Theatre: Gielgud Theatre
Playwright: Lynn Nottage
Director: Lynette Linton
Review by Joy Francis
After a successful run, and much acclaim at Donmar Warehouse, Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play Sweat, directed by the talented Lynette Linton, has transferred to the West End for 50 performances.
Any fears that the move from the more intimate setting of Donmar to the 956-seater Gielgud Theatre are unwarranted as the play’s visceral feel isn’t lost, helped by the fact that the original cast has been retained.
Aside from a few tweaks, Sweat feels much the same – a sharp, intense, well-acted and character-driven slice of uncomfortable life facing working class Reading, Pennsylvania residents in 2000. Factory workers buckle under the creeping weight of deindustrialisation, and racial tension, signalling the end of a way of life that has sustained their families for generations.
Garnering a standing ovation, the transfer looks like it will be a successful one.