kitchen sink



  • In the later 1950s, a term applied (often disparagingly) tothe new wave of plays that dealt realistically with the domestic livesof working or lower middle class characters. The use of humdrum orseedy settings in such plays as Osborne's Look Back inAnger (1956), Shelagh Delaney's A Taste of Honey (1958),and Wesker's Roots (1959), represented a decisivebreak with the elegant drawing-room comedies of (for instance)Noël Coward or Terence Rattigan. Roots actually beginswith a character standing at a kitchen sink.

    The term had previously been applied to the kitchen-sinkschool, a group of British artists, who held several joint exhibitionsin the 1950s. They were known for painting scenes of working-classdomesticity in a drably realistic style (e.g. John Bratby's StillLife with a Chip Frier).