By Melanie Marnich
Based on the true story of four women who worked in a watch factory in Ottawa, Illinois, the play dramatises the danger women faced in the workforce in the 1920s, and the lack of concern by companies for protecting the health of its employees.
Narrated by one of the workers, Catherine Donohue, These Shining Lives starts with women getting a chance for a well-paying job, uncharacteristic for USA women at that time. The job seems easy enough, painting the hour markings onto different sized watch dials using a Radium compound which glows in the dark. The Radium Dial Company tells them that there is no evidence that radium is harmful. After a few years, the workers notice that their hands start glowing in the dark, but assume that it is just from the radium powder that is used to paint the faces. Then they begin develop more serious ailments, including jaw infections and bone pain, but several local doctors tell them that all they need is aspirin.
After years of searching, they find a doctor who is willing to put his name on the line and diagnose the women with radium poisoning. This in turn helps the four main characters decide to file a lawsuit against Radium Dial. But their fight is only beginning.
Performances start 7.30pm at Bolton Little Theatre Hanover Street Mon-Sat. Apart from the Sunday matinee which begins at 2pm. Monday night 3 for 2. Group bookings 10+ £9.00 (please book through the theatre Box Office) Wheelchair space available (please book through the theatre Box Office).
You can book at Bolton Little Theatre box office in person or by telephone on Monday night from 7.30 to 9pm and Friday mornings from 10.30 to 12 noon. You can book during the run of the plays, or you can book online at boltonlittletheatre.ticketsource.co.uk or through this website using the links below. Tickets can be e-tickets (no charge) mobile phone ticket (50p) standard post (£1.50)
Tickets £10 each
Saturday 2nd March
Sunday 3rd March
Monday 4th March
Tuesday 5th March
Wednesday 6th March
Thursday 7th March
Friday 8th March
Saturday 9th March