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A Taste of Honey

A Taste of Honey
Your Price: $19.95 CDN
Author: Shelagh Delaney
Publisher: Grove Press
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 96
Pub. Date: 1994
ISBN-10: 0802131859
ISBN-13: 9780802131850
Cast Size: 2 women, 3 men

About the Play:

A Taste of Honey was one of Royal National Theatre of Britain's top 100 plays of the 20th century.

A Taste of Honey is a full-length drama by Shelagh Delaney. A sensitive working-class English teenager becomes pregnant by a black man, seeking refuge from her tyrannical, promiscuous mother with a gay art student she befriends. The author translates these emotionally charged situations into a non-sentimental and realistic play.

A Taste of Honey is a gritty working-class play about pregnant teenage girl and her domineering, flamboyant mother. Now established as a modern classic, this comic and poignant play centres on Jo, a feisty young working-class teenager living with her fun-loving, saloon-frequenting mother Helen in 1950’s Northern Britain. They live together in a disreputable part of town; Helen constantly looking for a way out of the drudgery she finds herself in. When she decides to marry wealthy young Peter, her daughter is left on her own in the flat. At the same time, Jo falls in love with a black sailor, Jimmy. When he returns to sea the now pregnant Jo moves in with gay art student Geoffrey, who assumes the role of surrogate father to her unborn child. However, her domestic routine is brought into doubt when Helen returns. This character-led play is funny and moving and tackles issues such as race, poverty, sexual orientation and class; all revolutionary a time when theatre was being controversially revolutionized by a new wave of young angry writers. It was a hugely important and ground-breaking period in British theatre, and one that would shape the direction of theatre for many years to come.

Shelagh Delaney wrote A Taste of Honey when she was eighteen and it was first performed in 1958 by Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop Company at the Theatre Royal, Stratford, East London. The play has become a favourite scene study vehicle in acting classes and workshops and is regularly performed in regional repertory and college theatre productions.

Cast: 2 women, 3 men

What people say:

"A remarkable play ... [by an] ... original exuberant writer with a wonderful ear for a theatrical line." — New Yorker

"A passionate statement about real people trapped in poverty, deprived of ambition and vulnerable to manipulation." — The Independent

"Delaney...record[s] the wonder of life as she lives it." — The Observer

About the Playwright:

Shelagh Delaney (1938-2011) was an English dramatist and screenwriter. She is most well-known for her debut work, A Taste of Honey, for which she won the Foyle's New Play Award and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award. She wrote the screenplay for the film version with Tony Richardson and was awarded the British Film Academy Award and the Robert Flaherty Award.