Coliseum turns back to 1950s for classic

OLDHAM Coliseum Theatre transforms into 1950s Salford this May with a new production of Shelagh Delaney’s ‘A Taste of Honey’, directed by Associate Director, Chris Lawson.


A Taste of Honey at Oldham Coliseum

Recognised as the pre-cursor to ‘Coronation Street’ and one of Morrissey’s lyrical inspirations, ‘A Taste of Honey’ is a gritty play about a mother and daughter trapped in a destructive and resentful love-hate relationship.

Jo’s ambition is to get away from her alcoholic mother, Helen, who dominates her life. She falls pregnant to a sailor and takes comfort in the friendship of a gay art student.

But can she stop herself from becoming the one thing she never wanted to be – just like her mother.

Shelagh Delaney was Britain’s first working-class female playwright. She wrote ‘A Taste of Honey’ in 1958 when she was just 18 years old.

The play premiered at Theatre Workshop, Stratford East and transferred to the West End the following year. In 1961 it was adapted into a classic film starring Rita Tushingham and Dora Bryan.

‘A Taste of Honey’ was one of the finest examples of the ‘kitchen sink drama’ born in the 1950s when, after the Second World War a new breed of writers decided to give working class characters a heart and soul.

The play was written when 70 per-cent of women giving birth had no pain relief, three years before the introduction of the contraceptive pill and nine years before the legalisation of homosexuality and abortion.

Coliseum Associate Director, Chris Lawson, joined the company in 2015 and has established a reputation for bringing energy and adventure to his productions.

His work for the theatre includes: ‘The Kitchen Sink’, ‘Up ‘N’ Under’, ‘Hard Times’ and ‘Jumpers For Goalposts’.

The cast features Gemma Dobson as Jo, who made her professional stage debut at the Royal Court, London earlier this year; and Kerrie Taylor, best known as Beth Enright/Beresford in ITV’s ‘Where The Heart Is’, as Helen.

‘A Taste of Honey’ runs from Friday, May 25 to Saturday, June 9 at Oldham Coliseum Theatre.

Tickets can be booked by calling the Box Office on 0161 624 2829 or online:

Oldham Coliseum Theatre’s production of A Taste of Honey is sponsored by New Charter Homes.

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