'Freshers Plays are a chance to see the best of Cambridge's new crop of theatrical talent'Facebook/The Kitchen Sink

Just like a cup of Yorkshire Tea, The Kitchen Sink is warm, comforting, and true to its roots. This show fills the Corpus Playroom with exactly the kind of heart-warming, intimate drama and life-affirming, playful comedy that this cosy venue needs. The audience is placed right in the middle of the bustling home of a working-class Yorkshire family trying to make ends meet, balancing the big dreams of their children with the harsh realities of life. Anna Morgan’s directing handles Tom Wells’ endearing play with gentleness and love, creating a wonderful window into the intricacies of family dynamics, tough love, and problematic plumbing.

“One of the assets of this play is that there is no main character”

Freshers’ Plays are a wonderful chance to see the best of Cambridge’s new crop of theatrical talent, and this play is no exception. Morgan gives each of the actors a chance to shine, and they deliver in spades. The cast’s Yorkshire accents are very convincing, keeping the audience grounded in the setting and allowing for some very humorous pronunciations of “cous cous”. Kath (Katie Heggs) and her son Billy (Liam Macmillan) have a particularly well-played dynamic, featuring raucous kitchen singalongs and moving moments of family love. Sam Pearce plays the prototypical working father, Martin, preoccupied with tradition but not too stubborn to admit when he’s wrong. Josh Seal triumphs as Pete, bringing outstanding physical acting skills with the emotional depth to go along with them.

A fully functional kitchen sink sits in the middle of the stageFacebook/The Kitchen Sink

Pete’s relationship with Sophie (Alessandra Rey), despite her staunch refusal to define it, is delicately and thoughtfully developed, with some beautifully natural moments between them. Rey also delivers on emotional depth, going from “feisty” rage to hopeless despair to callous sarcasm.The dialogue occasionally suffers from pacing and delivery issues, dragging in some places, but this doesn’t take away from the marvellous execution of the emotional hearts of each scene. One of the assets of this play, especially in Morgan’s skilful direction, is that there is no “main character”: each of the actors have space to shine individually and brilliantly. The play’s characters seem like a lot of moving parts, but unlike Martin’s less-than-functional milk float, they work together very well.

“The set rightfully places the kitchen sink as the centre of attention”

The set and production design of this show elevate it to a whole new level. Even the threat of opening night teething troubles didn’t daunt the production team: every scene change was executed flawlessly. The play finds beauty in its simplicity, which Georgina Holmes and Matthew Wadey capture excellently in their production design. The set, although lacking in cohesion in some pieces, is charming and evocative. It rightfully places the (fully functional!) kitchen sink as the centre of attention, creating hilarious and devastating moments in equal measure. Although Martin is sometimes dressed a bit young to realistically play an ageing milkman, the other costumes are fantastic. Billy’s brightly coloured pants are as fun and vibrant as his character, and Sophie’s array of white jackets – her jiu-jitsu gi, her milk-delivery uniform, and her own puffer and hoodie – evocatively track her character development. The simple but effective lighting design of Sophia He Xinjing and Nicholas Ho pulls it all together, creating the warm feeling of a family kitchen. The audience feels privileged to be (cosy) flies on the wall.


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The perfect play for the Corpus Playroom, Morgan’s directing brings this Yorkshire family firmly into the Cantabrigian present. In the wonderfully natural arguments and warm hugs, the audience feels right at home. The masterful acting ensures that a student audience doesn’t just connect to Billy’s troubles leaving home for art school and Sophie’s uncertainty about her career path, but to Kath and Martin’s bleak attempts to secure a financial future for their children. This show is spectacularly acted, tastefully designed, and charmingly directed. From black belts to rolling joints, pink plumbing vans to the healing power of Dolly Parton, this play has everything – everything including the kitchen sink.