Sweat  
Sweat

by Lynn Nottage

Directed by Ian Hoare

Evenings at 7.30 :
Wednesday 26th - Saturday 29th February and Tuesday 3rd - Saturday 7th March
Matinées at 3.00 : Saturdays 29th February and 7th March

At the Tower Theatre, Stoke Newington


Dr Theresa Saxon
Dr. Theresa Saxon

Dr. Nicole King
Dr. Nicole King

Q and A session on 28th February
 

We are delighted to announce that there will be a free Question and Answer session after the performance on Friday 28 February, exclusively for those attending that evening. The special guests will be Dr Theresa Saxon, a founder member of the Institute for Black Atlantic Research at the University of Central Lancashire and Dr. Nicole King, who lectures at Goldsmiths, University of London, in American Literature and Culture.

Dr. Saxon's research focuses on transatlantic theatre history. Her book, American Theatre: History, Context, Form, was published by Edinburgh University Press and she has published several articles on African American theatre history, including, Replaying and Rediscovering The Octoroon, (Theatre Journal, Volume 69, Number 2, June 2017, pp. 127-152), and In Dahomey in England: A (Negative) Transatlantic Performance Heritage, (Atlantic Studies, Volume 13, Issue 2, February 2016, pp. 265-28). Research for her forthcoming book on Transatlantic Theatre has been funded by the Eccles Centre for North American Studies at the British Library. Dr Saxon is also working on several projects around the reception of African American performers and playwrights in Britain.

Dr. King is a lecturer in the Department of English and Comparative Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London. She is the author of C.L.R. James and Creolization: Circles of Influence (2001) and is currently writing a book on childhood in African American fiction for Edinburgh University Press. She has published essays on modern African American identities and literature, detective fiction, Caribbean literature, Black British fiction and teaching literature in higher education. In 2019 she appeared on the BBC Two series, Novels That Shaped Our World and also served as the historical consultant for the acclaimed West End production of Death of a Salesman.



Book your tickets early to avoid disappointment!


The Tower Theatre Company is very lucky to have the chance to produce this brilliant contemporary drama, which was described by The Observer's reviewer as "the year's most powerful play". It won the Evening Standard award for "Play of the Year" in 2019 following a highly successful West End run after transferring from the Donmar on the back of 5-star reviews. Its African-American author, Lynn Nottage, is one of the finest playwrights working in English today : Sweat earned her a second Pulitzer Prize in 2017.

The play is set in 2000 and 2008 in the Rust Belt town of Reading, Pennsylvania, and it deals with the impact of economic and political turmoil on the lives of a diverse group of steel workers. Lay-offs and picket lines tear apart friendships and family ties as the devastating global financial crisis takes shape.

Sweat will have a special resonance in the year that Donald Trump seeks re-election, and there are strong echoes of the aftermath of de-industrialisation in the UK in recent decades. The intensity of the relationships and the razor-sharp dialogue are particularly well-suited to the Tower's intimate space.

Photography by David Sprecher


Cast List

Evan : Peta Barker
Jason : Nick Edwards
Chris : Isaiah Bobb-Semple
Stan : Matthew Vickers
Oscar : Carlos Fain-Binda
Tracey : Julie Arrowsmith
Cynthia : Landé Belo
Jessie : Katie Smith
Brucie : Richard Bobb-Semple
Newsreaders : Anthony Davis, Nancy Pinthieve

 

Production Team

Director : Ian Hoare
Costume Design : Kathleen Morrison
Lighting Design : Rob Irvine
Sound Design : Laurence Tuerk

Stage Managers : Jacqui Dickson and Roanne Insley
Assistant Directors : Landé Belo and Mark Joyce
ASMs : Peggy Pollard, Patrice North
Lighting Operator : Matthew Ibbotson
Fight director : Richard Kirby
Music Consultant : Sarah Assaf
Dialect and accent coach : Nancy Pinthieve
PR and Marketing : Simi Belo
Publicity co-ordinator : Matthew Cranfield



Peta Barker's acting credits include Ariel and Caliban (The Tempest), Iago (Othello), Mrs Yajnavalkya (Valmouth), The Voice of Audrey II - the Plant (The Little Shop of Horrors), Mbongeni (Woza Albert!), Scullery (Road), Ash (Dealer's Choice), Jack Mullen (The Weir), John (Shining City), Derek (Brighton Beach Scumbags) and Hoke (Driving Miss Daisy). Directing credits include Blue Remembered Hills, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Burn This, Lysistrata, Brimstone and Treacle, The Lieutenant of Inishmore and Arcadia. He has adapted and directed Russell Hoban's novel Kleinzeit, and was part of the Tower Team in the RSC's A Midsummer Night's Dream, playing Snug the Joiner.
 
