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Large Mixed Cast

Sophie Treadwell Price: $12.99

The city. A woman is restless. A woman is suffocating. A woman is silenced. The woman revolts

A visceral expressionist masterpiece, Sophie Treadwell's play Machinal was first seen on Broadway in 1928, London in 1930, and was later reclaimed as a ‘lost masterpiece’ in a landmark production at the UK's National Theatre in 1993

Inspired by the real-life case of convicted and executed murderer Ruth Snyder it is considered one of the high-points of Expressionist theatre on the American stage

A young woman works as a low-level stenographer and lives with her mother

She follows the rituals that society expects of a woman, however resistant she may feel about them

She subsequently marries her boss, whom she finds repulsive

After having a baby with him, she has an affair with a younger man who fuels her lust for life

Driven to murder her husband, she is convicted of the crime and is executed in the electric chair


“A savage indictment of a hard, soulless world of mechanisation and money worship ... Beckett, Pinter and Mamet are pre-echoed in the staccato telegraphese, nagging rhythms and jangly repetition of dialogue ... A masterpiece” ~ Independent

Machinal is a rare and disturbing beauty... conceived with the kind of tender, probing empathy you associate with the interiority of modernist fiction” ~ New York Times

"Gaspingly intense ... Machinal remains pretty extraordinary stuff ... feels like it could have been written yesterday" ~ Time Out

"A dazzling piece of work ... Machinal has lost none of its cold fury, its expressionistic power to depict a woman trapped by a society that expects her to marry and conform. It is astonishingly modern" ~ WhatsOnStage

"An unforgettable portrait of a particular woman and of America itself as a hellishly dehumanised assembly line" ~ Guardian

"Captivating, intense and resonant ... a fascinating piece, a formally bold and explicitly feminist study of an ordinary woman who snaps under societal pressure ... demonstrates Treadwell’s adventurousness as a playwright" ~ The Stage

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