Sugar begins with Mae (Mabel Thomas, also writer) telling us that she is an innovator, and is also about to commit vehicular manslaughter. She explains that she will now tell us the story of how she got to this point. 

The audience are then taken on the journey of Mae’s life from 6 years old up until 18 and a half years old. At 6 years old we’re told about a game called ‘Dibbit’, how desperate Mae is to win and how disgusted she is when a boy cheats at the game. We soon learn there is a pattern in Mae’s life, she does everything in her power to win and works smarter not harder. From making wood chip engravings and selling them on the playground at a young age. To her signing up to ‘Seeking Arrangements’ at the ages of 18 and becoming a Sugar Baby.

On her first date she makes $600 and is addicted, seeking out her next arrangement immediately. This is when the story takes a darker turn. Before, the show felt light, with humour sprinkled throughout. But now things get tense, as Mae meets a Sugar Daddy who takes advantage and exploits her.

Thomas is a captivating storyteller, her performance is filled with emotion and her rage at times is palpable. The script has some brilliant one liners which are expertly delivered. I remained fixated upon Thomas for the entire 50 minutes, I did not want to miss a moment.

Watching Mae discover her sexuality was a beautiful storyline to watch and will be relatable for many. Sugar is a survivor’s story and is gut-wrenching at times, and witty at others. The show highlights the exploitation of Sugar Babies and sex workers – something which is barely ever spoken about. If you look between the lines it’s also a show about the patriarchal system, in which men believe that they can pay for and control women. 

Sugar is a simply stunning play. It has all the makings of a thriller combined with comedic and tender moments too. Thomas is enthralling, and this performance will leave you with much to ponder on. 

Rating: 5 out of 5.

{🎟 AD – PR invite – Tickets were gifted in exchange for an honest review}

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