A Taste of Honey just completed its season on the Lyttelton stage at the National Theatre. It was the first play by the late British dramatist Shelagh Delaney, written when she was eighteen.
Acclaimed as her ‘Kitchen singk’ masterpiece, it became one of the great defining and taboo breaking plays of the 1950s. Set in a grimy Salford housing estate, it focuses on a teenager who is abandoned by her fly by night mother, impregnated by a black sailor and looked after by a gay art student.
“Lesley Sharp and Kate O’Flynn brilliantly bring out the abrasive music hall double act quality in the funny, painful slanging matches between Helen the tarty, irresponsible mother, who lives hand to mouth off fancy men, and Jo, the oddball daughter who is both older and younger than her years because of this maternal neglect,” wrote critic Paul Taylor.