Friday March 17 saw the last event for Arts Club members until the Autumn. Alison Neil portrayed Marie Curie in her one-woman play ‘Glowing Bright’. Alison researches, writes and presents her plays and, as on this occasion, very often drives herself to the venue, assembles the set, performs, answers questions, takes the set down and then drives herself home again. Her energy is phenomenal.
The audience learnt that Marie had been the first woman teacher at the Ecole Normale Superieure, the finest teacher-training college in Paris. She was the first woman in France to receive a doctoral degree; the first person to use the term “radioactive”; the first female professor at the University of Paris (The Sorbonne); the first woman to be awarded a Nobel prize, jointly with her husband Pierre Curie and Henri Becquerel and the first person to be awarded two Nobel prizes. She is still the only person to have been awarded two Nobel prizes in different spheres - Physics and Chemistry. The list went on of the achievements of this phenomenally clever woman but Alison managed to portray Marie as a very gentle human being, with faults like us all. The story of her life unfolded with family troubles recounted alongside the triumphs - first woman to be elected to the French Academy of Medicine; and finally the first woman to be honoured (in her own right) with burial in The Pantheon, Paris in 1995. Alison received a huge round of applause at the end of her performance and still had the energy to answer many questions from the audience before beginning the mammoth task of dismantling her set and props and re-packing her van. An amazing performance by, and about, an amazing woman.
An important meeting of the Arts Club will take place on Friday March 31 at 7pm at St John’s Church Hall in Warren Street in Tenby. All members are invited to attend.