Flash Mob Shocks Neath Town Centre

Shoppers caught off-guard by 1960's 'protest'!

Shoppers in Neath town centre were caught off-guard this afternoon (Saturday 17th February) by what appeared to be a protest demanding 'Equal pay for women'.

The flash mob of around 25 men and women took to the streets with placards and banners - dressed in 1960's clothing - calling for equality in the workplace.

But all was not what it seemed...

The 'protest' was actually a staged event - promoting a local theatre group's upcoming musical show - which happens to be set in the 1960s, during a strike at Ford's factory in Dagenham.

The colourful costumes and thick Essex accents ringing through the streets of Neath were certainly enough to turn a head or two.

The cast was even joined by a Ford Cortina car, which was parked in the town square all afternoon.

'Made in Dagenham' is based on a true story surrounding the strike of 1968 that resulted in women being awarded equal pay to their male counterparts. 

The female workers at Ford's Factory in Dagenham stood up to an industry dominated by men and as a result the government applied the Equal Pay Act of 1970. 

The story has been made into a film and has found recent success on stage in the West End and around the UK.

We spoke to Matt Hampson, Musical Director at MAOS, during the 'protest' in Neath:

“The reaction we have had today has been quite mixed but that’s exactly what we wanted. 

"Members of the public did not know how to react to the protest and that sparked conversations with our production team about what this was all about. 

"Some people stopped and talked to us about their memories of the strike, others just stopped and stared. 

"It’s what we wanted, it gets people talking and that’s the whole point." 

"We wanted to do something that stands out, something that tries to represent the women’s struggles during the strikes. 

"I’ve no doubt it will get a lot of attention and hopefully help towards the sales on the show. 

"It’s a wonderful musical with the most stunning cast of high level performers. Amateur this show isn’t!

"It's a very topical story that will make you laugh and cry. It's female empowerment in it's most wonderful form!"

Melyn Amateur Operatics Society are known for coming up with quirky ways to promote their productions and their latest display in Neath Town Centre has lived up to reputation.

Matt continued, "If you want to come see the show, tickets are on sale at the Gwyn Hall now.

"It runs from the 27th February until the 3rd March, with a matinee performance on the Saturday.

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