Lynn Nottage’s Intimate Apparel is a multi-award-winning play about the empowerment of a black seamstress in New York City in 1905.
Esther sews exquisite lingerie for clients who range from wealthy white patrons to prostitutes. She has saved enough to allow her to dream of one day opening a beauty salon for black women, and at thirty-five years old, longs for a husband and a future. When she begins to receive beautiful letters from a lonesome Caribbean man who is working on the Panama Canal, it looks like life may be about to take a different course.
Intimate Apparel was first produced by South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa, California, and Centerstage in Baltimore, Maryland, in 2003, winning the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play and the American Theatre Critics/Steinberg New Play Award. It received its UK premiere at the Theatre Royal Bath in 2014 before transferring to Park Theatre, London, the same year.
‘Marvellous… quietly subversive, its recovery of lost lives makes this a defining piece of American drama’
‘Finely wrought… [a] play tinged with love, warmth and lightness’
‘Tender, illuminating… this warm, rich, complex tale will stay in the memory for a long time to come’
— The Times
‘An exceptionally gifted playwright’
— New York Times
‘A thing of beauty’
— Los Angeles Times
New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play