The Sugar Syndrome (Orange Tree)

 I like the internet. I like that way of talking to people. It’s honest. It’s a place where people are free to say anything they like. And most of what they say is about sex. 

Dani is 17. She’s looking to meet someone honest and direct. What she finds is a man twice her age who thinks she’s an 11-year-old boy.

The first major revival of Lucy Prebble’s debut play: a devastatingly and disturbingly funny exploration of an unlikely friendship, our desire to connect, and the limits of empathy. Her work includes A Very Expensive Poison, The Effect and ENRON on stage and the BAFTA and Emmy Award-winning Succession on screen.

Oscar Toeman, runner up, JMK award 2019, directs. 

The Morning Star:

'While the play itself is electrifying, the acting from the outstanding cast of four generates its own static charge, creating an atmosphere that occasionally makes the hair stand on end.

 

Jessica Rhodes makes a sensational professional debut as Dani, a reckless 17-year-old with an eating disorder who makes contact via an internet chatroom with two men.'

Time Out, Andrzej Lukowski:

'Perhaps the main thing, though, is that Oscar Toeman’s solid revival has a very, very fine professional debut from Rhodes. She plays Dani with all the preternatural articulacy and beyond-her-years sass of the high-school drama heroines the character is clearly informed by. But Rhodes gives her an almost unbearable awkwardness, a sense that however smart Dani might be, she doesn’t really understand the world, doesn’t feel comfortable in her own skin, wringing her hands nervily after she’s expertly delivered a zinger because her confidence is the thinnest of veneers. It’s a properly impressive turn – a few more like this and her star will rise higher than that of this worthwhile but minor play.'

Evening Standard. 'Newcomer Jessica Rhodes is magnetic in Lucy Prebble's prescient play':

'Rhodes plays 17-year-old Dani, at odds with her mum (Alexandra Gilbreath), her absent dad and the world in general. Looking online for a purpose to replace her eating disorder she finds immature 22-year-old Lewis (Ali Barouti) who desires her, and thirty-something Tim (nicely reticent John Hollingworth) who likes being with her, though he’s sexually attracted to young boys. 

The production picks up impetus in the second half, largely thanks to Rhodes’s firecracker performance. She captures a potent mix of teenage swagger and vulnerability, and her physical expressiveness dominates the stage. How fitting that the debut work of a writer, who would go on to pen ENRON and A Very Expensive Poison, should showcase another fresh talent.'

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Jessica Rhodes
Ali Barouti
Alexandra Gilbreath
John Hollingworth
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