Review Roundup: SWEAT at Gielgud Theatre; What Did The Critics Think?
The original Donmar Warehouse cast will be returning to reprise their roles, includingMartha Plimpton, Claire Perkins, Leanne Best, Patrick Gibson, Osy Ikhile, Wil Johnson, Stuart McQuarrie, Sule Rimiand Sebastian Viveros.
Let's see what the critics have to say!
Andrzej Lukowski, Time Out London: 'Sweat' is a thesis on the decline of the working class in the twenty-first century. It's also a great story, with great characters, given a terrifically intimate and warm UK premiere by Lynette Linton - a hugely impressive calling card as she prepares to take over at the Bush Theatre. The cast is fantastic across the board, though it's worth noting that guesting US star Martha Plimpton absolutely earns her plane ticket. Her Tracey is wild, fierce and desperately vulnerable, the order of the factory protecting her from her worst instincts. Perkins as Cynthia - loud and decent, with a devastating 2008 cameo - is the show's beating heart. And Stuart McQuarrie gives a lovely turn as intensely likeable barman Stan, a retired factory guy. Injured by a dodgy machine, he's settled into a sort of Sam-from-'Cheers' role, a lovable American archetype.
Henry Hitchings, Evening Standard: Nottage's writing is highly charged. It can feel too nakedly explicit, with characters who resemble pundits setting out arguments that are like case studies. But Lynette Linton's production is sharply focused, attuned to the play's moments of unnerving humour, the harrowing force of its tense second half and the deep seriousness of its politics.
Anthony Walker-Cook, BroadwayWorld: Director Lynette Linton brings out the very best in this cast. Perkins perfectly captures the self of frustrated confusion Cynthia feels at accepting the promotion, whilst Plimpton balances the rage and sensitivity of a woman who has clearly known (and will continue to know) loss. Representing the younger generation, Osy Ikhile and Patrick Gibson as Chris and Jason respectively represent the future of this community and potentially the country: the former wants to go to school and train as a teacher whilst the latter is willing to fight for the older system. What is clear is that the future rests on a coin toss with one young man or the other making it. But who or what will do the tossing remains uncertain, as is the final result.
West End Wilma: Frankie Bradshaw's production is stunning and the actors heartbreakingly proud as they spiral into poverty. The three leading women in particular, navigate the story with electric chemistry and searingly raw ferocity. However, although the writing is fearsome, there are moments when it feels overwritten; proposing arguments before they happen and generally not allowing enough room for the heart-rendering intimacy that the few silent moments bring. The real meat of the play is at the end where tensions reach fever-pitch and lives are forever changed.