Tickets and more information: https://www.bestoftheatre.co.uk/a-taste-of-honey
Booking until: 29th February 2020
Run time: 2hr 20 mins
Production Photographs by: Marc Brenner
Taking place is a small flat in 1950s North West England, A Taste of Honey follows the turbulent relationship between mother and daughter Helen and Jo. When Helen runs off with a younger man, Jo hits back by getting into a relationship with a sailor who eventually leaves. Known in British theatre history as a modern masterpiece due to its commentary on taboo themes, this production loses the shock value to a modern audience that it likely had back when it premiere in the late 50s. However, the brilliant performances are enough to keep you invested enough in the story.
Leading the cast as Helen and Jo are Jodie Prenger and Gemma Dobson, who are truly fantastic apart and together. They have impeccable chemistry and you really feel the history they’ve created between the two characters because it is ever so present in the subtext. It kind of hangs in the air, like a scent. In terms of the creative aspect, I thought the set design by Hildegard Bechtler really channeled the way life was back in the 1950s post war.
The thing is though, Shelagh Delaney’s script isn’t bad at all, but it moves at a very slow pace that some moments felt really boring. Although you have to commend her for writing a story like this. Featuring a gay character and an interracial relationship on stage today might feel completely natural to include, but it wasn’t always this way, so I can only imagine what kind of reaction that must’ve got back when it was first staged.
Overall, because nothing really happens I did feel slightly bored at times. There was also a habit of a lot of music being used either as scene transitions or during the pre-show/interval, which I didn’t really get why this was included. But other than that, I would say it is worth watching due to the two powerhouse performances at the centre of this production.
Until next time,