Havering. Music Makers are heading to the Thameside Theatre

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HAVERING Music Makers will be heading to the Thameside Theatre in Grays next month, for the first time in the group’s 44-year history.

And the society members will be bringing a bit of local history with them in the form of The Matchgirls – a musical about the plight of the women and girls, who worked in appalling conditions in Bryant & May’s match factory in London’s East End at the end of the 19th century.

The riotous, gritty show captures the energy and spirit of these remarkable women as they battle the terrible disease, phossy jaw, caused by the cheap phosphorous they are forced to work with. Their courage shines through as they take on the company by going on strike to protest against the poor conditions and the pittance they earn for working 16-hour days.

Join the ‘sparky’ Matchgirls on their heart-warming journey for justice in the Victorian East End – and there’s a Cockney knees-up or two thrown in along the way for good measure!

Sue Howlett, Chairman of Havering Music Makers, said: “The Matchgirls’ strike was the first by unorganised workers to gain national publicity and inspired the formation of unions all over the country. The women and men in the musical are just regular East Enders, trying to make ends meet, but they’re based on remarkable people who made history and changed the face of workers’ rights.

“Despite having a serious story at its heart, The Matchgirls is also a cheeky, funny and heart-warming musical about friendships, relationships and life. It’s sure to entertain.”

Tickets cost £18 for adults and £15 for under-16s and senior citizens. Tickets can be ordered from the Thameside Theatre website (thameside.ticketsolve.com) or by calling the theatre’s box office on 0345 300 5264. Performances run from 13-15 February at 7.30pm, with a matinee at 2.30pm on Saturday 15 February.

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