Ironbound

by Martyna Majok

For twenty-two years Darja sits at a derelict bus stop. An immigrant from Poland, she negotiates for her future with men who can offer her love or security, but never both. The hope of a better life in America is turning out to be impossible.

Martyna Majok, recipient of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize, has crafted a play about the constant battle to eke out a modest existence as a woman at the bottom of the heap.


Direction – Alastair Clark
Set – Jeremy Allen
Costume – Maya Keys
Sound – Benjamin Freeman
Light – Alexander Berlage
Associate Light – Kelsey Lee
Stage Management – Jess Serio

with Gabrielle Scawthorn, Benedict Wall, Abe Mitchell and Ryan Morgan


Ironbound was performed August and September 2018 at the Kings Cross Theatre. Photos: Jasmin Simmons.


“A knock-out. Ironbound tears the veneer away from human interaction as brutally as a builder rips a wood-grain​ facade from a 1970s kitchen. Alastair Clark has the playwright’s intent projecting like thorns on which we keep snagging ourselves. Gabrielle​ Scawthorn​ has Darja’s​ essence spilling off the bus-stop bench like it’s raining verity and there’s no roof beneath which to shelter.” – Sydney Morning Herald

“A piercing depiction of life on the margins presented in gripping close-up. Alastair Clark’s production is spare but very finely calculated.” – Audrey Journal

“Tense, uncomfortable, oppressive and confronting. Alastair Clark’s excellently directed vignettes reveal flashes of a life fuelled by desperation, hardship and regret. Darja is captivatingly played by Gabrielle Scawthorn. I felt as if I was experiencing it alongside her.” – 2ser FM

Ironbound is a confluence of excellence. Every action, sentence, movement screams: see, engage, acknowledge. Clark has a forensic interpretation of the shifting personal and interpersonal dynamics of the characters’ interactions. The joy of seeing great acting in intimate theatres is everything.” – Sydney Arts Guide

“Brilliant acting. A portrayal of desperation that is deeply thought-provoking… a story about people who never stood a chance, and the lies we are fed to sustain the inhumane status quo of our calamitous inequities. Gabrielle Scawthorn is immensely authentic. Ironbound refuses to sugar-coat any of its truths.” – Suzy Wrong

“Meticulously designed and directed… a bleak portrait of a female immigrant experience in the land of opportunity.” – KJ Theatre Diary