Tue 21 May—Sat 1 Jun 2024
|15.00 / 20.00
Running time: TBC
Directed by: Philip Crawford
Written by: D.W. Gregory
‘The first thing we asked was, “Does this stuff hurt you?” And they said, “No.” The company said that it wasn’t dangerous, that we didn’t need to be afraid.’
1917 - the USA had just entered the First World War. Young women in New Jersey flocked to work for the US Radium Corporation - painting clocks, watches and military dials with a recently-developed luminous substance. It was a fun job, lucrative and glamorous – the girls shone brightly in the dark, covered head to toe in dust used to make the paint.
However, as the years passed, the women began to suffer from mysterious and crippling illnesses. It turned out that the very thing that had made them feel alive – their work – was slowly killing them: the radium paint was poisonous. Their employers denied all responsibility, but these courageous women – in the face of unimaginable suffering – refused to accept their fate quietly, and instead embarked on a tenacious fight for justice.
Radium Girls fiercely examines the commercialisation of science, the pursuit of health and wealth, the power of the underdog and the injustice labourers have faced, both in the past and the present.