London Theatre Review: Shelagh Delaney's A Taste of Honey at Trafalgar
| By Morag Forbes
It would be a mistake to describe A Taste of Honey as anything other than artistic. The Trafalgar Studios production is not about plot, theatrics, or dramatic twists, and that's what makes it brilliant.
A Taste of Honey West End review
The West End is full of flashing light musicals (which don’t get me wrong I adore) but this is something different. It's a comment on society, gender, race, class, and inequality told through the lens of one family: specifically a mother and daughter. Hardly anything happens, but that's real life.
The life of the everyday person isn’t dramatic, it's in our mannerisms, our conversations, our arguments, our homes, our clothes and our foods. I was drawn into this tiny tale and it was significant because it was small. It was a reminder that in our own way, we each have our own stories and those stories come together to form a society.
This is perhaps unsurprising if one considers the author of the play, Shelagh Delaney, regarded as Britain’s first female working-class playwright. She grew up in 1950s Salford and left school at the age of fifteen. She isn’t just telling a story, she's describing the world that she knew. A world that isn’t fair or a fairytale. It’s hard, and it's even harder if you aren’t a straight white man.
In this unequal world, Delaney tells a story of a single mother, her daughter (soon to be pregnant with a mixed-race baby whose father has left), and her gay best friend. It's so forward-thinking. These are not minority characters, they are the centre of the story given a voice in a world that offers them little and that is powerful.
The acting in A Taste of Honey is exceptional and very believable. You felt like you were in the house with the actors. The band was spread across the stage adding background music to the speech, which was really effective. Often, musicians are hidden away and don’t get the attention they deserve, so I was pleased to see them front and centre.
This is a play that is as relevant now as when it was written. But someone please tell me, what happens to Geoffrey?
Special Offer: Save up to £39 on tickets to A Taste of Honey!
The new revival production of A Taste of Honey is now showing until 29 February 2020 at the West End's Trafalgar Studios. Hurry and book discounted tickets for A Taste of Honey today and save up to £39 off the sticker price for certain price bands. Book by 1 February 2020 and get £78 tickets for just £39 (save with 50% off) and £47 tickets now for £20 (save with 57% off), which is valid on all performances until the show's closing. The production is also booking with no booking fees, valid on all performances until 29 February 2020.