Frankenstein: The talk of the town
The Fox In A Forest Dark and Deep (and the Ben Whishaw connection)

A Taste of Honey at @GreenwichTheatr

Taste of honey

The theatre press gets very excited by the likes of Laura Wade and Anya Reiss who have both had plays performed in recent years while still being teenagers. But such talent isn't anything new.

Shelagh Delaney was 18-years old when she wrote A Taste of Honey. It premiered at Stratford East in 1959 transferring to the Wyndhams in the West End in the same year. It opened on Broadway in 1960 and within two years it had been made into an award winning film. 

It is certainly an extremely accomplished piece of writing. Set in Salford in a grotty bedsit it is the story of teenage Jo who lives with her flighty, alcoholic mother. Jo meet a black boy who is about to return to the navy for a six months stint of national service. He leaves Jo with an engagement ring and a much longed for escape route but then she discovers she is pregnant.

Her mother runs off and gets married, again, leaving her to prepare for motherhood with only her gay art student friend Geoffrey to help her.

As the title suggests it is a sad tale of a moment of happiness, a moment of daring to dream of a better life. But it is also interwoven with themes of racism and homophobia and there is much in it that is as relevant today.

This Sell A Door production at the Greenwich Theatre does do justice to the text. It's not the best acting you are going see on a stage in London at the moment but the cast - list not available - present a compelling and engaging piece and you have to applaud them for that. 

There was a slightly jarring casting decision in that the mismatch in ages between Helen and her new husband failed to convince me of their relationship. Helen is a woman who hasn't got a lot going for her other than the fact that she likes a drink and puts it about a bit so there has to be something in her looks that would make her wife fodder - a trophy wife I suppose.

A Taste of Honey is definitely a play I'd like to see again and you can catch it until Saturday for £12 or less.

It gets three stars from me.