top of page

Gritty Sweat at the Royal Exchange

Poster for Sweat at Manchester's Royal Exchange

Heading the cast for the Royal Exchange's state-of-the-nation play Sweat (April 26-May 25), Carla Henry is back on very familiar territory.

In fact she's been a regular at the theatre for the last 20 years, most recently in Betty! A Sort of Musical, but also having appeared in Light Falls, Our Town, Birth, Miss Julie, Weeding Cane, On The Shore of the Wide World and Habitat. Co-lead Pooky Quesnel also returns, after appearing here as Lady Capulet in 2006's Romeo and Juliet.

In American playwright Lynn Nottage's gritty social drama they are best friends Tracey and Cynthia, who after 20 years on the factory floor together have a friendship ingrained with the sweat of shared manual labour. Together, in a small Pennsylvanian town, they have celebrated birthdays, supported each other, and laughed until they cried. But as fat-cat factory owners look for cheaper options, where unions are no trouble and employees will work for less, they are about to have the rug pulled from under everything they know.

Sweat won Nottage the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for drama. Though the play is set in America, she researched it in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, during the 1984 miner’s strike, taking inspiration from the struggles of the workers and even speaking at the strike herself.

Director Jade Lewis said "I feel really honoured and excited to bring Sweat to Manchester. It gives a voice to the people, highlighting lives, dreams and experiences of the ordinary person with great nuance and complexity."

More info and tickets here


bottom of page