A POWERFUL play based on a true story about women fighting for justice is coming to the stage.

‘These Shining Lives’ by Melanie Marnich features four employees who worked for the Radium Dial Company in the US during the late 1920s.

The drama follows their friendship, strength and determination as they file a law suit against their employer after radium poisoning is diagnosed.

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The play runs at The Green Room Theatre in Wilmslow from Saturday, March 25 to Saturday, April 1.

In the early years of the last century, radium was all the rage.

The chemical was found in face cream, cough medicine for children and furniture polish.

One of the most popular uses for radium was as an ingredient in the paint, used to draw the numbers on luminous clock and watch faces, to make them glow in the dark.

The painting of these numbers was mostly done by women.

To make the digits even finer, and to speed up the painting process, workers licked the end of their paintbrushes, little realising the effect that the radium would have on their bodies.

The drama starts as Catherine Donohue is thrilled to get a well-paid job at the new clock factory.

Adoring husband Tom is fascinated by the way that his wife seems to glow when she comes home after a shift.

When Catherine and her workmates Charlotte Purcell, Francis O’Connell and Pearl Payne fall ill and are diagnosed with radium poisoning, they take legal action against the company, who will not accept that radium is in any way dangerous.

A leading attorney accepts the case but they have a fight on their hands and the result is in the balance.

Director Celia Bonner said: “This wonderfully warm play highlights the growing friendship of a group of women and their strength when faced with a dreadful health diagnosis.

“It shows the shocking lack of seriousness or concern that many companies had for the health and wellbeing of their workers during the early to mid-part of 1900s.

“It is cases like this one that have led to the health and safety laws that we take for granted today, that should make the workplace safe for our generation.

“We have an excellent cast to tell this very powerful story.”

Meg Brassington, Madeleine Healey, Jess Trimble and Andy Neve join John Keen and Alexandra Johnson for this poignant production.

Each performance starts at 7.45pm with a matinee at 2.30pm on Saturday, April 1.

There are no Sunday performances.

Tickets priced £12, £10 members are now on sale at greenroomwilmslow.org.uk

The box office is open on Saturdays from 11am to 12 noon.