Infobox Play
name = Machinal

image_size = 180px
caption =
writer = Sophie Treadwell
genre = tragedy
setting = An office; a flat; a hotel; a hospital; a speakeasy; a furnished room; a drawing room; a court room; a prison; in the dark
subject =
premiere = 7 Seppember 1928
place = Plymouth Theatre
London, England
orig_lang = English
ibdb_id = 5682
iobdb_id = 1263

"Machinal" is a play written by American playwright and journalist Sophie Treadwell, inspired by the real life case of convicted and executed murderess Ruth Snyder. The play stands out as one that calls for a vast array of specific sound effects. Its 1928 Broadway premiere, directed by Arthur Hopkins, is considered one of the highpoints of expressionist theatre on the American stage.

Plot synopsis

The story involves Helen whose entire life has been dictated by the people and machines around her. She follows the rituals that society expects of a woman, however resistant she may feel about them, and subsequently marries her boss, whom she finds repulsive. After having a baby with him, followed by an affair with a younger man who fuels her lust for life, she is driven to murder her husband. She is found guilty of the crime and meets her end in one of the deadliest of machines, the electric chair.

Clark Gable originally played the role of "Man" a.k.a. Richard Roe

Awards and nominations

* 1994 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Revival



Further reading


External links


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • machinal — machinal, ale, aux [ maʃinal, o ] adj. • 1731; « des machines » fin XVIIe; de machine ♦ Qui est fait sans intervention de la volonté, de l intelligence, comme par une machine. ⇒ automatique, inconscient, instinctif, involontaire, irréfléchi,… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • machinal — machinal, ale (ma chi nal, na l ) adj. 1°   Qui appartient aux machines.    Matière machinale, nom donné par Fontenelle aux poulies, cordages, ressorts, etc. qui font aller les machines. 2°   Fig. Qui est produit dans le corps vivant, comme par… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • Machinal — Ma*chin al, a. [L. machinalis: cf. F. machinal.] Of or pertaining to machines. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Machinal — Dérivé de Machin (voir ce nom) porté notamment dans la Haute Vienne, où l on trouve aussi la forme Machinaud …   Noms de famille

  • MACHINAL — ALE. adj. Qui est semblable au jeu d une machine, qui est produit par le seul jeu des organes, sans intention ni réflexion. Mouvement, effet machinal. Action machinale. Agir d une manière purement machinale . Le pluriel Machinaux est peu usité …   Dictionnaire de l'Academie Francaise, 7eme edition (1835)

  • machinal — adjective a) Of, or pertaining to machines. b) In the manner or style of a machine …   Wiktionary

  • Machinal —    The expressionist drama by Sophie Treadwell, produced and directed by Arthur Hopkins with scene designs by Robert Edmond Jones, opened on 7 September 1928 at the Plymouth Theatre and ran for 93 performances. Having worked as both a stunt and… …   The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater

  • machinal — adj. of or pertaining to machines …   English contemporary dictionary

  • machinal — machi·nal …   English syllables

  • machinal — məˈshēnəl, ˈmakən adjective Etymology: Latin machinalis, from machina machine + alis al archaic : of or relating to machines : mechanical …   Useful english dictionary