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The Half-Life of Marie Curie

From 128 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Intelligent, Entertaining, Great writing

About the show

Kate Mulgrew ("Orange Is the New Black") stars in this new play about scientist Marie Curie and radical engineer Hertha Ayrton — and the friendship that strengthened their resolve to pursue their ambitions.


From the show:

With lyricism and wit, playwright Lauren Gunderson has crafted an honest, unexpected story that follows Marie Curie during the summer of 1912 when news of her secret affair threatens to overshadow her second Nobel Prize win. Heartbroken, Curie leaves France to stay with Ayrton at her home on the British seaside, and together they confront the scandal that could end Curie’s career — and drastically alter her life.

Directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch, THE HALF-LIFE OF MARIE CURIE is a timely celebration of two brilliant women who have been overlooked by history for too long. Written expressly for Audible through its Emerging Playwrights Fund.

Member Reviews (128)


Great acting, Absorbing, Intelligent, Entertaining, Great writing
Avg Score

Repetitive, Great acting, Historical, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if you enjoy biogrphl theater; learn some abt Curie/lots abt Ayrton. Strg acting (esply Mulgrew in the better role). Funny/feminist insights.

Don't see it if you want a perfect script; HLMC is slow in parts. Same issue repeated. MC seems too weak/weepy. Fight feels manufactured (solutn is easy).

Also The patriarchy still, sadly, dominates, especially in the sciences. Su... Read more Read less

Slow, Resonant, Profound, Entertaining, Ambitious

See it if A play about two free think very bright woman and their thought process and relationship.

Don't see it if It is more words than action. If you want a fast play or a big production.

Resonant, Intelligent, Great acting, Delightful, Absorbing

See it if women's relationships are significant to you. Beautiful subtle script explores the friendship of two brilliant accomplished women.

Don't see it if marital fidelity is an issue for you. This is a serious play with lots of humor not at all experimental or musical.

Exquisite, Clever, Intelligent, Great writing, Great acting

See it if Lady sesh.Feminist fever dream. Mulgrew is manna. Goddesses of scientific wonder and proof shielded from men and scandal."Beautiful genius."

Don't see it if Radon decay."God made women stronger than the world they're in/She refuses to be told how good she is, knowing how much better she could be"

Also "Women are always on the frontline of something/Women are taught not h... Read more Read less

Funny, Intelligent, Great acting, Entertaining, Delightful

See it if colorful history lesson about 2 strong, brilliant female friends who help each other become even stronger; excellent chemistry & acting.

Don't see it if you're looking for high drama, action & women with husbands; these 2 large personalities fill the stage with intelligence, humor & science.

Also I loved this play - the banter, openness, hilarity & honesty between f... Read more Read less

Confusing, Slow

See it if You want to see a play that takes place over 100 years ago.

Don't see it if Do you have trouble understanding plays that take place along time ago. Two person play

Also I usually have a lot to say about everything I see but I was lost from... Read more Read less

Lovely set/lights/costumes, Lyrical with humor, Intelligent, Terrific acting, Absorbing

See it if Would like a rich and haunting play based on historical figures that explores deep friendship, smart women, pioneers. It sweeps you up.

Don't see it if Want big production, or don’t like 2-handers/historical fiction..It's well-written and performed, emotional, drama-filled, witty, & wortby.

Good acting. good story.

See it if You like a good story about two interesting women in history.

Don't see it if You want comedy or music.

Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Great acting, Delightful

See it if You want to see two terrific actresses play two terrific women in an interesting story about their lives and friendship. Funny and poignant.

Don't see it if You need a big production. This is a lot of dialogue and very little action. You don't like strong women characters.

Absorbing, Refreshing, Great writing, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if A straightlaced play that also happens to be great! Genuinely likeable chrcters. Productive, intellectual women who were also great friends.

Don't see it if u dislike high achievers. U pretend plays re women contributing in not-accidental, not-anonymous, not-posthumous ways r staged all the time.

Also Much more lively than I expected it to be. Mulgrew and Faridany are th... Read more Read less

Great staging, Great writing, Great acting, Funny, Absorbing

See it if Wonderful exploration of two brilliant women as they saw themselves and as the world saw them. Their contributions to science.

Don't see it if I cant imagine not wanting to see this quietly brilliant, funny, articulate evocation of these lives we need to know

Also I loved this. It was fast and witty and seamlessly performed by two ac... Read more Read less

Intelligent, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if If you are interested in a show about History and science. An interesting drama.

