By Sophie Treadwell

    19:30, Fri 17th – Sun 19th November 2023 at Robinson College Auditorium
    14:30, Sun 19th November 2023 at Robinson College Auditorium
    Michaelmas Week 6 to Week 7

    Content warning (may contain spoilers) Click to expandClick to close
    death and dying, childbirth, alcohol, dubious consent

    In a newly urbanised, mechanised world - the ‘roaring twenties’ of Golden Age US - a young woman bears out the life prescribed for her. She works a job, until she marries her employer. She settles down, until she bears a child. She maintains a hollow marriage, until she meets another man. She conforms - until, like a loose cog in a machine, she shoots quickly down a wayward path.

    Premiering in 1928, Sophie Treadwell’s play took inspiration from the life and death of Ruth Snyder. It reflected the Expressionist style popular in cinema and theatre at the time while anticipating the subtle, naturalistic dialogue of Beckett and Pinter. With its rote repetition, bleak characters and delicate construction of a hopeless, colourless world, Machinal is a harrowing gem of early feminist theatre - and a dark caution about the lengths one may go to in order to bring life into an empty existence.


    A Young Woman
    A Lover
    A Husband
    A Mother

    Production Team

    Assistant Director
    Stage Manager
    Publicity Designer
    Welfare Officer –
    Accent Coach –
    Intimacy Coordinator –
    Lighting Designer
    Sound Designer
    Fight Choreographer –
    Technical Director