Never The Sinner

Full-Length Play, Drama  /  7m

"Remarkable." - The New York Times

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
  • Suggested Use
    • UIL Approved
  • Audience
    Target Audience


Chicago, May 21, 1924. Nathan Leopold Jr., age eighteen, and Robert Loeb, age nineteen, killed fourteen-year-old Bobby Franks. They were quickly apprehended when Leopold’s glasses were found near the corpse. Clarence Darrow defended them, pleading eloquently against capital punishment. Why would wealthy young men murder an innocent boy? What demons lurked behind Loeb’s flashing good looks? Behind Leopold’s saturnine intellect? This exquisite Off-Broadway hit explores the complex relationship between these two who longed to create a private world of fevered intellect and romantic passion. The author suggests that, given twists of fate and character, Leopold or Loeb could be anyone who has loved too much, had a broken heart, wanted to prove everlasting devotion, or looked at a loved one and thought, “I’d die for you…I’d kill for you.” This is a love story set to themes of crime and punishment, the press, the times, humanism, Nietzsche’s philosophy, and the end of the jazz age.

  • Time Period 1920s
  • Cautions
    • Mild Adult Themes


"Remarkable." - The New York Times "Great theatre. One of the year's best! An excellent and compelling play!" - New York Post "Riveting." - New York Daily News "Brilliant, powerful and cinematic!" - Associated Press "Sweeps the audience into the boys' friendship without losing sight of the brutal murder. Lays out the furor and the legal maneuvering surrounding this "Trial of the Century' particularly well, suggesting that nothing much has changed." - The New Yorker "A taut, compelling psycho sexual waltz." - Newhouse Newspapers "Electrifying." - WOR Radio

Licensing & Materials

  • Minimum Fee: £70 per performance plus VAT when applicable.
  • Mandatory Music/Media Fee: £10 per performance


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John Logan

John Logan is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter. He has received rave reviews for his plays Never the Sinner, about the infamous Leopold and Loeb case, and Hauptman, about the Lindbergh baby kidnapping. RED, which premiered at the Donmar Warehouse in London and the ...
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