This is Nick Edwards' seventh show with the Tower following roles in Under the Blue Sky, The Vortex, The Deep Blue Sea, Time and the Conways, Mother's Day and Clybourne Park. He has acted and directed on the London stage with various theatre groups, most notably KDC and SEDOS. When not acting Nick teaches maths in a comprehensive in Wembley and is also a theatre assessor for offwestend.com.
Isaiah Bobb-Semple is proud and excited to be taking on the dynamic character of Chris in his second Tower Theatre production after having featured in the company's take on Fix Up in summer 2019. He recently finished a tour of a theatre production Shadow Games, and before that appeared in a production of The Countdown at the Millfield Theatre. Most recently, Isaiah has also been gaining screen experience through short films and continues to work on perfecting his craft, having trained at The Unseen Acting School as well as at City Academy.
 
Matthew Vickers has been involved with the Tower Theatre since Popcorn in 2003. More recently he has appeared in Coyote on a Fence, Foxfinder, Clybourne Park, An Enemy of the People, Frankenstein, Arcadia and Table. He is looking forward to playing Stan in Sweat, a most poignant play.
Carlos Fain-Binda played Slender in the Tower's production of The Merry Wives of Windsor, Kiligrew the pirate in Putney Theatre's production of Treasure Island, and was an extra in several short films, TV series and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. He had stage-managed and acted before joining the Tower a year ago. Carlos trained at the Poor School and Central School of Speech and Drama, and enjoys going to the cinema in his spare time.
 
A Tower member since 2003, Julie Arrowsmith's favourite roles include playing seven different characters in Two, Lady Macbeth and Mrs. Thatcher. Other Tower plays : Speaking in Tongues, Calendar Girls, Playboy of the Western World, Men of the World, Garden, Look Back in Anger, Jane Eyre, The Comedy of Errors and Hindle Wakes. By day, she is a speech and language therapist specialising in voice disorders.
Landé Belo has been involved in various Tower productions since joining in 2016. Her acting credits include : Francine/Lena in Clybourne Park; multiple characters in Doctor Faustus; Prudence in The House of Bernarda Alba; Pope Joan/Louise in Top Girls; and Jellaby in Arcadia. Her directing credits include: Assistant Director of To Kill A Mocking Bird, Director of Fix Up and in June 2020, she'll be directing Mules by Winsome Pinnock. She is thrilled to be working on Sweat, working with such a talented cast and crew and one of the greatest contemporary playwrights.
 
For the Tower, Katie Smithhas appeared in An Enemy of the People, Sherlock Holmes, Clybourne Park, Chalet Lines, Largo Desolato and The Doctor's Dilemma. She was the Assistant Director for Frankenstein and for Antigone in 2018. Her acting experience outside the Tower includes roles in A Taste Of Honey, Shakers, Pericles, Macbeth and Fen among others, in fringe venues across London, Essex, and Edinburgh. Katie trained at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.
Having trained with the ELYT and Black Theatre Co-operative workshops in the early eighties performing at many well known fringe theatre venues, Richard Bobb-Semple took an extended break that lasted over 30 years! Re-discovering his passion for the arts, he returned to the stage in 2018 where he featured in The Countdown, a play dealing with the knife crime epidemic. This acted as the catalyst to begin again his desire to have a career in the creative arts industry. Since then he has taken part in some short films and commercials. In 2019 he took on the lead role in the revival of Fix Up at the Tower. He has more recently completed shooting on the feature film Pastor's Wife and also completed a 3 week run of the Dutchman at the Tristan Bates Theatre in Covent Garden.
 
Since joining the Tower in 2002, Ian Hoare has been involved in more than thirty productions, mainly as an actor. Ian has also directed three Tower shows since 2016 - Hindle Wakes, An Enemy of the People and Antigone - and also was an Assistant Director on The Canterbury Tales in summer 2019.