Phil’s labouring under the illusion of being prime minister!
He has the pipe, she has the pose… but things are not what they seem in this picture of two political giants.
For, although it might look like a candid shot of 1960s Labour Party legends Harold Wilson and Barbara Castle, it is Sheffield actors Phil Brownhill and Marie Mason.
Phil and Marie are playing the prime minister and his outspoken employment minister in STOS Theatre Company’s regional premiere of the acclaimed West End musical.
The show, on from tonight to Saturday, is the musical version of the true story of the Ford Motor Plant Dagenham sewing room women, who went on strike in 1968 in a battle over equal pay.
Huddersfield-born Harold Wilson was one of the most famous and controversial British politicians of the post-war years, as well known for his pipe as for his policies and a favourite with comic impersonators of the era like TV star Mike Yarwood.
Born in Chesterfield and raised in Yorkshire, Barbara Castle helped make history when she intervened in the dispute, helping to resolve the strike which brought Ford’s female workers’ pay up to 92 per cent of what the men received - a major breakthrough at that time.
“Once I have the pipe clamped into place I do begin to feel a bit more like Wilson,” said Phil. “But, having grown up with Mike Yarwood on TV every week, I have to remind myself that he was the impersonation and that I am supposed to be playing a real man and not a comedy creation.”
Made in Dagenham is directed by Mark Feakins. For tickets, call 0114 249 6000 or visit Sheffield Theatres