RADIUM GIRLS: “A spectacular roller coaster”
A Review of MTYP Theatre School’s Young Company Production.
This weekend, I was very fortunate to get the opportunity to watch Radium Girls by D.W. Gregory put on by MTYP Theatre School’s very own Young Company. Directed by Heather Russell-Smith, this talented group of actors and creative team worked very hard for six months to create a masterpiece. Based on true historical events, this dramatic tragedy tells the story of girls in the 1920’s, suffering from a mysterious illness caused by radium in paint they were instructed to use in factories. Young Grace Fryer, unsure of how long she has left to live, takes on head of the company Arthur Roeder to get what she and the rest of the factory girls truly deserve. The show used stunning imagery, superb costuming, phenomenal acting and astonishing special effects to bring the story to life.
The transitions of the play were flawless. Each transition contained a thrilling image. Whether it was a fluid, calming song, a vibrant, powerful song, exciting choreography or even a captivating drumming sequence with paint brushes, there was never a dull moment.
One of my favourite parts of the show was the set. Painted on the stage was a beautiful mural of gears and clocks, adding a nice colourful visual to the imagery. The set also included five scrims hanging from the ceiling. Throughout the play, they used projected images on the scrims to create windows, doors, tombstones and so much more making it easy to be transported from scene to scene without moving a large number of set pieces.
Another brilliant aspect of the play was the costuming. Being set in the 1900’s, costuming is a very important detail in bringing the audience back to that century. From skirt length to accessories, the accuracy of the costumes was remarkable and helped me better experience the tragedies the radium girls and citizens of that era went through in real life.
The most outstanding part of Radium Girls, for me, was the amazingly talented group of actors. Each individual portrayed their characters with power and emotion. They did not just play their role but they expressed everything their character was feeling throughout the performance. I truly felt everything the radium girls were feeling from anger to sadness to grief. MTYP Theatre School’s Young Company is a very talented group of young performers.
In short, Radium Girls was a spectacular, roller coaster of a play. Every member of the show, actors and backstage, worked very hard and it paid off. The performance included everything from heart-tugging scene work, bits of comedic dialogue and mind blowing special effects, fake blood and all. The Young Company’s performance was a definite success and I look forward to seeing what they have in store for next year!
By Rhianna M.