World premiere of new play - Sherbet

World premiere of new play - Sherbet

Winner at Writer’s Guild Awards 2018, Sarah McDonald Hughes, opens new play, Sherbet, co-written with Curtis Cole at the Octagon.

Out of hundreds of submissions from across the globe submitted for the National Octagon Prize - Sherbet by Sarah McDonald Hughes and Curtis Cole is one of the winning duologues that will be performed for the first time in the Octagon Studio during the theatre’s 50th anniversary season.

Set in Moss Side, Manchester from 1997 to 2015, Sherbet follows the story of a brother and sister. Jade and Nathan are just kids, fighting against the odds to stay together forever. All they want is a normal life but growing up in a world with no rules, it’s hard to tell right from wrong. Sherbet is a new play about childhood, responsibility and control.

As well as writing the winning play, Sarah and Curtis will also be performing in the roles of brother and sister Jade and Nathan.

Sarah McDonald Hughes is an actor and writer from Manchester. Sarah’s new play How to be a Kid, winner of the Best Play for Young Audiences at the prestigious Writer’s Guild Award will tour nationally with Paines Plough’s Roundabout and her play Blackout opened at the Dukes, Lancaster in Autumn 2017. Sarah also wrote and performed in the Monkeywood production Multi Story, which was performed during the Octagon’s REVEAL season in 2016 on top of the NCP car park, and was nominated for a Manchester Theatre Award.

Commenting on the play Sarah McDonald Hughes says: “We were both surprised and delighted when the Octagon picked Sherbet for the National Octagon Prize and can’t wait to share Jade and Nathan’s story with audiences in Bolton.  The play has been a long time in the thinking and writing and it’s so exciting to be finally working towards a performance!”

Curtis Cole is an actor and writer based in Manchester. Theatre acting credits include: What’s in the Cat (Royal Court), Skid 180 (Sydney Opera House), Angel House (National tour), Twelfth Night (Nottingham Playhouse). Theatre Writing credits include: Night Train (Action Transport), Face Front (Contact Theatre), Stage Fright (Royal Exchange) and he also worked on the Monkeywood production Multi Story.

Curtis Cole says: “For me Sherbet is the exploration of childhood and when that stops, at what point are we responsible for our own destiny? At what point can we stop looking at the past as the reason we are who we are? But more than that, it is the exploration of unheard voices. I am thrilled that Sherbet will premiere at the Octagon and am looking forward to working with Sarah, Elizabeth and the rest of the creative team to bring this important story to life.”

The National Octagon Prize, set up by Artistic Director Elizabeth Newman in 2015, celebrates new writing for the stage. Elizabeth Newman comments: “It is vital for theatres to support new writing, so we can present fresh, new and important stories to our audiences and Sherbet is a great example of this. We were, overwhelmed by the quantity and quality of the submissions for the prize, and Sarah and Curtis’s play stood out as a powerful and emotional story about childhood, families and relationships. I am so excited to be directing Sherbet and can’t wait to see it being brought to life in the Octagon in our 50th anniversary season.”

Sherbet will be playing at the Octagon’s Studio from Fri 2 March to Sat 10 March 2018, tickets only £12 - book now

Writers and performers - Sarah McDonald Hughes and Curtis Cole
Writers and performers - Sarah McDonald Hughes and Curtis Cole