gas girls secures Arts Council support

Arts Council Grants for the Arts have announced their support for Gas Girls, acta‘s project to commemorate the centenary of the start of WWI; to research, develop, create and perform a touring community theatre show which tells the story of the women who worked at the mustard gas factory in Avonmouth, North Bristol.

Gas Girls will explore the biomedical effects of mustard gas on women working in the industry, using memories handed down through local families and medical records written at the time. It will examine the social impact of mustard gas on the people involved, including the symptoms, diseases, and treatment of the hundreds of women affected.

Gas Girls will involve local people in exploring the changing role and status of women in the period 1914-18. The project will examine the changes in employment and social status, the growth of politicisation, and development of new moralities. It will focus on the involvement of local women in Bristol in the manufacture of munitions, and in particular, those working at the Mustard Gas factory in Avonmouth.

The final piece of community theatre will then tour to parts of Bristol with little or no theatre access; particularly areas with a connection to the story, including Avonmouth itself. The project will also create a digital interpretation of the research and performance, a booklet and exhibition which will accompany the tour across Bristol neighbourhoods.