DOI: 10.5040/9781784601324.00000003
Acts: 4. Scenes: 14. Roles: Male (3) , Female (2) , Neutral (0)

Tom Wells’ second full-length play to be professionally produced is about a family in crisis. The Kitchen Sink was a commercial and critical success on its premiere, praised for its inventive turn of phrase, which the Guardian likened to Alan Bennett in its five star review, and its accurate portrayal of family life.

Things aren’t going to plan for one family in Withernsea, Yorkshire. Pieces are falling off Martin’s milk float as quickly as he’s losing customers and something’s up with Kath’s kitchen sink. Billy is pinning his hopes of a place at art college in London on a revealing portrait of Dolly Parton, whilst his sister Sophie’s dreams of becoming a ju-jitsu teacher might be disappearing down the plughole. Amid the dreaming, the dramas and the dirty dishes, something has to give.

Wells’ comic touch, glimpsed in his earlier monologue pieces and short play, Me, As A Penguin, is given full rein here. The play depicts how small changes in our lives can nonetheless have a big impact in a similar manner to the ‘kitchen sink dramas’ of the 1950s, which were labelled as revolutionary by the theatrical establishment at the time.

The Kitchen Sink premiered at the Bush Theatre in London in 2011 and won Wells the Most Promising Playwright at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards and the George Devine Award.

From The Kitchen Sink


Nick Hern Books

Tom Wells

ISBN: 9781848422223

Series: NHB Modern Plays

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