A taste of honey

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Methuen Drama, Aug 13, 2008 - Drama - 96 pages

A Taste of Honey was first staged in 1958 and is now established as a modern classic. This comic and poignant play written by a then nineteen-year-old working-class Lancashire girl was praised at its London premiere by Graham Greene as having "all the freshness of Mr Osborne's Look Back in Anger and a greater maturity."

The play is a coming-of-age story about Jo, a seventeen year old young woman and her irresponsible, alcoholic, crude and sexually indiscriminate mother Helen who often neglects Jo in favor of her own romantic interests. Jo enters into a relationship with a Nigerian sailor who eventually leaves her alone and pregnant. She moves in with an acquaintance art student who is a homosexual and who acts as her surrogate father until her mother returns on the scene upending Jo's plans for the future.

This mid-century play examined questions of race, class, gender and sexual orientation and ushered in a new era of modern dramatists. It was made into a highly acclaimed film in 1962. Shelagh Delaney was born in Salford, Lancashire. She is most well-known for 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. Her other screenplays include The White Bus and Charley Bubbles, for which she won the Writers Guild Award. She has also written for television and radio and has had a collection of short stories published.

A Taste of Honey was first staged in 1958 and is now established as a modern classic. This comic and poignant play written by a then nineteen-year-old working-class Lancashire girl was praised at its London premiere by Graham Greene as having "all the freshness of Mr Osborne's Look Back in Anger and a greater maturity."

The play is a coming-of-age story about Jo, a seventeen year old young woman and her irresponsible, alcoholic, crude and sexually indiscriminate mother Helen who often neglects Jo in favor of her own romantic interests. Jo enters into a relationship with a Nigerian sailor who eventually leaves her alone and pregnant. She moves in with an acquaintance art student who is a homosexual and who acts as her surrogate father until her mother returns on the scene upending Jo's plans for the future.

This mid-century play examined questions of race, class, gender and sexual orientation and ushered in a new era of modern dramatists. It was made into a highly acclaimed film in 1962.

This mid-century play examined questions of race, class, gender and sexual orientation and ushered in a new era of modern dramatists. It was made into a highly acclaimed film in 1962. “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 (London)

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User Review  - mstrust - LibraryThing

A play set in Lancashire, about "semi-whore" Helen and her seventeen year-old daughter Jo. The two have a bitter, combative relationship made worse by Helen's boyfriend and pimp, Peter, who likes to ... Read full review

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User Review  - brokenangelkisses - LibraryThing

I saw this several years ago at the theatre and found it so interesting (weak, I know, but ‘enjoyable’ simply isn’t the right word) that I had to grab a paper copy as soon as I saw it available. Now ... Read full review

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About the author (2008)

Shelagh Delaney was born in Salford, Lancashire. She is most well-known for 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. Her other screenplays include The White Bus and Charley Bubbles, for which she won the Writers Guild Award. She has also written for television and radio and has had a collection of short stories published.

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