Our David does Dagenham

Luton-born composer David Arnold
Luton-born composer David Arnold

David Arnold – the former Challney Boys High pupil who’s become one of the world’s most celebrated composers - is testing his skills in a brand new venture.

The talented genius who gave us the glorious closing theme of the Olympics as well as several epic Bond scores has been writing the music for the stage version of Made in Dagenham, which opens at London’s Adelphi Theatre in October.

The father-of-three, who still returns to Luton to his visit his mum Rita, wrote the film score and said he was very much interested in the politics at the core of the story.

It’s about Ford’s female factory workers who were paid a fraction of their male colleagues’ earnings and who went on a strike that reverberated around the world.

David, 52, said: “The fact that it’s still an issue is both timely and disappointing.”

He said he called the film’s producers about three years ago to ask if they’d ever thought of turning it into a stage musical . . . just as they were looking into the same thing.

He added: “It’s very different from writing a film score. There’s nothing in front of you aside from a blank page.

“I work closely with the book writer, lyricist and director to decide what scenes go where, who does what and when and why. There’s no editing or reshoots.

“It’s a very collaborative experience. We’re a very small team and the whole show is really created between us and the producers.

He said it was impossible to pinpoint any prospective hits: “I’ve written around 30 songs with lyricist Richard Thomas and about 18 of them have made it into the show. I think we have some funny, emotional and exciting material – I just hope people will get to see it and make up their own minds.”

David isn’t seeking to steal Andrew Lloyd-Webber’s baton but has enjoyed the experience so much he’d like to do something in a similar vein. “It’s my first time with a musical and I seriously hope it’s not my last,” he told the Herald&Post.

> Made in Dagenham stars Gemma Atherton with a script by Richard Bean of One Man, Two Guvnors fame. Call the Box Office on 020 3725 7060.