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.
Recommended forThose 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.
Age Recommendations: Recommended 14+
Track show to receive price alerts and deals.
Dates and times
Running time: 2 hours 25 mins (including interval)
Opened: 07 Jun 2019
Booking from: 18 Jul 2019
Booking until: 20 Jul 2019
Next available performances
Location and map
35 Shaftesbury Avenue
London, W1D 6AR
65 Reviews Add review
I didn't know what to expect with this production but found it so powerful, engaging and superbly acted. It's a really stunning piece... More
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... More
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... More
Fabulous acting with just right mix of humour and drama. Superb cast.
A funny, relevant and powerful play. Not a weak link in the cast. This really is a masterclass in theatre acting. Well worth... More
Powerful harsh realities & economic struggles of small town community of blue collar workers. Hard hitting drama. Brilliant cast!
An interesting look at the personal and wider political changes taking place in early 21st century rust-belt America. Some good performances... More
Fantastic play, a total must see!