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A TASTE OF HONEY at the National Theatre

March 7, 2014

Shelagh Delaney’s 1950’s iconic play A TASTE OF HONEY at the National Theatre was as much an education in British Working class social history as it is entertainment. This experience was amplified for me by sitting amongst a much older South East Middle class audience who had zero empathy for the Northern working class existence of the fifties. The fourth wall between the audience and the players has never seemed so impenetrable as a barrier between those two worlds. I felt slightly uncomfortable and I would love to see this play in the Alex in Birmingham or the Grand in Wolverhampton to see it lifted from the “museum like temple” atmosphere of that opening week at the National.

I found the play remarkable in how it captured and presented the central dependant relationship between Mother and Daughter in their intimate tragic existence. I learned more about that visceral feminine bond which is the true path through which humanity develops. Lesley Sharp plays the mother brilliantly with just enough comic touch to lift us out of the depressing environment. Shelagh Delaney’s character is practically the mother of all Northern mothers and it requires incredible skill to be able to connect us to this original. Kate O’Flynn gives an Award winning performance as the seemingly pathetic yet ultimately powerful daughter. The guys all give good generous supporting performances that take nothing away from the feminine heart of this wonderful play.

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From → Theatre

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