Summer 2019: Sophie Treadwell’s “Machinal”

Scene: a courtroom.
Sounds: reporters writing, lawyers pacing, the jury murmuring.
Props: a broken bottle, a pair of rubber gloves, a bloody nightgown.
At rise: a young woman, accused of murdering her husband, takes the stand.

How did she end up here?

Machinal tells the story of an ordinary young woman. She works in an office, meets a man, gets married, has a child. She then has an illicit love affair and is accused of murdering her husband.

But did she do it? In this ‘true crime’ production, we take you through the different phases of her life, none of which can offer her any peace or sense of belonging. She is unable to rest, suffocated by a vicious media cycle, the oppressive patriarchy, and her feelings of isolation in a busy, corporate world.

Machinal was written in 1928, but we are updating it to a vibrant, twenty-first-century setting and bringing it to life with movement and music. The tale of an ordinary young woman pushed to extremes is just as pertinent today as it was ninety-one years ago.

Impressions from the production:

Photos: Simon Sahner