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A Taste of Honey became a sensational theatrical success when first produced in London by Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop company. It was made into a highly acclaimed film in 1961. The play is about the adolescent Jo and her relationships with those about her - her irresponsible, roving mother Helen and her mum's newly acquired drunken husband, the black sailor who leaves her pregnant and Geoffrey the homosexual art student who moves in to help with the baby. It is also about Jo's unshakeable optimism throughout her trials. This story of a mother and daughter relationship set in working class Manchester continues to enthral new generations of readers and audiences. Now established as a modern classic, this comic and poignant play by a then nineteen-year-old working-class Lancashire girl was praised at its London premiere in 1958 by Graham Greene as having all the freshness of Mr Osborne's Look Back in Anger and a greater maturity.
Shelagh Delaney was born in Salford, Lancashire. She is most well-know for a Taste of Honey, for which she won the Foyle's New Play Award and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award. She wrote the screenplay for the film version with Tony Richardson and was awarded the British Film Academy Award and the Robert Flaherty Award. Her other screenplays include The White Bus and Charley Bubbles, for which she won the Writers Guild Award. She has also written for television and radio and has had a collection of short stories published.