Monday 20 July 2018, 4pm | Almeida Theatre
Over eight weeks, Almeida Participation collaborated with professional theatre-makers and students from City of London Academy – Highbury Grove to reimagine Machinal by Sophie Treadwell.
Students from Highbury Grove were introduced to the key themes of the production to create an insightful performance demonstrating their knowledge of expressionism and thoughts on communication in today’s society.
City of London Academy – Highbury Grove Reimagining Artists
Joe Hancock, Director
Rebecca Steele, Movement Director
Germma Orleans-Thompson, Assistant Director
Machinal is a 1928 expressionist masterpiece written by Sophie Treadwell that examines how the male-orientated construction of society is built to suppress the women that attempt to operate within it. Working with the students at Highbury Grove, we talked about what expressionism was, what elements of contemporary society made them feel trapped, and what made them feel free. We talked a lot about communication, and whether the concept of being constantly accessible made us feel closer to each other, or more distant. All of the ideas and words on stage have been devised by the students themselves.
As Machinal is staged in nine episodes, we have attempted to create three separate episodes that offer an introduction to expressionism. They do not create one coherent story but instead offer a range of emotions that the students themselves have come up with.