Jack Thorne's The Solid Life of Sugar Water is an intimate, tender play about a couple grieving for their stillborn child. It was first performed at The Drum, Theatre Royal Plymouth, on 8 June 2015 before transferring to the Pleasance Dome, Edinburgh, as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, in a Graeae/Theatre Royal Plymouth co-production.
The play's action is jointly narrated in direct address to the audience by its two characters, Phil (age 31) and Alice (age 29). They recall how they met in the queue at the Post Office, and how Phil's parcel fell apart. Phil thinks Alice is gorgeous and finds her deafness “exotic”. Soon they are a couple and then they are trying for a baby. But when their daughter is stillborn, grief makes their relationship come apart. The play shows, in graphic sexual detail, how, when words fail them, they use their bodies to reconnect.
The premiere production was directed by Amit Sharma and designed by Lily Arnold, with Genevieve Barr as Alice and Arthur Hughes as Phil.