Delaney has written other books, but always remembered for A Taste of Honey, what he called the theater of the time without realizing
Shelagh Delaney, who died Sunday, was almost as important for what it symbolizes what she wrote. She was, as Jeanette Winterson wrote in The Guardian last year, "the playwright's first working class woman." And though nothing he wrote later managed the success of his first book, A Taste of Honey, Delaney showed that Salford 18 years could break the walls of which, even in 1958, was still a very middle class, male-dominated British theater.
The story of how A Taste of Honey was written is well known. Delaney was taken to see Terence Rattigan Variations on a theme to Manchester Opera House and became convinced he could do better. Thus, in just over two weeks, she knocked on a play about a young girl struggling Salford, Jo, who was left alone by his mother frivolous Christmas, going to bed with a sailor transitional Nigerian, become pregnant and is served by an art student love effeminate. After writing the book, we had the Delaney be addressed to Joan Littlewood, who became the Theatre Royal, Stratford East in a house bustling new drama.This question of the form is fascinating. After the success of A Taste of Honey, Joan Littlewood tried to offer advice specifically young playwright. "Playing a good game," Delaney wrote Littlewood, "one of Ibsen, for example, then analyze, take note of the construction. Dramaturgy is an art, not only the inspiration." To our knowledge, the advice was ignored: the second series of Delaney, The Lion in Love, had little impact and quickly sold out theater career