Sugar

After a year away, Mabel Thomas brings her acclaimed show Sugar back to the Fringe, this time in person. The room is sold out and it creates an intimate setting for the story to be told. This smaller setting really works, as the online environment last year was a uniquely individual experience. In my view, it won’t be long until Sugar, and other Mabel Thomas stories, will be told in front of much larger crowds.

This is an electrifying in-person debut from Mabel Thomas

The story remains the same as last year – a coming of age story for Thomas’ character Mae from the ages of six through to eighteen. Mae begins the story losing her favourite playground game to class mate Grant – a boy! This is something that not only shocks six-year-old Mae, but will shape her experiences going forward. From the ages of six to ten, it’s clear that Mae just wants to be grown up and will try and do anything to be seen that way. Thomas does an incredible job of entering the mindset of a child, reminding us all of the mind games present in a six-year-old, something that brought a smile to my face when the memories were unlocked from my own life when I watched the performance.

When the character reaches the age of sixteen and she starts to discover her sexuality (namely with her friend Susan) Thomas’ acting chops really began to shine. Navigating the queer world is difficult, especially for a young queer person, and a scene involving a gay bar and an Australian accent had the audience in stitches. Thomas is fantastic at switching emotions in an instant. This is something that was clear to see in the final act of the play.

The final fifteen minutes or so are very difficult to watch. This is mostly due to Thomas’ ability to engage the audience and take us with her on this crazy ride. Her likeability and her talent at making the audience care for her character mean that when something horrendous is happening to the her on stage, we can only sit back and watch and wish we could help. There are a few funny moments in the final section of Sugar, but there’s no laughter because we’re too emotionally involved in the story for anything to be funny. There are nervous laughs from Mae in trying to justify everything to herself and as an audience, like with the online version of the show, we simply become helpless onlookers.

This is an electrifying in-person debut from Mabel Thomas. As I said in my review last year of Sugar, this could, and should, be put on television. It has all the makings of a six-part series. I believe Mabel Thomas will be a star. If Sugar is anything to go by, it’s not a question of ‘if’, but ‘when’.

Visit Show Website

Reviews by James Macfarlane

Monkey Barrel Comedy

Tom Ward: Anthem

★★★★
PBH's Free Fringe @ Banshee Labyrinth

Sam Nicoresti: Cancel Anti Wokeflake Snow Culture

★★★
Just The Tonic at the Caves

Chelsea Birkby: No More Mr Nice Chelsea

★★★
theSpace @ Surgeons Hall

Sugar

★★★★
Gilded Balloon Teviot

Sam Morrison: Sugar Daddy

★★★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Tiff Stevenson: Sexy Brain

★★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

One girl. Five ages. Many morally ambiguous choices. 2021's online smash hit returns to Fringe reworked and for the first time, live! What critics called 'Witty, well observed and at times devastating; a must see!', Sugar follows Mae as she grows up an ambitious young woman in a world ready to see her fail. Sugar is a rollercoaster of laughs and poignancy, a piece that will leave the audience thinking. Everyone needs a serving size of Sugar to sweeten their Fringe.

Most Popular See More

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £15.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Grease the Musical

From £20.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Dear Evan Hansen

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets