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A Masterpiece of Theatrical Expressionism

‘How can that be? A great sin – a mortal sin – for which I must die and go to hell – but it made me free! One moment I was free!’ 


A final moment of clarity for the Young Woman (Rosie Sheey) as she awaits execution for the murder of her husband in Sophie Treadwell’s seminal Machinal.

Truly a masterpiece of theatrical expressionism.

Based on the true crime story of Ruth Snyder in 1928 that shook a nation, Machinal is a pulse-pounding journey of someone pushed to breaking point by the relentless machinery of life, expectation and convention.

Outstandingly directed by Richard Jones, this revival of Machinal at The Old Vic in London is at times overwhelming, percussive and remorseless.

Sheehy is astonishing, from her opening panic attack on the subway to her excruciatingly awkward honeymoon, her time in hospital after the birth of a daughter to taking a lover and facing the electric chair for murder.

Machinal runs until June 1, with a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreted performance on May 24 at 7:30pm. To book and for access information visit



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