by Sophie Treadwell

Sophie Treadwell - Machinal

BBC Radio 3: Sunday Play

Broadcast: Sunday 5th February 1995 @ 7:30 p.m.

A 1928 Broadway hit, "Machinal" is a modern age tragedy of isolation turned to murder. The play, Sophie Treadwell said, is about "a young woman, ready, eager for life, for love...but deadened, squeezed, crushed by the machine like quality of the life surrounding." Loosely based on the sensational 1927 murder trial of Ruth Snyder and Judd Gray, Treadwell uses this scenario as a springboard for her own speculations about what circumstances might drive a seemingly harmless stenographer to commit murder.

This radio play is based on the Royal National Theatre fearsome production by Stephen Daldry of "Machinal", Sophie Treadwell's neglected 1928 expressionist drama of a young woman, condemned to death for murdering her overbearing husband. The play depicts the metropolis as a monstrous machine. Stephen Daldry's stage version first opened on the 10th November 1993. Stephen went on to win the Laurence Olivier Theatre Award in 1994 (1993 season) for Best Director of a Play while Fiona Shaw won for Best Actress.

With Fiona Shaw [The Young Woman], John Woodvine [George H. Jones], Ciaran Hinds [The Lover], Matilda Ziegler [The Telephone Girl], Lynn Farleigh [The Stenographer], Bill Wallis [The Adding Clerk], James Duke [The Filing Clerk], June Watson [The Mother], Christopher Rozycki [The Doctor], Rachel Power [The Woman at the Bar], Roger Sloman [The Defense Lawyer], and Colin Stinton [The Prosecution Lawyer].

All other parts were played by members of the company.

Music was composed by Stephen Warbeck and played by: Martin Allen (percussion), Tim Harries (Bass), Sonis Stanley (Violin) and Jamie Talbot (Clarinet and Saxaphone).

The Royal National Theatre production of "Machinal" was directed by Stephen Daldry and directed for radio by Kate Rowland.

Re-broadcast on Sunday 30th April 1995 @ 7:30 p.m.

105 min.


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