Wednesday 12 April 2023 to Saturday 15 April 2023 (4 performances)
at Hampton Hill Theatre, 90 High Street, Hampton Hill, United Kingdom
Machinal is a 1928 play by American journalist and playwright Sophie Treadwell and is inspired by the true story of a woman who murdered her husband; this woman, Ruth Snyder, was subsequently the very first female to be executed using the electric chair. Treadwell’s expressionist drama suggests that Snyder’s actions are the result of the stultifying and repressive role forced on women by society as she elevates the story to a broader view of the objectification of women in the early part of the 20th century. The female characters are simply identified by their jobs - this helps to portray women as subjected to the often brutal, mechanical demands of society, a society created by men, for men. The dialog is staccato-paced and filled with clichés and repetitions; and the plot of the story is episodic, with each episode representing a mode of female repression. In this manner, the young woman, Helen, becomes an everywoman.
by Sophie Treadwell