Emma Blackman Productions presents

Sugar Coat

by Joel Samuels and Lilly Pollard
29 MAR - 22 APR 2023

Ticket Prices:
£25 | £20 concessions | £16 previews


A feminist gig theatre show about love, loss and lubrication. Based on a true story, Sugar Coat is a hilarious and heartfelt mix of rebellious empowerment and laugh-out-loud teen angst.

Performed by an all female and non-binary band, Sugar Coat follows one woman’s coming-of-age journey, spanning across eight years of sexual highs and lows, with sprinklings of 90s nostalgia and an unashamedly queer and feminist call to arms.  

Winner of the OFFComm 2020 Award, Show of the Week (VAULT Festival 2020) and UNTAPPED (New Diorama Theatre & Underbelly) finalist, the show features original music inspired by Riot Grrrl bands, such as Bikini Kill, Le Tigre, Veruca Salt and Letters to Cleo.

From the Producers of Fringe First winning Bobby & Amy, this powerful gig theatre confronts sex and sexuality in a brutally funny and honest show about trauma and recovery. Written by singer-songwriter Lilly Pollard (BBC Music Introducing) and playwright Joel Samuels (Fever Pitch, Divas, A Wake in Progress), with direction by Celine Lowenthal (Pecs, Soho Theatre; Sex, Sex, Men, Men, Yard Theatre) and co-Musical Direction from Anya Pearson of the renowned band Dream Nails

Contains graphic sexual content, loud music and unapologetically bad-ass feminism.


“Fun and infectious… a rocking coming-of-age story of trauma and healing” ★★★★ The Guardian 

“Compelling [and] powerful… with real heart” ★★★★ The Stage

“An electric night out – it’s sex, drugs, and rock’n’roll, but it’s also so much more… It’s the kind of work that makes me excited about new British theatre” ★★★★★ Broadway World

Expect laughter, tears, and to walk away deeply frustrated that your new favourite band doesn’t even exist – if I can’t be at their real-life gig, an encore performance of this electrifying play is a welcome alternative!” ★★★★★  All That Dazzles

Stunningly performed by a cast of five this joyous celebration of being a woman shocks, enlightens, and is from beginning to end an evening of not quite theatre, not quite gig, but as good as it gets” ★★★★★ Reviews Gate

The enthusiasm, raw emotion and freedom of Heron’s performance is captivating” ★★★★★ The Reviews Hub

A powerful and important piece of pop-punk theatre… will make you laugh, cry and leave the theatre feeling empowered” ★★★★ West End Best Friend

Post Matinee Show Conversation – Tuesday 18 April
Name It, Don’t Shame It – In Conversation with Dr Miriam Grant

You are not broken and you can get help” – Guilty Feminist.

Sugar Coat’s co-writer, Joel Samuels, is joined by Counselling Psychologist Dr Miriam Grant to openly discuss issues raised by the show, such as vaginismus, miscarriage, and sexual trauma and recovery.

Post Show Gig – Friday 21 April

Sugar Coat is widely proud to present SOFT LAD! Join us for a very special post show gig on Friday 21 April.

SOFT LAD (aka Sophie Galpin) is no stranger to the music scene, having been either touring or in the studio for most of her adult life. As a musician, she is a multi-instrumentalist for SELF ESTEEM and SOAK, and previously has worked with the likes of Jessie Ware, Charli XCX, James Vincent McMorrow and The Breeders. Now she has made her way to the front of the stage with her own heartfelt pop songs, releasing her debut EP ‘Maximum Feels’ in 2022.

“Full of relatable lyrics, shimmering melodies and soft vocals, the track is a comforting exhale providing listeners with an optimistic moment of clarity.”
Get In Her Ears

“…she just so eloquently describes heartbreak through the shimmering sonic landscape that the pain transcends onto you and, before too long, you’ll be screaming your ex’s name at the top of your lungs as the track comes to a close.” A1234


Theatre: The Little

Mon – Sat: 8pm

Tue & Sat: 3.30pm

Running Time: 90 minutes (approx).

No interval. Due to Sugar Coat’s script content (see content warnings below), audience members who require a moment are free to exit and rejoin the space as needed.

Contains references to miscarriage and sexual assault, in addition to strong language.

Recommended for ages 15+.

Captioned Performances (Closed Captioning)

Tuesday April 4th 3.30pm
Saturday April 8th 3.30pm
Friday April 14th 8pm
Monday April 17th at 8pm

Captions are delivered to audience members’ own mobile devices via the Difference Engine app which can be downloaded for free here: https://differenceengine.talkingbirds.co.uk/audience/

Tuesday 18 April – post matinee show conversation

Name It, Don’t Shame It – In Conversation with Dr Miriam Grant

You are not broken and you can get help” – Guilty Feminist.

Sugar Coat’s co-writer, Joel Samuels, is joined by Counselling Psychologist Dr Miriam Grant to openly discuss issues raised by the show, such as vaginismus, miscarriage, and sexual trauma and recovery.

Friday 21 April – Post Show Gig (see left for details)

The Company

Rachel Barnes
Eve de leon Allen
Dani Heron
Anya Pearson
Sarah Workman
Celine Lowenthal
Emma Blackman
Lilly Pollard
Joel Samuels
Anya Pearson
Josephine Shipp
Lucy Baker Swinburn
Raffaela Pancucci
Martha Godfrey
Ruth Badila
Misha Mah
Summer Keeling
Olivia Millar-Ross
Millie Whittam
Emma Martin Arts Marketing
Chloe Nelkin Consulting


Production Photos

Production photos by Ali Wright

Book Tickets


Southwark Playhouse has a group booking rate of one free ticket in every 10 booked at the same time, and this discount may be combined with applicable concessions (i.e. student rate) where available. These can be booked by contacting the box office either by phoning us at 020 7407 0234, or filling in the below form.

Tickets may be reserved for two weeks without payment, and we can send an invoice which can be settled via a card payment, bank transfer, or cheque.

Once an enquiry form has been submitted the box office team will be in touch to confirm and invoice within 1-2 working days. If you have any questions please contact boxoffice@southwarkplayhouse.co.uk.

Submit a Group Booking Enquiry

How to find us

Southwark Playhouse Borough
77-85 Newington Causeway
London SE1 6BD

Closest Tube Station:
Elephant & Castle (Northern Line & Bakerloo Line)
Take the London Southbank University exit.

Click link below for map & directions:

Food & Drink

Opening Hours

Monday 5.30pm to 11pm
Tuesday 1pm to 11pm
Wednesday 5.30pm to 11pm
Thursday 5.30pm to 11pm
Friday 5.30pm to 11pm
Saturday 1pm to 11pm
Sundays 5pm to 11pm if we have a show on.


Our bars serve an assortment of beverages and snacks to suit all tastes from hot and cold soft drinks to beer, wine, cocktails and spirits and a whole lot more.

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We Need Your Support

It’s been a difficult few years and things don’t seem to be letting up anytime soon. 

Southwark Playhouse is a registered charity that delivers a year-round programme of entertaining and enriching work yet receives no regular funding.

Why not consider making a donation to help us keep on keeping on during these tough times!

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