passed the Equal Pay Act, thanks to Rita O’Grady and her army of supporters throughout the country.
It is clear that everyone involved has worked very hard to make this musical a rousing success; even those in smaller roles have played their parts convincingly. This show had a large cast and the singing, music, movement and songs were all outstanding. Special mention must be given to Rita and Eddie O’Grady (Eleanor Aldous and Lee Gray) who held the audience’s attention throughout with their wonderful portrayals of two complex characters following their heads while their hearts were breaking. The attention to detail throughout the show, especially in the 1960’s costumes and the use of ‘old’ photos and advertising material, was excellent. The innovative use of ‘digital scenery’ really brought the stage to life took us all right into the factory, government, and to the TUC at Eastbourne. I believe there are still some tickets available for the evening shows on 7,8 and 9 June (some seats have been added) so hurry on down to see this wonderful musical – you won’t see a better show this summer".
Anne Marie Gatford

Rapunzel Untangled - December 2017

"This brand new pantomime written for ETC by Paul Barron was a new one for me with a somewhat different kind of story from the usual story lines calling for far more acting by the principals than in most pantomimes.
The cast was very strong in all the principal roles. Anton Principal Boy (Eleanor Aldous) gave a most assured acting and singing performance in a sort of Robin Hood style. Beatrice the Nanny (Paul Barron) the Dame role gave a most confident performance and very professional approach his humour was perhaps a little too clever for some children. Rapunzel (Lois Elsdon) was a most charming Principal Girl with just the right kind of style for the role with some good singing and acting. Sven (Lee Gray) was fine in the part as Anton's sidekick he had the audience participation going all the time as did Ed and Shoulders (Alex Bush) and (Sarah Clarkson) they worked tirelessly through the performance.
The most eyecatching performance was Seymour Moriarty (Trevor Jones) the vile villain he had a very strong commanding voice with very good diction and played the entire performance bent down on his knees with two small false legs hanging in front from his waist it was most effective. The other small parts were all played with confidence but the production would have been enhanced with a little more scenery."
Noel G. Rigg, NODA Representative

"Loved every minute, we attended the 1pm showing, my daughter was still singing at bedtime, thanks for giving her special memories xx" Debra Thomas

"Had a great time. Brilliant" Lorraine Hague

"Had a great time at the afternoon showing, amazing panto as always, great performance, full of fun and laughs, massive well done to you all" Katy Baker

 

 

 



Jesus Christ Superstar - June 2017

"This production by Encore Theatre Company was staged in a very modern contemporary style with mainly trussing and scaffolding for the stage sets on a full open stage and predominantly modern working type costumes. The cast was very strong with very powerful performances from Ed Leigh (Jesus) and Dale Vaughan (Judas) they both gave most confident performances. Sarah Clarkson (Mary Magdalene) played the role with fine understanding and some excellent vocal contributions. Lee Gray was a most convincing Peter displaying a fine singing voice. All the other cast members were up to the same high confident standard. The show was well produced but I did find the modern treatment a little hard to appreciate."
Noel G. Rigg, NODA Representative

"Tonight's show was fantastic. The cast, staging, band, tech... the interpretation was spot on for me and I was blown away by the whole production. Congrats to all involved." Lynette Pickering

"So proud to have witnessed such an amazing spectacle. Everyone gave 100% and the Phoenix theatre came alive with your fantastic production of Jesus Christ Superstar ...a must see"Andrea Riley

"Been to see this evening's show and all I can say is what an absolutely fabulous performance - well done and thank you to all the cast & support team" Wendy Harrison

"Many thanks to the Encore Theatre Company for a magnificent performance of Jesus Christ Superstar tonight. You all did a thoroughly professional job, providing first-class entertainment. Instrumentals, singing, choreography, sound, lighting all adding to the drama. I've never seen it in the West End, but find it hard to see how a fully professional company could have improved on that performance. Well done to all concerned." John Harvey

"Still can't get last night's performance out of my head. Been whistling tunes and thinking back to various moments all day today. Such a powerful performance by everybody. Every single one of you involved in the show should be so proud of yourselves. A hugely moving and totally professional production." Trev Jones

"Amazing show, superb cast, moving performances from all the leads. Backed up by slick choreography, great singing and a live band. Loved every minute and left with tears in my eyes. Superb, well done everyone" Teri Aldous

"My favourite show of all time executed to absolute perfection" Terri Jones

"Just witnessed one of the best productions that I've even seen and that's a lot. Encore theatre compay's Jesus Christ superstar was emotional and amazing. Well done to everybody in the show it's was spectacular." Tom Bucktrout

"Came to see the show last night, what can I say, you never fail to deliver in professionalism and talent. Nothing amateur about this show whatsoever. A wonderful team of actors and an outstanding musical production. Your Encore community of love and respect for each other comes across to your audience in a spectacular manner. What a company and what a show. Be very proud of yourselves as you continually exceed expectations with excellence. Well done x" Helen Easterby

 

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