The Steamie
Published in volume Scot-Free
First Staged:
Wildcat, Glasgow, 1987

The Steamie

By Tony Roper
Published in volume Scot-Free

A celebration of women's work in a 1950s Glasgow wash-house on Hogmanay.

It's Hogmanay in a Glasgow wash-house (or 'steamie'), and four women of various ages and personalities are here to do their last laundry of the year. They share memories and jokes, talk about their menfolk, entertain hopes for the future, and sing a few songs.

Sad, nostalgic, and very, very funny, Tony Roper's play The Steamie was premiered in Glasgow in 1987, and has been a great popular success ever since.

Press Quotes

'Sublime... a brilliantly sustained comic groove... a delicious piece of writing'


'A near-perfect snapshot of the lives of four working-class women at the very moment when a new affluence was about to change their lives forever'


'One of Scotland's greatest modern critical and commercial stage hits... a first-rate comedy with ever-fresh songs'

The Stage

'Heart and soul aplenty'

Glasgow Herald

'This remains an immensely important play with obvious resonances today. It is a lament for the death of community. Roper's use of the Scots language is so vivid, his observation of life so astute, that this era of friendship and solidarity is borne again'

'One of Scotland's most loved comedy dramas... this play brings together issues of women's rights with the realities of a simpler life with humour, good nature and tenderness... a must see for people of all ages'

'A beloved piece of theatre, steeped in Scottish culture... retains a startling freshness... relatable and heartrending... a captivating, hilarious, and emotional look into working-class women in Glasgow in the '50s'

The Wee Review
Published in volume Scot-Free
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