Arts & Entertainment

The Kitchen Sink

Huw Higginson & Hannah Waterman

This play has drama and pathos; witty humour and camp; sensitive insight and mischievous parody; it has everything including the kitchen sink. In fact, a functioning kitchen sink is the centrepiece of the set, “and there may be some action around the sink,” hints Hannah Waterman who plays stalwart mother/wife Kath in this Tom Wells play.

Set in the small, seaside village of Withernsea in Hull, Northern England, the story revolves around an unremarkable family with commonplace problems.

“Its beauty is in its everyday identity and the way we can all identify with these regular people from a regular family,” explains Huw Higginson who plays Kath’s husband, Martin and is the real life husband to Waterman. Martin is a milkman whose business – and sense of worth – are in decline.

Their gay son, Billy (Ben Hall) has got a place in an art college in London – far more daunting than Withernsea – and finds solace in his obsession with Dolly Parton.

Daughter Sophie, played by Contessa Treffone, mars her promising jujitsu career when she does something unexpected during her attempt at a black-belt. She is pursued by unfortunate plumber, Pete (Duncan Ragg) who has been left to care for his drug-dealing grandmother.

The plot may sound a little banal but Higginson describes the play as one of the funniest and most poignant he knows. Treffone credits the writer with “an incredible ability to observe and really extract what is not only human and relatable, but is raw and heartfelt and funny.”

It’s the first time performing at the Ensemble for Treffone, Higginson and Waterman and they consider the intimate space perfect for the insular setting of the play.

Higginson and Waterman have worked together many times and see it mostly as advantageous. Treffone describes working with them – and the entire crew – as joyful:

“We’ve had a lot of fun doing it, we’ve had a lot of fun putting it together.”

And it sounds like audiences will have a lot of fun seeing it.

Oct 14-Nov 18. Ensemble Theatre, 78 McDougall St, Kirribilli. $34-$67. Tickets & Info: www.ensemble.com.au

By Rita Bratovich.

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