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A Taste of Honey Royal Exchange

A Taste of Honey Royal Exchange

At the age of just 19, Salford girl Shelagh Delaney wrote A Taste of Honey, later adapted into the classic 1961 film of the same name. Set in 1950s Salford, her groundbreaking play portrays a teenage schoolgirl who has an affair with a black sailor, gets pregnant and then shares a home with a gay male acquaintance.

Delaney’s writing is sharp, witty, and acutely observant. Her portrayal of the mother/daughter relationship, race, sexual consent, and forbidden sexuality should be from a writer far beyond her years. The script made Delaney a star, and in this 5-star production The Royal Exchange has made a star of fellow Salfordian Rowan Robinson in her professional stage debut. Robinson perfectly captures the character of schoolgirl Jo as she struggles with her mother, first love, and making her own way in life – a truly standout performance. Jill Halfpenny is excellent as Helen, the mother always on the lookout for that ‘taste of honey’ in her life, grabbing opportunities, only to be knocked back. Robinson and Halfpenny are a mesmerising powerhouse, onstage for much of the play, watching them is like being a fly-on-the-wall to a genuine mother and daughter. The cast is completed by equally accomplished actors Obadiah as Jo’s love interest Jimmie, Andrew Sheridan as Helen’s love interest wide-boy Peter, and David Moorst as Jo’s housemate Geoffery.

In her Royal Exchange debut, director Emma Baggott delivers a gripping production that highlights the talents of everyone involved, not least Nishla Smith as the Jazz Singer who provides live vocals to accompany the scenes. I’m still singing Dirty Old Town in my head!

This kitchen-sink drama is a spell-binding production not to be missed.

Royal Exchange Theatre: Mar 15th – Apr 13th, 2024

Tickets 

Garry Thomas-Lowde for Canal St Media

Published: 22-Mar-2024 (7424)

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