acta’s next touring community theatre show previews at the actacentre in March, before touring to Bristol neighbourhoods in June. This WWI centenary show tells a remarkable local story. Box office for all performances is now open, with tickets just £3.
How would anyone even know there was a story to tell, if I said nothing? So I passed it on, the story, everything that happened, all about us Gas Girls.
In 1918, Avonmouth was the centre of Britain’s chemical warfare industry, with two factories making and filling shells with deadly Mustard Gas, employing hundreds of local women and girls. There were hundreds of accidents, nearly three thousand casualties, and several deaths.
Gas Girls tells the story of these women, the beliefs that drove them, the hardships they lived with and the friendship and humour that bound them together.
This is an amazing story, and the more we’ve found out, the more amazing it has become. The Government had decided that Mustard Gas was key to winning the war, and the women worked in extraordinarily dangerous conditions, with terrible consequences to their health. But they kept going, they kept working, and the play is about how they did that, and what drove them to carry on.
Bedminster resident Tracey Harvey, who has helped with research and plays a factory nurse in the play, says:
At a time when the whole country will be thinking about the sacrifices of the soldiers, we want to pay tribute to the sacrifices of the women.
For more information about the project, visit the Gas Girls blog.