Don't see it if Do you not see if you prefer musicals or very light dramas

Overrated, Fluffy, Entertaining

See it if well acted (perhaps a bit overacted) to hear about two people one may not knew about

Don't see it if want to know more about their friendship and the pressures on being women in science. tone of the first half was one note.

Resonant, Intelligent, Historical

See it if 2 brilliant women living & succeeding at a time when being acknowledged was even more challenging that it is today intrigues you.

Don't see it if you aren't interested in history or the fight for women's rights.

Intelligent, Informative, Well-acted, Relevant, Slow

See it if you want to see a well-acted play about the friendship of two intelligent scientists that provides insights into their personalities.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy talky, historical plays about notable scientists that is a bit repetitive.

Great writing, Great acting, Profound, Exquisite, Delightful

See it if you like historical plays with strong female characters

Don't see it if you are put off by some technical language or have trouble with accents

Indulgent, Ambitious, Intelligent, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You like biographical plays with strong actors/actresses, like strong feminist themes, or simply want to see a well acted piece.

Don't see it if You don’t like shows with only 2 characters, want a lot of action in your plays, don’t like being bombarded constantly by feminist themes.

Special two hander about brilliant women

See it if Kate mulgrew was terrific and brought a little known scientist to life. Beyond bios to friendship, struggles and inner life of great minds

Don't see it if There was some odd exposition bracketing the play and curie’s character had a bit much consumption and accent, but important women’s story

Delightful, Great writing, Great staging, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if you’d like to see a fabulous performance of 2 actors portraying strong and intelligent female scientists and their friendship.

Don't see it if you need a big production with many actors on stage or not interested in stories of female leaders.

Loved it, Great sound & set, Poetic drama w/ poetic license, Celebration of women of science

See it if you'd like drama on 2 great women of science, well-played & staged, shot through w/poetic language & license. Lots of monkeying w history.

Don't see it if you expect a true story on Marie Curie & her friend Hertha Ayrton or true biographic. It's art & takes artistic license.

Also Lauren Gunderson wrote an amazingly poetic script, which starts w/ Cho... Read more Read less

Intelligent, Refreshing, Clever

See it if you like a dose of feminism and wit with your biography. If you want to see a shawl and blanket work as set piece for 80 minutes.

Don't see it if you don't like two women talking. Bit heavy on the melodrama of a broken heart and a scandal but redeemed itself after Marie recovered.

Poetic, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Great acting

See it if You want to see excellent acting in a show with strong female characters speaking of women's issues.

Don't see it if You want a rip-roaring comedy.

Educational, Great writing, Great acting, Funny, Absorbing

See it if Funny well acted 2 character play. Educational and enjoyable.

Don't see it if Only want big Broadway productions- otherwise, cannot think of a reason.

Artistic license used liberally, Intelligent, Breath of fresh air, 2-hander bio-drama set in 1912, Kate mulgrew is a powerhouse

See it if you're Kate Mulgrew fans; you need a change from the usual bromance/ all-male cast/ or dumb female plot; science + Nobel prizewinners rule

Don't see it if trying to empathize with female achievers hampered by a unyielding patriarchy & "the double standard" would clash with your Ice Age values

Also French laureate Marguerite Borel [pen-name Camille Marbo] sheltered Ma... Read more Read less

Relevant, Great writing, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if Marie Curie is presented as a woman well ahead of her time, forging a place for herself in the scientific community and fighting the double

Don't see it if you do not like biographical drama

Also standard of what constitutes acceptable sexual and social behavior. He... Read more Read less

November 19th, 2019
"Female Chemistry in ‘The Half-Life of Marie Curie’: A new play focuses on the first woman to win the Nobel Prize and her friendship with Hertha Ayrton, a fellow scientist played by Kate Mulgrew."
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November 19th, 2019
4/5 Stars "A frisky, feminist crowd-pleaser...While the play may not be as inventive as the women it celebrates, it’s enlightening and entertaining...Faridany holds her own opposite supernova Mulgrew...Their performances do a lot to bring Gunderson’s history lesson to life."
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November 19th, 2019
"The Half-Life of Marie Curie Shows How Marie Got Her Groove Back: Audible produces Lauren Gunderson's two-person play about the friendship between Curie and Hertha Ayrton."
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November 30th, 2019
"Kate Mulgrew and Francesca Faridany Muse Over Science and Sexism in Lauren Gunderson's 'THE HALF-LIFE OF MARIE CURIE'"
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