Katie Erich stars in Jack Thorne’s The Solid Life of Sugar Water directed by JMK Award Winner Indiana Lown-Collins.
Writer Jack Thorne (Channel 4’s Skins and This Is England) thrillingly amplifies disabled voices in this witty, impassioned and intimate play. Following its 2015 premiere at Edinburgh Festival Fringe as a Graeae Theatre Company and Theatre Royal Plymouth co-production, The Solid Life of Sugar Water went on a UK tour and transferred to the National Theatre for a critically acclaimed run in 2016.
The Solid Life of Sugar Water opens at The Orange Tree Theatre on 19 October, with previews from 15 October, and runs until 12 November. It will be available via OT On Screen between 15–18 November.
You’re starring in The Solid Life of Sugar Water at The Orange Tree Theatre, what can you tell us about this production?
The Solid Life of Sugar Water is a beautiful play about love and loss. The play follows two disabled people as they try to rebuild each other while battling grief and trauma.
What was it about Jack Thorne’s script that really appealed to you?
Jack Thorne is an incredible writer, and I feel like every actor’s dream is to work on one of his scripts. Jack has a way of taking a very real experience and making you both laugh and cry about it at the same time; he creates scripts that are so raw and filled with emotion that it can make you feel uncomfortable but because the characters are so real, you also relate to them so closely. The writing of this script is stunning and it is such a treat as an actor to be able to pick it apart and work on it.
What are you enjoying most about working with co-star Adam Fenton in this two-hander that amplifies disabled voices?
Adam Fenton is an incredible disabled and neurodivergent actor and writer, and is genuinely a delight to work with. Adam and I have been like passing ships for a long time so to finally get to work alongside them is great and watching them perform is a genuine privilege. Adam and I both have very similar experiences living as disabled people, and also very different experiences, so being able to discuss them and find ways of incorporating them into our performances and into the show has been great.
You’re also working with this year’s JMK Award Winner Indiana Lown-Collins, what have you learnt from that experience?
Indiana is such a worthy winner of this year’s JMK Award; her vision for this show is stunning and she is such a wonderful person to work with. Indiana has created a really open and accessible rehearsal room which has allowed us all the space and time we need to do our best creative work. Working with a director who is forming their craft alongside you feels really equitable and freeing and is lovely to be able to build each other up within this industry
You’re playing Alice, what excites you about the character and what are you finding most challenging?
Alice is a very emotionally driven character, being able to work through her grief throughout the show is definitely challenging. However, as an actor, it is also really exciting to be able to tell her story. I feel like I relate to Alice in a lot of ways in terms of how I deal with emotions and my life as a Deaf woman so it’s nice to be able to play a character that I share these similarities with. I think my biggest challenge will be trying not to cry throughout the whole play.
What would you say to anyone thinking of booking to see The Solid Life of Sugar Water?
Bring tissues and please check the content warnings beforehand. The show is highly emotional and often quite uncomfortable, but it is also filled with such joy and love, and it is a story that is often so taboo and needs to be shared as it effects so many people.