How to smash glass on stage

Date posted: 28 Nov 2017Author: STC Production: Three Sisters

In our latest production of Three Sisters, youngest sister Irina reaches a point of such frustration that her only recourse is to smash something. An innocent glass vase filled with flowers always does the trick.

Miranda Daughtry, as Irina in Three Sisters, smashes a glass vase (Photos: Brett Boardman)


What if a piece flew into the audience? What if a barefoot actor in a moment of passion stumbled onto a shard?

The answer is simple: sugar glass! Whenever we break a champagne flute, a vase, a mirror, or a small glass menagerie on stage, we’re not breaking actual glass, we’re breaking a carefully concocted sugary treat disguised as glass.



Recipes vary, but it’s essentially sugar and glucose syrup that are cooked together to reach 150° and then allowed to cool. Imagine crystal-clear toffee that has been poured into the shape of a bottle or glass or vase.

It’s cheap to make, so we can break a vase eight times a week. It shatters easily into blunt pieces, so it’s safe for people around it. And if an actor gets weary on stage, they can always lick the glassware for a quick sugar hit. Everyone’s a winner with sugar glass.



Three Sisters, 6 Nov – 16 Dec 2017, Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House

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