The Matchgirls

Manifest Theatre, Manningtree

THE Manifest Theatre Group ended its 40th anniversary year as it began, with yet another spectacular triumph.

The Matchgirls, a musical drama written by Bill Owen and Tony Russell, was based on the true story of the matchgirls strike in 1888 about their wages and in particular the conditions they worked in and the affect on their health.

By a strange coincidence 130 years later and in the same week, women were striking in Glasgow with demands not so very different.

The 18-strong cast romped their way through the two-act play, singing 16 songs with the necessary gusto.

All deserve praise put special mention must go to Jo Simons and Ron Sadler plus Kerry King, who as well as being producer and director, was also among the striking women.

As always with Manifest productions the scene changes were performed with the minimum of fuss while those behind the scenes, and in particular the wardrobe and lighting departments, helped create another wonderful evening's entertainment.

Lesley Pallett