Southwick Opera’s resurrection of this 1966 musical resembled the proverbial curate’s egg – good at times but with weak patches.

The show was based on the true story of the women workers at the Bryant & May match factory in East London and their 1888 strike for better conditions and protection from “phossy jaw” from the phosphorus they had to work with.

A sub plot dealt with ring leader, Kate's involvement in the strike that put strain on her relationship with dockworker, Joe.

Written by the late Bill Owen the piece showed its age and was not helped by the lack of firm direction.

Too often dialogue scenes plodded along and prolonged blackouts erased any tension built.

Thankfully the ensemble musical numbers, with their Cockney knees-up jauntiness, brought the show to life.

The sweet, gentle ballad – Something About You – excellently sung by Collette Dawes and Ben Cassan made a moving contrast. It was given a comic touch when reprised by Kimberley Pulling.

Other strong performances were given by Su Galleymore and Alison Barak.

The lack of live music disappointed but had the consolation of the pre-recording being at a level where the cast did not have to fight to be heard.