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Sweat Tickets

Gielgud Theatre

The Donmar Warehouse production of Lynn Nottage's Pulitzer Prize-winning play Sweat transfers to the Gielgud Theatre for a strictly limited 50 performances.

Playwright Lynn Nottage's searing drama Sweat floored critics and audiences at the Donmar Warehouse earlier this year. An examination of the collapse of industry and the unscalable pit of poverty, the play gives a glimpse into the reasons for Donald Trump’s unprecedented support from working class voters. The Donmar production, directed by Lynette Linton, now transfers to the Gielgud Theatre for a limited 50 performances from 7 June 2019.

Peopled by a group of friends and factory workers in America's poverty-stricken Reading, Pennsylvania, Sweat examines the struggles of the working class and the moral price of staying afloat in a world skewered against those most in need. Three best friends drink their troubles away in a bar after a gruelling day on their feet. But their place in the world is becoming ever more precarious, with an upcoming promotion sowing seeds of resentment between them, and their jobs threatened by new workers willing to work at the factory for a lower wage. All the while, the suited bosses with their clean hands and air-conditioned offices, are never to be seen. Race, identity and class intersect in this scorching eye-opener of a play.

Lynn Nottage is an American playwright whose work examines those on the fringe of society. Her previous plays include Intimate Apparel, Ruined and By the Way, Meet Vera Stark. In writing Sweat, she spent time with the people of Reading, one of the poorest cities in the U.S. The piece won her the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Drama as well as the 2017 Obie Award for Playwrighting for its Public Theater run. In addition, it received several Tony and Drama Desk Award nominations.

Martha Plimpton reprises her role as hard-bitten factory worker Tracey. The rest of the Donmar cast also transfer: Patrick Gibson, Leanne Best, Osy Ikhile, Wil Johnson, Stuart McQuarrie, Clare Perkins, Sule Rimi, and Sebastian Viveros.

Design is by Frankie Bradshaw, lighting by Oliver Fenwick, sound and composition by George Dennis, movement by Polly Bennett, fight direction by Kate Waters and video by Gino Ricardo Green.

The play’s transfer is produced by Mark Rubinstein, Gavin Kalin, Joseph Baker, James Quaife and Micah Frank.

Catch this important, galvanising gut-punch of a play from 7 June until 20th July 2019 at the Gielgud Theatre.

Sorry this show closed 20 July 2019, we recommend these similar productions.

Fawlty Towers
A View From the Bridge
The Mousetrap
Performance dates:
20 Jul 2019 - 20 Jul 2019
Running time:
2 hours and 25 minutes including an interval.
Age recommendation:
Recommended 14+
Audience Notes:
Those who loved Nottage's previous works, like Intimate Apparel and Ruined, will find this perhaps the playwright's most powerful work yet. Martha Plimpton's highly acclaimed turn as Tracey also deserves to be seen again and again. If you caught the Donmar Warehouse run, you may like to see how the production transforms on the Gielgud stage, playing to a much larger house.

Sweat Reviews

91 Reviews
  • 5 Stars48%
  • 4 Stars32%
  • 3 Stars14%
  • 2 Stars4%
  • 1 Stars1%

User Reviews


Absolutely loved this play! I had been told a few times that it’s very slow but I thought it flowed so well and was really slick and punchy. Wonderful cast, great set, so well structured and some really hard hitting content.

Performance date: 04 July 2019

Sweat was very interesting, there were a few points where I didn’t understand what was happening but I managed to work through. I thought the set was very well done, but it didn’t work well with the storyline. All of the actors were amazing.

Performance date: 28 June 2019

An interesting look at the personal and wider political changes taking place in early 21st century rust-belt America. Some good performances and a plot which is fast paced and doesn't sag. Not perfect, but still highly recommended.

Performance date: 13 June 2019
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