Pearl Cleage’s 1995 play Blues for an Alabama Sky creates a world, the world of dreamers in the fading Harlem renaissance, the Depression starting to bite. It’s domestic: Frankie Bradshaw’s fabulous set has two fire escapes, a hallway, steps, rooms high and low, balcony (where we glimpse other neighbours, sometimes with quiet harmonies sung). Outside the street is barred with lamplight.
‘Some may find it ponderous while others will be fascinated’: BLUES FOR AN ALABAMA SKY – National Theatre
Looking across cultural representations of women in the past 100 years it is possible to draw connections between characters such as Hester Collier in Terence Rattigan’s The Deep Blue Sea, Patrick Hamilton’s Jenny from Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky, even up to Kyo Choi’s Kim Han-See in The Apology, all of whom are in pursuit of a fantasy life that will never be fulfilled. Pearl Cleage’s Blues for an Alabama Sky, opening at the National Theatre, adds another unknowingly tragic heroine to that list, singer Angel who will grasp at an opportunity to get out of Harlem in 1930.
‘An absolute marvel’: SWEAT – West End
I really can’t recommend Sweat highly enough. It’s not just a great play, and a great production, it’s an actually important one.
‘Not only makes you perspire, but also cry’: SWEAT – West End
Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer-Prize-winning drama Sweat vigorously massages the wounded heart of rustbelt America.
‘Complex, urgent & moving’: SWEAT – Donmar Warehouse ★★★★★
If you want to understand why working-class Americans voted for Donald Trump or even why people in Sunderland voted for Brexit then look no further than Lynn Nottage’s complex, urgent and moving play new play, Sweat.
‘A beautiful piece of writing’: SWEAT – Donmar Warehouse
Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play Sweat comes to London for the first time, examining the personal and local consequences of a firm’s strategic decision to change the way it operates and revealing the void it leaves behind.
‘Will keep you thinking long after you’ve left the theatre’: SWEAT – Donmar Warehouse ★★★★★
Seven years ago playwright Lynn Nottage started spending time in Reading, Pennsylvania, one of the poorest towns in America and wrote Sweat based on her experiences there.
NEWS: Martha Plimpton will star in the UK premiere of Lynn Nottage’s play Sweat at the Donmar Warehouse
The Donmar Warehouse has announced full casting for Lynette Linton’s production of Sweat by Lynn Nottage (7 December 2018 to 26 January 2019, press night is 19 December). The line-up includes Martha Plimpton, Leanne Best, Patrick Gibson, Osy Ikhile, Wil Johnson, Stuart McQuarrie, Clare Perkins, Sule Rimi and Sebastian Viveros.
TORN – Royal Court Theatre
Experimental family drama is very powerful, but its theatrical form is too complicated for its own good.