Rupert Goold will direct the musical, which features a book by RIchard Bean (One Man Two Guvnors), music by David Arnold (whose credits include scores to five Bond films, "Tomorrow Never Dies," "The World is Not Enough," "Die Another Day," "Casino Royale" and "Quantum of Solace", as well as "Stargate," "Independence Day" and "Godzilla") and lyrics by Richard Thomas (Jerry Springer - the Opera at the National/West End and Carnegie Hall, Anna Nicole at the Royal Opera House, BAM).
Sex in Essex in 1968, it revolves around Rita O'Grady (to be played by Arterton) who, like millions of other working women, 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 sewing 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?
According to press materials, it shows "how ordinary people can do extraordinary things when they stand together."
The role of the husband Eddie will be played by Adrian Der Gregorian. The musical will be designed by Bunny Christie (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time), with choreography by Aletta Collins (His Dark Materials at the National Theatre). It is being produced by Stage Entertainment, Glass Half Full Productions and Just for Laughs Theatricals.
"I’m thrilled to be surrounded by a creative team on Made In Dagenham that represents the very best in our business. We’ve got some big ideas, some brilliant original music and I can’t wait to get going with our cast. It’s particularly exciting too, that the cast will be led by the luminously talented Gemma Arterton and the unspeakably charismatic Adrian Der Gregorian, who I’m delighted are playing the leads at the centre of this big-hitting, big-hearted musical."
Arterton, who most recently appeared onstage at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare's Globe in the title role of The Duchess of Malfi, made her professional stage debut at the Globe in 2007, fresh from RADA, when she played Rosaline in Love's Labour's Lost. Subsequent theatre roles have included Hilde Wangel in Ibsen's The Master Builder at the Almeida and Ellen in The Little Dog Laughed at the West End's Garrick. On TV she has played the title role of Tess in the BBC's "Tess of the D’Urbervilles." Film credits include the title role in "Tamara Drewe," "Quantum of Solace," "Prince of Persia: Sands of Time," "St. Trinian's," "The Disappearance of Alice Creed," "Hansel and Gretel" and "Runner Runner."
In a press statement, Arterton has commented, "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!"
Der Gregorian appeared as Sidney Falcone in the U.K premiere of Sweet Smell of Success at London's Arcola Theatre in 2012. He has appeared in the West End in The Woman in White and La Cage Aux Folles.
To book tickets, contact the box office on 020 3725 7060 or visit MadeInDagenhamTheMusical.com