This is a coming-of-age story- with a twist. We begin with Mae at her 6th birthday playing a playground game. She loses because a boy kisses her. Later, Mae discovers how her femininity can be used to her advantage, which at 8 years old, is getting a day off school and chicken strips at the mall.
But the overarching story question that this show asks is: how does one become a sugar baby? For those who don’t know, sugar babies are young and attractive women (and occasionally men) who receive sponsorship for older, rich men in exchange for dates.
‘Sugar’ is divided and performed by Mabel Thomas, who is only 22 years old. The play shows her confident in her voice and skill of making her ideas come alive on the stage. She’s an immediately likeable performer and manages to create the various ages of her character without over performing.
Thomas’ character Mae is witty and funny but more importantly, she feels like she could be your friend or someone you know. Without spoiling too much, Mae learns more about her identity, then decides to become a sugar baby for money. The story is told with the slowly creeping sense of fear at what is approaching because of what we all know about stories of violent men using young women. The final 20 minutes is unsettling and human: we know what’s coming, but there’s nothing we can do to help.
The play toys with ideas of how patriarchy makes women sell themselves to succeed, but doesn’t take this theme too heavily, keeping the audience engaged. It’s intelligently written and thoughtfully made, handling sensitive subject matter with grace and care.
For tickets and more information, visit edfringe.com