I was taught that 146 people died in the tragic Shirtwaist Factory Fire in 1911 and, as a result, there came to be more protective legislation for workers. In this solo show, a homeless woman relates her life story to a pair of journalists, changing that history book statistic into a story about a real individual. It demonstrates the impossible situation for the working classes at that time, as she talks of emigration from Scotland, an impoverished family and unsuccessful strikes. But it is her re-enactment of the fire and the trial of the factory owners that is so horrifically affecting. Although this focuses on one woman’s experience of this terrible tragedy, this play speaks for all under-represented working classes.
Summerhall, 11-18 Aug, 12.15pm.
tw rating 4/5 | [Lia Sanders]