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Kitchen-sink drama

 

Disciplines > Storytelling > Plots > Classic story types > Kitchen-sink drama

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

The kitchen-sink drama is placed in an ordinary domestic setting and typically tells a relatively mundane family story.

Family tensions often come to the fore with realistic conflict between husband and wife, parent and child, between siblings and with the wider community.

The family may also pull together in unity against outer forces that range from the rent-collector to rival families.
 

Example

Look Back in Anger
A Taste of Honey
The Glass Menagerie

Discussion

Kitchen sink dramas can be rather dismal and unrelentingly negative, so what is their value? Perhaps they may resonate with us as they remind us of our own humdrum lives. Perhaps they will wake us up and prod us to get out of the rut and see a wider world. Maybe they will make us grateful that we do not have to live in such social squalor.

Kitchen sink dramas may also framed as 'serious art', intending to impress rather than entertain. They may capture social setting for posterity and gain admiration in later days by students of history. They may even be a cathartic act by their authors, expunging the traumas of a deprived childhood.

This is a genre in which the British seem to specialize. Americans prefer their soaps and dramas to be a bit less dismal. There was in particularly a group of 'angry young men' in the 1960s UK playwright scene who specialised in such plays.

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