Renowned playwright Stephen Poliakoff explores the modern-day phenomenon of ‘panic’ in his dark thriller Sweet Panic, which is being put on by Titchfield Festival Theatre.
Clare is a child psychologist dealing with a varied case load but concerned that Mrs Trevel, the self-confessed mother-from-hell of one of her patients, wants too much of her. Clare’s self-assured confidence and competence rankle with Mrs Trevel and she feels threatened.
When Clare announces that she’s going away for a bank-holiday break and Mrs Trevel insists that Clare be contactable throughout the weekend, alarm bells begin to sound. As Mrs Trevel turns to stalking her, Clare’s world is turned upside down.
Set in London, Sweet Panic introduces us to a range of different characters in addition to Clare and Mrs Trevel, including Gina, tight-lipped and taciturn, designer/formulator/chef of ready meals Mr Boulton, and a former patient of Clare’s, Richard.
Director Martin Crawley says: ‘Although Sweet Panic was written 20 years ago, the themes that Poliakoff wrote about remain current today: coping with life in a busy city, the need for greater internet privacy and concerns about children’s low attention spans – among others. This is a play that everyone can identify with and contrasts how some of us deal with the pressures – and others do not.
‘I am delighted to be working with such a talented and experienced cast who are enjoying rehearsing for the play. It is true to say that all of the characters in Sweet Panic are flawed and during the play the audience will appreciate their various frailties and weaknesses.
‘However, the essence of Sweet Panic is not entirely bleak; there are some unexpected laughs too – conveying a real message of hope.’
Titchfield Festival Theatre