Paperback, 120 pages ISBN: 9781848428188Publication Date:
13 Dec 2018
Size: 198mm x 129mm£10.99 £8.79You save £2.20 (20%)
First Staged:
Oregon Shakespeare Festival, 2015


By Lynn Nottage

Paperback £10.99£8.79

  • Best Play, Evening Standard Theatre Awards - 2019
  • Pulitzer Prize for Drama - 2017
  • Susan Smith Blackburn Prize - 2016

In one of the poorest cities in America – Reading, Pennsylvania – a group of factory workers struggle to keep their present lives in balance, ignorant of the financial devastation looming in their near future.

Based on the playwright's extensive interviews with residents of Reading, Lynn Nottage's play Sweat is a tale of friends pitted against each other by big business, and a topical reflection of the present and poignant decline of the American Dream.

The play premiered in Oregon in 2015, before being produced at the Public Theater, New York, in 2016, and the following year on Broadway, where it won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It received its UK premiere at the Donmar Warehouse, London, in 2018, directed by Lynette Linton, and went on to win Best Play at the 2019 Evening Standard Theatre Awards.

Set Text >> Sweat is a set text in Edexcel's English Literature AS and A Level.

Blog Post: 'We all live within shouting distance of someone in crisis'. Lynn Nottage on her play Sweat, in an article on our blog.

Extra Content: 'We are a country that has lost our narrative. We can't project our future because we don't know where we are going.' Lynn Nottage on writing Sweat - interview in The Guardian, 2 December 2018.

Press Quotes

'Lynn Nottage's devastating account of American industrial decline is a masterpiece... empathy radiates from every word; Nottage's own sweat has paid off in what is emphatically one of the great American plays'

Time Out

'Profound, terrifying, earthy and witty... exquisitely empathetic... outstanding'

Evening Standard

'Magnificent… does what drama at its very best can do — it tells the story of our times through one tight-knit and vividly drawn group of people… it's funny, angry and immensely sad, making a profound plea for those who have been chewed up and spat out by geopolitical forces beyond their control… a humane, heartbreaking and necessary play'

Financial Times

'A play of passion, eloquent about the way life can grind a person down... at times staggeringly sad, this is an American story, but also a global one... a nuanced and moving study of a town in decline'

The Stage

'Nottage is simply brilliant at capturing the authentic voices of workers caught up in a drama they never wanted or expected'

The Times

'Breathtaking... tackles the devastating impact of loss of work and of de-industrialisation on modern America... captures brilliantly the way work, however hard or demanding, gives people an identity and purpose... I can't think of any recent play that tells us so much, and so vividly, about the state of the union'


'Written by a dramatist of ambitious scope and fierce focus, Sweat is a bracingly topical portrait of American dreams deferred. It warrants serious applause'

New York Times

'A moral, passionate, and richly articulated cri de coeur'

Chicago Tribune

'A powerful critique of the American attitude toward class, and how it affects the decisions we make. Sweat has fraternity at its heart, but also the violence, and the suspicion that can result from class aspirations'

New Yorker

'Sweat never feels less than authentic — and crucial... Nottage gives us fully realized characters who, even when acting on their worst fears, are grippingly human'


'A timely drama... goes where few playwrights have dared to go — into the heart of working-class America'


'A passionate and necessary drama, a masterful depiction of the forces that divide and conquer us… Along with the rage, despair, and violence, there's humor and abundant humanity'

Time Out New York
Paperback,120 pages ISBN: 9781848428188Publication Date:
13 Dec 2018
Size: 198mm x 129mm£10.99 £8.79You save £2.20 (20%)

Also by Lynn Nottage:

Intimate Apparel & Fabulation: Two Plays
Mlima's Tale
Crumbs from the Table of Joy
Intimate Apparel
By the Way, Meet Vera Stark
Mlima's Tale

Go to author page...

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