Tuesday, May 28

The Solid Life of Sugar Water – Orange Tree Theatre

The solid life of sugar water opens at the Orange Tree Theatre to critical acclaim.  The venue is a cosy setting for the play that brings the intimacy of a young couple to stage. They meet greet, to moving in and falling in love. It’s a masterpiece on how theatre can dwell with poignancy on often untold stories and transport us to witness human beings with their rawest emotions.

The audience enters the dark theatre that has ‘the bed’ centre stage lighted below. Around the room the screens display the dialogues as uttered by the actors on stage. Indiana Lown-Collins commitment to make access cool with the brilliant collaboration of designer Ica Niemez shines through. Actors Katie Erich and Adam Fenton arrive with authenticity, as they bring Alice and Phil to life with their sign, twitches and greasy hair. 

Photo: Ellie Kurttz

The play is funny, poignant, sad and moving. It juxtaposes pleasure and pain, humour and nostalgia, man and woman, creation and letting go. Its masterful toying with our imaginations and emotions. The solid life of sugar might not be an easy watch, but I am grateful for theatre that touches on those humane nerves that make us feel, cry tears for the grief of our protagonists, giggle at the comedy of errors, squirm with disgust at the smells, feel viscerally repulsed by a doctor pronouncing diagnosis without care.

We are invited to the intimacy of the bedroom. A space so sacrosanct, now publicly hearing the innermost thoughts of this couple how they unwind, pleasure one another and be. Following the narrative of a couple falling in love and grieving the loss of their unborn child. Sheets are arranged, pillows are pulled apart and then stuffed. We are drawn into this microcosm of a relationship; we witness them crawling out of grief and hold steady to silently grieve for them too.

Playing until 12th November, https://orangetreetheatre.co.uk/whats-on

Reviewer: Anisha Pucadyil

Reviewed: 19th October 2022

North West End UK Rating: ★★★★★