KITCHEN SINK DRAMA
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KITCHEN SINK DRAMA ARNOLD WESKER
John Randall Bratby
British painter and writer. Bratby was a versatile artist: he painted portraits, still lifes, figure compositions, landscapes, and flower pieces, and also designed film sets. He is probably best known for the scenes of drab domestic life he painted in the 1950s, when he was a member of the Kitchen Sink School. Later his work became lighter and more exuberant. His talent for self-promotion helped to make him one of the best-known British artists of his generation. Among his publications are the novel Breakdown (1960) and a book on Stanley Spencer (1970).
His paintings reflected everyday domestic surroundings. Bratby believed that his paintings were rooted in general fifties attitudes and outlooks, being “introvert, grim, khaki in colour, often opposed to prettiness, and dedicated to portraying a stark, raw, ugly reality'.
KITCHEN SINK DRAMA The term “Kitchen sink drama” is used to describe a new kind of drama that was introduced into British stage with Osborne’s Look Back in Anger (1956). This kind of drama used the working class setting with the working class characters. It was usually set in a bed-sit or flat and focus on domestic issues.
Kitchen Sink dramatists tried to draw a picture of the working class life. Arnold Wesker expressed his dissatisfaction with the society, taking a social point of view. This earned him being called ‘Angry Young Men.’ Just like John Osborne, Wesker took a realistic approach in his plays. Wesker used emphatic endings, realistically detailed setting, and realistic dialogues and rounded characters.
Unlike the avant garde theatre and the theatre of absurd of Samuel Beckett, it had a social message and ideological stance , which was largely leftist. Kitchen Sink Drama depicted the everyday lives of ordinary people who struggle against the degredation of powerlessness, the loss of community or the deadening influence of the suburbia. John Osborne, Arnold Wesker, Shelagh Delaney, John Arden were a part of this movement but never referred to themselves as ‘Kitchen Sink Dramatists.’
Arnold Wesker himself said: “Kitchen Sink Drama is a lazy description of a group that didn’t exist.I certainly was not a conscious party to a countermovement to the drawingroom theatre. We were all so diverse”
ARNOLD WESKER Much of his works take their origin from his life. He has a working class background. He was born in Stepney, London, on 24 May 1932. He is the son of Jewish emigré parents. His father was a tailor and from Ukraine and his mother Hungarian. Before he became a playwright, he worked as carpenter,plumber, bookshop assistant and a cook.
Wesker founded the Roundhouse’s first theatre, called Centre 42 in 1964.
His early works, The Kitchen and Roots were staged by the Royal Court Theatre.