Wednesday 5 April 2017

The Kitchen Sink

With a functioning kitchen, a beautiful set and a cracking cast and crew, The Kitchen Sink is a gentle, reflective, poignant and very funny observation of the challenges of real life. Here are some comments from our audiences.

"Theatre is a lovely thing. I went along to the Sewell Barn tonight with absolutely no expectations.  I didn't know the play, didn't know the playwright, didn't know who was in it or who directed it, and I was treated to a little gem of a play, warm, witty, true to life, and so believably played by the cast. If I say it was small, this in no way derogatory, it was heartwarming and lovely. Well done everyone! Go and see it, you'll love it." David W

"You [Ruth, playing Kath] were amazing!!! I loved the play so much and you were the cornerstone of an amazing cast!!" Wendy A

"That was a very warm and intimate play, full of very sympathetic characters. A very reflective piece, enjoyed it very much." Barnaby M

"Go along and see The Kitchen Sink at the Sewell Barn! It's a well written gem of a play, with some lovely performances from the cast. Funny, poignant and sweet. Well done everyone! xx" Mandy K

"How do people really get what they want? And when what people want, and how they get it, also changes over time, what effect will this have on the companies that provide a particular service. What is the true nature of failure? What history and immediate provocation will cause one person to lash out causing floods of blood, and another person, of water? So many questions!

Yes there is a lot going on in this not dysfunctional family, and it has a real family feel to it because the cast inhabit the characters so well. We believe in the mum, keeping cheerful and trying to keep her husband and children the same, but even she may be pushed too far by some problem plumbing. Her husband, the milkman, supporting his family but not sure how to show his support in other ways. Perhaps he is the one who needs help? The son, daughter and her boy-friend have their plans but they will have to be changed to. Success, or failure, both demand a lot of work.

We expect the 'slightly' older members of the cast to be good and of course they are wonderful, but the 'youngsters' too were captivating, creating characters we could enjoy and emphasize with in their moments of embarrassment, simmering anger and confusion. They bring this family to life so well, giving us something to laugh, and think, about. With a realistic 'Kitchen Sink' set in a 'real' kitchen, and some very special FX, this show must be seen and experienced.

Yes there are many other 'pleasures' to be had on an April evening in Norwich but live theatre is special and should be relished as such. Enjoy." Mark M

"The Kitchen Sink is a demonstration of unique and individual strengths and weaknesses, and comments on how we approach challenges and change. Peter [Wood] has put together a solid cast for this production, who clearly establish the development of their respective characters with great realism. Reuben’s portrayal of the stoic and committed Martin complements Ruth’s range of emotions as the selfless, encouraging and sometimes impulsive Kath. Charlotte conveys the troubled Sophie as a ticking time bomb, as someone itching to articulate herself; whereas Will frustrates us as Billy, who the audience urge to stop overanalysing and follow his dreams. Nathan Mills is to be praised for expertly articulating meaning without words. His actualisation of Pete’s growing strengths through numerous hardships are heart-warming to witness.

The set has been exactingly designed with a clear duality, simultaneously drawing you in while also reminding you of the character’s conflicts of being little fish in a big pond. Complemented by naturalistic lighting, sensitive choice of music and precise incidental sounds, you feel right in the heart of their (almost) fully functioning kitchen.

I encourage you step into the home of this small family from Withernsea, and experience Peter Wood’s humorous, charming and touching portrayal of their hopes and dreams." Jessica H

"A splendid kitchen was presented to us on entry to the Barn theatre last week - yet another example of the high standard of set design enjoyed by patrons of the theatre. Thank you, Myles and team.

The play told the story of a working class family living near Hull, who are "just about managing"! The author, Tom Wells, grew up in the north east and made his debut as a playwright at the West Yorkshire Playhouse. He writes about the people of the country he knows well. He sympathetically articulates the hopes and dreams of the decent down to earth residents with both humour and poignancy.

As the stereotypical Yorkshire man,  Martin (Reuban Mackness) nicely pitched the phlegmatic father who is having a tough time with his milk round, especially with a decrepit milk float. His wife (Ruth Bennett) found both humour and pathos as she tried to motivate her family towards a less pedestrian life. Her efforts to widen and brighten her family’s horizons by introducing them to exotic cookery recipes did not succeed, but brought out our sympathy along with the laughter. The three young people were nicely played. They worked so well as an ensemble both physically and in their repartee. Sophie (Charlotte Ware) - typical of  a disillusioned teenager - delivered some subtly judged dialogue. Her brother (Will Sellgren) was a convincing young man with dreams of going to Art School, who made us feel for his agonies of indecision. Their friend Pete (Nathan Mills) made a realistic transformation from shy awkwardness to a young man who realises his ambition.

The actors really made us identify with this family in their trials and tribulations, and brought us some fine humorous moments. With a great sound track of music linking the scenes, we enjoyed a very entertaining evening. Congratulations  go to Peter Wood for his first production at the Barn, and all the backstage people who gave us such a good evening." June G