Lynn Nottage’s play Sweat is set to transfer to the West End from the Donmar Warehouse later this year for a limited run at the Gielgud Theatre.
The Pulitzer Prize-winning play is based on interviews Nottage conducted in 2011 with residents in the town of Reading, Pennsylvania which was, at the time, one of the poorest cities in America. She wanted to explore the effects of losing heavy industry, and the changing ethnic landscape of the city.
Sweat shows a parole officer, two convicts and three childhood friends who had worked in the same factory, meeting in a bar in the city. It shifts around time as the local community is destabilised by the risk of the city’s industry collapsing, which has very real effects on its residents’ lives.
Following wide critical acclaim, Sweat will transfer to the Gielgud Theatre for 50 performances from 7th June to 20th July.
Sweat premiered in Oregon in 2015 before beginning an Off-Broadway run at the Public Theater in 2016, and transferring to Broadway’s Studio 54 the following year. It won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and received three Tony Award nominations, including best play.
It received its first showing in London at the Donmar Warehouse in late 2018 directed by Lynette Linton, and was a late entry in many critics’ ‘Best Shows of the Year’ lists. The show’s sell-out success saw it extend a further week at the theatre.
In his five-star review, Mark Shenton related the play’s themes to the rise of Donald Trump in America, writing: ‘This play helps to contextualise with astonishing clarity just how his rise happened. And it is both chastening and bruising to watch.’
Access description: One 10cm step up into the foyer, through swing doors. Box Office on the right. There is a sofa in the foyer. Handrails on both sides of staircases. All steps are highlighted. Dress Circle up 3 steps (2 steep steps between rows). Ramp available to give level access to front of Dress Circle. 20 steps down to the Stalls and 30 up to the Upper Circle from an entrance on Shaftesbury Avenue to the right of the main foyer entrance. The upper circle also has two steep steps between each row.
Sound Amplification: Sennheiser infra-red system with 15 headsets + 2 which attach tp haring aides – collect your headsets from the cloakroom: name and address required. The best reception is in the front area of all levels of the auditorium. Induction loop at the Box Office.
Guide Dogs: Guide dogs are permitted inside the auditorium. Alternatively, staff are happy to dog-sit for 2 guide dogs per performance.
Disabled Access: Entrance to the auditorium is through the third side EXIT door on Rupert Street. Ask a member of staff to open this for you. One 12cm step up to the front of the Dress Circle. Venue suitable for scooters. B5 + B30 are wheelchair spaces. Companions to be seated in B6 + B29. Seats on the end of row B also act as transfer seats.
Toilets: 16 steps up to the women's and men's from the foyer. There are toilets situated on all levels of the auditorium.
Disabled Toilets: Adapted toilet in foyer near the bar