Matchgirls
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The Matchgirls
2002

Book & Lyrics by Bill Owen, Music by Tony Russell

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This lively Musical is set in Bryant and May's Factory in London’s East End in the 1880’s.

This is the true story of Kate and her mates - the Cockney Girls and their fight against the appalling working conditions they suffer in a Match Factory. They are helped by Annie Besant, a well to do lady of some influence, and writer of articles for the local paper ‘The Link’. Annie was horrified to discover the working conditions of the women at the famous Bryant & May match factory. Working 14 hours a day for less than 5 shillings (25p)a week a system of fines reduced their wages considerably and the women’s health was severely affected by the phosphorus used in making the matches. Eventually 1400 women went on strike at ‘Bryant & May’ and after 3 weeks the company agreed to end the system of fines and improve working conditions. This beautiful musical displays the strength and courage of these women as they rise above the dreadful conditions, and win through with comradeship and good humour, a piece of history demonstrating  true-grit.  Don’t miss it.

The Matchgirls and Dockers tell their story, with some very catchy songs and wonderful chorus numbers.

Song List
Phosphorus
Look at that hat
Look around
Me
Men
Something about you
Mind you Bert
My dear lady

We're gonna show 'em
Cockney sparrers
Life of mine
I long to see the day
Comes a time
Amendment to a motion
Waiting
Life of mine