top of page

Sun Bear | Park Theatre (Park 90)

Sun Bear, written and performed by Sarah Richardson is a raw, vulnerable, and heart-wrenching play about Katy as she struggles with an unhealed emotional wound that affects her daily life. Following the events of a single bad day for Katy in the office, Richardson explores how the smallest ripple can cause a tidal wave.

Katy is an embodiment of intrusive thoughts and unrestrained actions, with her harsh and cold behaviour to her colleagues, particularly Sharon and Pennie. Richardson is aware of the brashness of Katy and the lack of sympathy from the audience, but admirably refuses to tone down the intensity of the character, which is a rare and wonderful choice for a character on stage, particularly a female character. With a resounding rude shock at the start of the play, Richardson wastes no time in plunging into the heart of the play, and constantly has the audience in awe of the uncensored thought process of Katy.

Richardson is a talented performer, maintaining Katy’s strong personality without compromising the intricacy of the untapped issues. With hints of this coming across throughout the play, it’s the final monologue that truly showcases the intelligence of the show’s writing. Richardson becomes Katy, carefully tapping into the anxious and self-loathing internal moments in between larger moments of unprovoked rage.

The staging is minimal, with a table and chair and a box of stuffed toys, yet it feels perfect for the story. It’s Katy’s perspective that we are entangled and interested in, and Richardson’s words holds the audience so tightly, anything more would have been distracting. There are a few anecdotes and moments that use these props in equally amusing and disturbing ways.

The writing is so grounded in truth and honest experiences, that it’s almost a painful watch. Richardson has a knack for writing about emotions that audiences would be able to recognise and relate to, even if they had not necessarily been in that situation. Richardson captures and examines the heavy emotional burden that comes with trauma, allowing it the space to grow and exist, and it is an incredibly powerful play, that pulls at you.

Sun Bear is an unflinching look at toxic relationships, its after effects and ultimately empowerment by allowing the anger to exist. In brief moments of unlikely friendship and human connection, the play takes the audience through a hurricane to the peaceful eye of it, and the audience are able to revel in its brilliance. It is currently playing at the Park Theatre until the 13th of April. For more information and tickets, you can follow the link here.


AD | gifted tickets in return for an honest review | photography by Jacob Cox


bottom of page