Shelagh Delaney’s ground-breaking British classic A Taste of Honey returns to the West End for the first time in 60 years.
Directed by Bijan Sheibani (Barber Shop Chronicles) and designed by Hildegard Bechtler (Antony and Cleopatra), A Taste of Honey is a gritty depiction of working-class life in post-war Britain and an exhilarating portrayal of the vulnerabilities and strengths of the female spirit in a deprived and restless world.
Jodie Prenger (Oliver!, One Man, Two Guvnors) leads the cast as Helen in an exciting staging featuring original compositions - influenced by blues and soul music - by Benjamin Kwasi Burrell, and rearranged songs from the jazz era, performed live by an on stage three-piece band and sung by the cast.
When her mother Helen runs off with a car salesman, feisty teenager Jo takes up with Jimmie, a sailor who promises to marry her, before he heads for the seas. Art student Geof moves in and assumes the role of surrogate parent until, misguidedly, he sends for Helen and their unconventional setup unravels.
A Taste of Honey reviews
I remember going to see this film as part of my English studies in school, and when my son gave me these tickets as a Xmas gift I was really looking forward to seeing it in a theatre. I was not disappointed. The set and lighting engaged me straight away including the way in which the musicians were part of the set was inspiring, it was moving, funny, edgy, uncomfortable to watch at times, and brilliant. The actors were outstanding.
I very much enjoyed what was a very classy show loved the jazz music blending into the background
I was really looking forward to it. The set was beautifully staged but I felt the acting was a little shouty and the accents a little strong. This was the matinee and possibly the understudies were used instead. It was OK but I would not recommend this play.
thoroughly compelling and great acting by all particurly Gemma Dobson, liked the jazz background and scene changes
Good interpretation of the film - loved the characters especially Helen and Jeffrey
Stunning show tha deposits life for some I’m the 50’s
The actors, stage hands and musicians were top notch, meandering in and out of the play, sometimes frenzied as it all unfolded into the sadness of life where history repeats itself despite knowledge. The cast could sing and the script was well acted with cutting humour that stopped it from being too dismal. The only problem I had and very slight was sometime the music took over from the actors talking or singing. Overall a wonderful afternoon spent at our favourite theatre.
I'm really sorry to say this but we go to the theatre at least twice a month and this was one of the worst plays we've seen in a long while.
Heartbreaking but beautiful.
It's very much a play of its period and if you are ready for that, it is an intersting evening of reflection on how far society has come - and the impressive fact the play was written by a 19 year old. but if you are used to the more modern theatrical production, this might feel a bit stilted and "preachy". Not as bad as George Bernard Shaw but it is less than subtle in its messaging.
Music and stage really enhances the context and plot. Two main characters ( Jo and her mum) are brilliant actors AND singers! Stepfather truly foul (as intended by Delaney). Song at start of act two , performed by Geoffrey SUPERB- thank you. This play is SO relevant for today -although set n 1959- position of Northern working class women STILL precarious despite their obvious tenacity and agency !
I was really looking forward to this & I wasn't disappointed. Great cast and they really brought this period piece to life.
Great performance, inventive stage set, excellent music, creative and emotional dance sequences, very good show but was not entirely convinced by the northern accent all of the time
If you remember and liked the original film you will love this production. The set really captured the poverty and the dismal existence of the characters. I was a bit apprehensive about the singing but it didn't distract from the story line. Wonderful performances I was totally mesmerised from beginning to end.
Absolutely fantastic in all respects - design, music, performances and, of course, play. Even Jeanette Winterson's programme note is superb. It's a terrific play and a fabulous production, superbly done. I loved it. The matinée audience felt a little quiet and the response not as hearty as I'd have wanted - but perhaps the noise gets swallowed by the theatre's architecture. Definitely see it if you can..! I'm very tempted to go again.
Loved the show. Loved the clever scene changes and staging. Super characters and acting. Took my friend from Manchester and she said the accents were spot on!
