Drama presents a sold out performance of Machinal

5 July 2018

After 3 months of hard work and dedication, the talented cast and crew of students and staff put on a superd performance to a sold out theatre on Tuesday evening.

Drama students from the Performing Arts department presented Machinal, a 1928 play by Sophie Treadwell. Members of the audience complemented the students on the quality of the acting and the thought provoking nature of the performance.

The play is based in 1920’s America and inspired by the notorious case of Ruth Snyder, who died in the electric chair, convicted of the murder of her husband. Machinal is the personal tragedy of a young woman alienated by a harsh, patriarchal, mechanized society. The story is told in nine episodes in an expressionistic style, dramatized from the viewpoint of the Young Woman. Each episode depicts a phase in the Young Woman’s life, a situation in which the Young Woman is supposed to be fulfilled but in reality is desperately unhappy. In only one phase of her life does the Young Woman find companionship, freedom or meaning, it is however that relationship that leads to her killing her husband and ultimately to her own death.

Treadwell shows the Young Woman confronting all of the characters in her life, in particular the male characters, who have the power to determine her fate but finally losing in every situation. Treadwell attacks capitalism for putting even the most intimate relationships on an economic footing, her critique extends to technology, medicine, law, motherhood, the press, romance and even religion. A commentary on the overwhelming power exerted on every woman, the play reminds us how a woman’s voice can easily be lost in a world dominated by men who do not listen and where so many women feel their power to make choices is severely limited. A timely reminder from the past in light of so many recent controversies nearly a century after Treadwell wrote Machinal.

Director and Assistant Principal, Sheridan Lewis said,

I was delighted with the energy, enthusiasm, sense of humour and professionalism of the students and staff involved. I am incredibly proud of the finished product.


Find out more about studying Drama here


Machinal 2018

Performing Arts, Drama, Performance, performing arts and music, showcase