Arts & Entertainment

The Sugar House

Bringing brutal social change back to the forefront of discussion, The Sugar House sees its world premiere at the Belvoir this month. Written by Alana Valentine, the play follows Narelle, a high achiever from a working-class background who is repeatedly drawn back to her home suburb of Pyrmont.

“It’s a really beautiful family dynasty story that goes from 1967 to 2007. The play tracks this family and the development of Pyrmont from being a working-class area to a bougie, middle-class suburb,” says Sheridan Harbridge, who plays Narelle.

“Audiences get to understand how both the suburb and the family have been displaced. It’s beautiful and funny and real – there’s a lot of nostalgia in it.”

Harbridge is joined by Kris McQuade and Sacha Horler in representing three generations of women in the same family, who must struggle with upward class movement against the context of dissolving family roots. Narelle in particular faces internal turmoil as she attempts to reconcile her past with her future.

“They’re a family who tear each other apart but that’s how they show that they love each other. The play moves through time in three parts and with each, something has changed so that Narelle has changed and as a result, she doesn’t know who she is without her family’s influence,” says Harbridge.

“I love her loss and friction and anxiety of not knowing who she is as she tries to escape the desperation to not have the shame of the poor.”

May 5-Jun 3. Belvoir – Upstairs Theatre, 18 & 25 Belvoir St, Surry Hills. $37-$77+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.belvoir.com.au

By Emily Shen

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