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Graeae Theatre Company

Graeae presents

The Solid Life of Sugar Water – National Tour 2016

By Jack Thorne A Graeae Theatre Company & Theatre Royal Plymouth Co-Production National Tour spring 2016


WINNER: Euan’s Guide Accessible Fringe Award 2015

5-stars (The Observer, UK Theatre Web)
(The Scotsman, The Herald, The Times, The Sunday Times, The Daily Telegraph,
The Guardian, Financial Times, The Stage, FEST, The List, ThreeWeeks, Broadway Baby,
British Theatre Guide,Time Out, The Week) 


The Solid Life of Sugar Water trailer (audio described & captioned) from Graeae on Vimeo.

All performances include audio description and creative captioning. 

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

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.

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 will open in the West End in 2016.

All performances include audio description and creative captioning. Winner of the Accessible Theatre Award 2015.

A Graeae Theatre Company and Theatre Royal Plymouth co-production. 

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

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Production Credits

Cast: Phil – Arthur Hughes Alice – Genevieve Barr Creative team: Director – Amit Sharma Designer – Lily Arnold Lighting Designer – Ian Scott Sound Designer/Composer – Lewis Gibson Movement Director – Cathy Waller

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Performance Schedule

Wednesday 20 – Saturday 30 January
Theatre Royal Plymouth

Tuesday 2 – Saturday 6 February
Birmingham Repertory Theatre

Tuesday 9 – Saturday 13 February
Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester

Tuesday 16 & Wednesday 17 February
The Dukes, Lancaster

Thursday 18 – Saturday 20 February
Hull Truck Theatre

Monday 22 February
Cambridge Junction

Friday 26 February – Saturday 19 March
National Theatre, London

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Reviews / Feedback

WINNER: Euan’s Guide Accessible Fringe Award 2015 5-stars “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 candour.” The Observer read more… 5-stars “This is the type of frank, shocking theatre that will follow you home; sitting on your shoulder and in the back of your mind for days.” Frowning read more… 5-stars “Beautifully acted, stunningly designed and a show that really makes you think.” UK Theatre Web read more… 4-stars “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.” The Scotsman read more… 4-stars “Startlingly good…unflinching but generous. Grisly but lovely.” The Times read more… 4-stars “Forceful, thrilling, stunning…consistently sensitive and thoughtful performances.” The Daily Telegraph read more… 4-stars “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.” The Guardian read more… 4-stars “What the piece achieves is an unflinching frankness on the subject of intimacy…Amit Sharma’s tenderly directed production.” The Sunday Times read more… 4-stars “One of the most talked about plays at the fringe…the writing is visceral and precise.” Financial Times read more… 4-stars “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.” The Stage read more… 4-stars “Genuinely moving and presents a good showcase for two talented actors under the direction of Amit Sharma.” British Theatre Guide read more… 4-stars “Jack Thorne’s heartbreaking new play…[Genevieve] Barr and [Arthur] Hughes play it beautifully.” Time Out read more… 4-stars “Funny, poignant, arresting…a complex emotional watch…heart-warming and heart-wrenching.” FEST read more… 4-stars “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.” Broadway Baby read more… 4-stars “Foremost a touching and believable love story…with strong performances from [Genevieve] Barr and [Arthur] Hughes, this redemptive, moving story is brought to life.” The List read more… 4-stars “Excellent, sensitive performances in a “stunning” new play.” The Week read more… 4-stars “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.” The Herald read more4-stars “A deeply affecting production…a profoundly moving play.” Three Weeks read more… Highly Recommended Show “A strong production which isn’t always easy to watch but it is more than worthwhile. It is a highly recommended addition to your Edinburgh Fringe experience.” Fringe Review read more… “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.” Richard Wilson, 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.” Mat Fraser, Graeae Patron

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Official trailer. Includes captioning & audio description.

The Solid Life of Sugar Water - National Tour spring 2016 from Graeae on Vimeo.

In conversation with Jack Thorne. Includes captioning & audio description.

In conversation with Jack Thorne, writer of The Solid Life of Sugar Water from Graeae on Vimeo.

In conversation with cast members Genevieve Barr & Arthur Hughes. Includes captioning & audio description.

Genevieve Barr & Arthur Hughes from The Solid Life of Sugar Water in conversation from Graeae on Vimeo.

The Solid Life of Sugar Water – National Tour 2016 - Audio flyer - Sugar Water national tour 2016

Download Audio flyer - Sugar Water national tour 2016 as an MP3

The Solid Life of Sugar Water – National Tour 2016 - Audio introduction to show

Download Audio introduction to show as an MP3

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