‘Your skin oughtn’t to curl – ought it – when he just comes near you – ought it? That’s wrong, ain’t it? You don’t get over that, do you – ever, do you or do you?’
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, in London in 1930, and was later revived in the 1990s.
This edition was published alongside the 2018 production at the Almeida Theatre, London, directed by Natalie Abrahami.
‘Gaspingly intense… Machinal remains pretty extraordinary stuff… [Treadwell’s] spare, percussive language frequently feels like it could have been written yesterday’
— Time Out
‘A dazzling piece of work… Machinal, written in 1928, 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’
‘An unforgettable portrait of a particular woman and of America itself as a hellishly dehumanised assembly line’
‘Feels strikingly modern: its sharp, splintered depiction of a young woman breaking apart in a dehumanising, mechanised world could have been written yesterday… an eloquent and groundbreaking play’
— Financial Times
‘Machinal was decades ahead of its time and still feels astonishingly, and depressingly, pertinent’
— Radio Times
‘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
‘Gripping… doesn’t loosen its hold on the senses until its shattering climax’