Excellent acting , performance and value for money
A wonderful play.
I first saw this as a movie many years ago. The mother and daughter theme was strong then. Furthermore the racial issue stayed in my mind. The National theatre production highlights all issues around race, gender, working class women and relationships in Shelagh Delaney's first play. The use of a Jazz trio and choice of songs helps to highlight the characters portrayed in the play. The relevant songs depicts their life and experiences living in Salford during the 50's. I loved the song 'Mad about the boy' introduced the character Geoffrey to inform the audience of his sexual preference. A great cast and production.
Had seats virtually on tbe stage and was brilliant,cast,musicians and atmosphere. Trafalgar Studios is a great venue and can definitely recommended this show
A captivating performance; truly outstanding.
My daughter and I want to the Saturday afternoon matinee of A Taste of Honey. We both enjoyed our afternoon. The production was really good at all levels. The casting and acting was excellent, the set suitably depressing and the music so good. The production captured the late fifties and the extremely innovative content of the play dealing before its time with single mothers, mixed race relationships and homosextuallity. A really professional and entertaining production
Expected more music , Sometimes the dialogue was rushed and not easy to here
The play was great. The theatre and set were fantastic. I had a great night
Play very good, but studio 1 seems to have a poor ventilation system. Given much character smoking was required, this provoked my wife to have a severe coughing fit during the first half, (row F) such that she had to go outside where the doorman sorted a glass of water. Then she returned to sit right at the back, not the only person.
This performance was set beautifully, a very vivid and clever user of space and props for ‘kitchen sink’ theatre. The characters were a bit out of balance in my opinion: too much dialogue and space for Helen, leaving Jo and Geoffrey a bit rushed and under-developed in their complexities. Likewise for Peter and Jerry, who could have shown a more believable alternative masculinity to contrast Geoff. The music complemented the setting and pace very well and the stage crew did a great job keeping pace with the dynamics of the play.
A very well produced play with high quality acting
We booked last minute to see the play over Xmas as my son is studying the text and takes his GCSE in May. I wanted to put the words in to context for him. It certainly did. The performance was totally true to the play, and the acting, particularly the characters of Jo and Helen, was fabulous. I enjoyed the performance greatly and, hopefully, it will help my son in his exam . I would thoroughly recommend seeing A Taste of Honey. Thank you.
Brilliant actors, suburb performance that transends you to the 50s. A very moving play that made one feel a mixture of happiness and sadness throughout.
Fab evening and was captured by the energy and acting between mother and daughter trials and tribulations.
I had seem film of this from the 60s and was really impressed with this production. Not a cheesy re-hash, its sympathetic but modern and atmospheric. The use of music throughout is gorgeous and works really well. The 3 lead actors are wonderful. If you do go - make sure to sit down by 7.10 as there is a little music beforehand which is worth seeing.
Since first seeing the film version of A Taste Of Honey many years ago , I'd always wanted to see a production of the original stage play. Last night at The Trafalgar Studios i was NOT disappointed. I thought the addition of live music/sung vocals added brilliantly to the scenario and made the transition from one scene to another flow effortlessly. The play is a seminal piece of its time tackling one social taboo after another head on with both humour and grit. Outstanding performances all round.!
Great adaptation Fabulous casting Loved it
Found it a little dark. Realize were topics taboo in 1960s. Expected more music.
If any hearing impaired or visually impaired customers want to book for these performances, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 08009126971.
14 Whitehall, Westminster, London SW1A 2DY
No exchange or refund after purchase.
Approx 2 hours and 10 mins, including a 20 minute interval
How Does It Work
You will receive a booking confirmation email.
Please print the booking confirmation and bring it on the day, a minimum of 30 minutes before the performance start time. You will also need to present the card used to purchase the tickets as valid ID.
Suitable For Children
Age guidance for this production is for 13yrs+
Where Do I Go
Trafalgar Studios, 14 Whitehall, Westminster, London SW1A 2DY