Thursday, January 16, 2020
A Taste of Honey @ Trafalgar Studios...
Written by Shelagh Delaney when she was just nineteen, A Taste of Honey is one of the great defining and taboo-breaking plays of the 1950s.
And Bijan Sheibani's production was a delight - coarse, fun and funny.
When her mother Helen (Jodie Prenger) runs off with a coarse, vulgar flashy car salesman, feisty teenager Jo (Gemma Dobson) takes up with a black sailor who promises to marry her, before he heads for the seas, leaving her pregnant and alone. Gay art student Geoff moves in and assumes the role of surrogate parent until, misguidedly, he sends for Helen and their unconventional setup unravels.
A Taste of Honey offers an explosive celebration of the vulnerabilities and strengths of the female spirit in a deprived and restless world. Bursting with energy and daring, this exhilarating and angry depiction of harsh, working-class life in post-war Salford is shot through with love and humour, and infused with jazz - courtesy of an excellent on-stage jazz trio.
Dobson's Jo is a marvel. Prenger's Helen is a joy.
"We don’t ask for life, we have it thrust upon us."