SHERBET is a powerful new play which continues to haunt long after the curtain has been lowered.

Written by Sarah McDonald Hughes and Curtis Cole, the script was chosen from hundreds of submissions from across the globe for the National Octagon Prize to celebrate emerging new talent.

As well as writing the play, the two perform the roles of Jade and Nathan — and whose lives the audience follows over nearly two decades, from childhood to adulthood.

It opens with the two playing childhood games, with Jade the older child taking the lead much to the upset of Nathan, depicting a typical sibling relationship irrespective of class or background.

But the strikingly bleak and simple set creates a sense of unease serving as a stark reminder that their childhood innocence will be short-lived as circumstances around them shape and change their lives with devastating consequences, and the audience experiencing a rollercoaster of emotions as the play unfolds.

Expertly acted and directed, Sherbet is a play of our times, a term often used in reviews, but so desperately true in this case.

Less than 20 minutes away from all of us there will be a Jade or a Nathan who are forced to grow up and deal with issues — no child should ever deal with, while people – like the audience – look on.

Curtis portrayal of Nathan is a powerful and moving piece of theatre as he moves from a young boy to a troubled adult, haunted by his childhood.

Sarah gives an emotional insight into the lives of young people forced to deal circumstances beyond their control and the damage it inflicts on them.

The play explores the strong bond between siblings through humour and sadness — and ends on a note of hope and optimism.

Director Elizabeth Newman, Curtis and Sarah have brought to the stage a powerful piece of theatre which I’m sure was as emotional to put together as it was to watch.

Sherbet runs until March 10 2018 at the Octagon Theatre Studio