Manifest Theatre Group Manifest Theatre Group Manifest Theatre Group
2 Oxford Road
Essex CO11 1BP
Tel: 01206 391309

The Match Girls

By Bill Owen and Tony Russell

Tuesday 23rd to Saturday 27th October

The Matchgirls musical is a political story of women's empowerment and is quite relevant this year as it is 100 years since the suffragette movement made a difference for women. It focuses on the lifestyle of the women match cutters at the Bryant and May factory in Bow, London who went out on strike in July 1888 to protest about the poor working conditions and severe health threats in the match factory. Essentially it's a musical designed, like all musicals, to tug at the heart strings. This will be a musical that will be fun to be involved in and entertaining to watch.


AUDITIONS Monday 23rd July and Wednesday 25th July at the Manifest Theatre from 7.30pm.


CHARACTERS – Ages range from 18 - 60+ years

Kate Feisty tenement girl who seeks improvement in the working conditions for the Matchgirls.
Polly Tenement girl and factory worker.
Mrs Purkiss Middle aged Factory worker.
Old Man Mature Factory Worker.
Maggie Factory Worker – any age.
Jessie Youngish Factory Worker.
Winnie Daughter of Mrs Purkiss, heavily pregnant.
Dot & Beattie fewer lines than others but involved in all the main scenes and songs.
Annie Besant A ‘do-gooder’ social reformer who encourages Kate to take on the fight.
Bernard Shaw Works with Annie at the Fabian Society writing articles. Irish: Middle - older age.
Joe A docker and main love interest for Kate. Main male singer of the piece and has some lovely duets with Kate.
Perce Dock Worker and best friend of Joe.
Bert Dock Worker, Husband of Winnie.
Tom Docker
Mynel & Mr Potte Factory Management who also sing with the ensemble Dockers.
Paula Westerby Worker
Scots Gir Worker

Past Productions


May 2018 - 40 Fabulous Year (Variety show)


Nov 2017 - Talking Heads

Jun 2017 - Glorious

Mar 2017 - Lady In The Van


Nov 2016 - Scrooge - The Musical

May 2016 - A Different Way to Die
May 2016 - Tagged

Apr 2016 - Accolade


Dec 2015 - The Christmas Fairy Tale

Oct 2015 - The Railway Children

May 2015 - Roleplay

Jan 2015 - Quartet


Oct 2014 - Jack The Ripper

Jun 2014 - Dead Reckoning

Mar 2014 - The Real Inspector Hound / Orca the Goldfish


Dec 2013 - Ali Baba and The Faulty Thieves

Oct 2013 - The Final Act (murder mystery)

May 2013 - The Heiress

Feb 2013 - Wife After Death


Oct 2012 - The Boyfriend

May 2012 - Dead Guilty

Feb 2012 - Are You Being Served?


Oct 2011 - Rebecca

May 2011 - A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

Feb 2011 - Duets


Oct 2010 - Pygmalion

Jul 2010 - A Blow to the Head (murder mystery)

Jun 2010 - Outside Edge

Mar 2010 - Blood Brothers


Nov 2009 - 70 Girls 70

Jun 2009 - ‘Allo ‘Allo

Mar 2009 - Barefoot in the Park


Dec 2008 - Aladdin

Oct 2008 - Pack of Lies

Jul 08 - Death by Radio (murder mystery)

May 2008 - 2 One Act Plays

Feb 2008 - Our Town


Oct 2007 - The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole aged 13 ¾ years

Sep 2007 - A Hundred Years of Entertainment

May 2007 - Steel Magnolias

Jan 2007 - Snow White

2006 - 1979

Full details of these past performances can be viewed here.

Awards and Nominations

We were delighted to receive two very prestigious awards from the North Essex Theatre Guild at their 2015 awards evening in September.

The Doris Griffith Memorial Cup for Best Production, ‘RolePlay’, was collected by the director, Val Taylor and the Best Actress in a drama, award went to Alison Baker for her wonderful portrayal of Julie-Ann in that same production.

Previous Awards

The Manifest Theatre has been nominated and collected several awards during the history of the group. See the full list here -->

Our Productions

Although an amateur group we pride ourselves on our professional approach and are dedicated to achieving high standards in all our productions.

Our enthusiastic and talented cast and crew have won many awards over the years; most recently the  Noda Award for Technical Achievement for the set from the production of Dead Guilty, Glyn Hill’s first full Manifest production. Well done to all those involved.

We aim for three productions a year - usually a Comedy, a Straight Play and a Musical (although this can vary). We use different Directors/Producers for each production as well as a Stage Manager and a hard-working team of Lighting, Sound, Make-up and Wardrobe technicians.