The Sugar Syndrome

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The Sugar Syndrome is a play written by British writer Lucy Prebble. It has won several awards and as of 2009 has been sold in seven languages.


The play has four main characters: Dani, Tim, Lewis and Jan. At the beginning, Dani (short for Danielle), a girl of seventeen, has just come home after spending some time in a clinic for eating disorders. Her mother, Jan, is trying to cope with the problems of looking after Dani after separating from her husband. Dani starts talking to people in an internet chat room and gets to know Tim, a man in his thirties. Dani pretends to be an eleven-year-old boy, which Tim believes. Tim is a man in his thirties who has a taste for young boys and has spent some time in prison. He and Dani agree to meet in a park and subsequently become friends.

Dani also meets a lonely young man called Lewis in the chat room. Lewis eventually becomes jealous of the friendship between Dani and Tim and threatens to expose Tim as a pedophile. Tim, anticipating a visit from the police, lends his laptop to Dani for safekeeping. Dani then finds a video on the laptop which appears to depict the rape of a young boy. The play climactically ends with the harrowing sound of the boy being raped...[1][2]

First production[edit]

The play was first produced at the Royal Court Theatre Upstairs, London, from 16 October to 15 November 2003.[1]

Director: Marianne Elliott, associate director at the Royal Court Theatre


Extracts from reviews of the Royal Court premiere[edit]

"Ms Prebble weaves her plot with originality and an excellent ear for dialogue. … This is an outstanding first play … ."[1]

"Prebble's play is excellently wrought, and courageous in its engagement with taboo."[2]

"Some of the motivations are a little awry and Lucy Prebble tries to put too many complications into her first play. Despite this, she writes well, with great humour and compassion and creates interesting characters about whom it is easy to care."[3]

"The Sugar Syndrome [is a] remarkably assured, funny and perceptive debut play by twenty-two year-old Lucy Prebble."[4]



  1. ^ a b c Lizzie Loveridge. The Sugar Syndrome, review of performance experienced in London on 20 October 2003, Curtain Up. Performance of 10 October 2003. Web, n.d. Retrieved on 5 January 2009.
  2. ^ a b Elizabeth Shenton. "The Sugar Syndrome: The Royal Court, 16 October - 15 November 2003". TLS 100. News International. Web, n.d. Retrieved on 5 January 2009. (Archived at Times Online.)
  3. ^ Philip Fisher. Review of The Sugar Syndrome. British Theatre Guide, 2003. Web. Retrieved on 5 January 2009.
  4. ^ Paul Taylor. "The Sugar Syndrome, Theatre Upstairs, Royal Court, London (Rated 4/5): Girls Will Be Boys in a Mixed-Up World." The Independent, 30 October 2003. Web. Retrieved on 5 January 2009.

External links[edit]