The Solid Life of Sugar Water

By Jack Thorne
A Graeae Theatre Company & Theatre Royal Plymouth co-production
National Tour Spring 2016.
  • The Observer
  • The Guardian The Sunday Times The Stage British Theatre Guide Time Out
  • WINNER: Euan's Guide Accessible Fringe Award 2015
  • Read the reviews

  • WINNER: Euan's Guide Accessible Fringe Award 2015
  • The Observer "Sweet and funny moments abound in Jack Thorne’s script. They are beautifully fielded by Genevieve Barr (Alice) and Arthur Hughes (Phil) who present every stage of the couple’s relationship with warmth and disarming candor." Read more...
  • The Scotsman "What makes this such an exciting, inspiring piece, however – aside from Thorne’s crackling words, fired back and forth between the characters as though they’re thinking in unison – is just how much it isn’t about disability…It’s nothing less than love, death and the troubled permanence of a deeply-bonded relationship." Read more...
  • The Times "Startlingly good…unflinching but generous. Grisly but lovely." Read more...
  • The Daily Telegraph "Forceful, thrilling, stunning…consistently sensitive and thoughtful performances." Read more...
  • The Guardian "Jack Thorne’s multi-layered two-hander for Graeae – about a couple grieving for their stillborn child – has no happy ever after, but is rewarding to watch…Amit Sharma’s spot-on production." Read more...
  • The Sunday Times "What the piece achieves is an unflinching frankness on the subject of intimacy…Amit Sharma’s tenderly directed production." Read more...
  • Financial Times "One of the most talked about plays at the fringe…the writing is visceral and precise." Read more...
  • The Stage "It’s the writing that hits you squarely in the gut – it has a real sense of precision and meter, the tone sometimes funny, sometimes filthy, sometimes hopeful, sometimes utterly devastating…Amit Sharma’s production is not always an easy watch, it’s often upsetting and wrenching, but it’s funny too and done with sensitivity and intelligence." Read more...
  • British Theatre Guide "Genuinely moving and presents a good showcase for two talented actors under the direction of Amit Sharma." Read more...
  • Time Out "Jack Thorne’s heartbreaking new play … [Genevieve] Barr and [Arthur] Hughes play it beautifully." Read more...
  • Broadway Baby "A bold statement of both the quality of the company’s [Graeae's] work and their emphasis on ensuring that it’s accessible to as wide an audience as possible." Read more...
  • The Week "Excellent, sensitive performances in a “stunning” new play."
  • The Herald "Genevieve Barr and Arthur Hughes wring every last gasp of emotion from Thorne’s script in Amit Sharma’s beautifully unsentimental production. Just as Alice and Phil’s relationship seems to have fallen apart beyond repair, something is salvaged in this unflinchingly honest look at everyday tragedies and the healing that’s required beyond them." Read more...
  • Richard Wilson (Graeae Patron) "I spent four days at the Edinburgh Festival seeing mainly the big guns from the official festival, but the show that stood out for me was Graeae’s The Solid Life of Sugar Water…great script, acting and directing…I urge you to catch it."
  • Mat Fraser (Graeae Patron) "It’s no surprise to me that the press have gone crazy for Graeae’s new production, Jack Thorne’s ‘The Solid Life of Sugar Water.’ I saw it just before Edinburgh and knew that this incredible, intense, brilliant production would show how assured writing, directing and acting can combine to make an onslaught of drama that holds people enthralled, and utterly wrapped up in the dramas unfolding in the lives of the characters."

Phil and Alice are in love. Phil and Alice are healing wounds. Phil and Alice are desperate to communicate.

Candid, uninhibited and visceral, this new play from the award winning Jack Thorne is an intimate, tender portrait of loss, hurt and recovery.

It’s not like riding a bike.
It’s far more complicated.

The Solid Life of Sugar Water received unanimous acclaim from critics and audiences alike at the 2015 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, with The Times calling it ‘startlingly good’. Jack Thorne’s previous credits include Let the Right One In and Hope for the stage, as well as television dramas Glue, Skins, Shameless and This is England. His new play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child opened in the West End in 2016.

All performances include audio description and creative captioning.

Contains scenes of an adult and sexual nature. Suitable for ages 16+.

Image gallery

  • The Solid Life of Sugar Water, 2015/16
  • The Solid Life of Sugar Water, 2015/16
  • The Solid Life of Sugar Water, 2015/16
  • The Solid Life of Sugar Water, 2015/16
  • The Solid Life of Sugar Water, 2015/16
  • The Solid Life of Sugar Water, 2015/16

Image gallery

  • Phil
    Arthur Hughes
  • Alice
    Genevieve Barr
  • Director — Amit Sharma
  • Designer — Lily Arnold
  • Lighting Designer — Ian Scott
  • Sound Designer / Composer — Lewis Gibson
  • Movement Director — Cathy Waller
Performance schedule
  • Saturday 16 December 2017 Graeae Theatre, Bradbury Studios
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