Revival of the classic A Taste of Honey in the Lyttleton at the National Theatre on London’s Southbank.
As always the acting at the National Theatre is superb. However the theme of the play, a revival of A Taste of Honey is sadly dated in every way.
Set in Salford in the late fifties, Lesley Sharp and Kate O’Flynn star as mother and daughter in Shelagh Delaney’s play. When originally written, everything about A Taste of Honey would have shocked. Indeed, a film version quickly followed under the direction of Tony Richardson in which Rita Tushingham made her name in the part of the daughter, Josephine.
In today’s society having a baby out-of-wedlock or having a relationship with a person of a different ethnicity is now part of everyday life. Even the gay boyfriend Geoffrey, shock horrors, is now acceptable. It is surprising that Jo accepts being bossed about by her blond, good time mother, Helen who sends Geoffrey packing. Geoffrey has taken on the role of surrogate father, and it is seems unlikely that he would have slunk away so easily.
What a shame that with so many young writers struggling to gain recognition that the National chooses to stage a play that is so out of zinc with modern times. Is A Taste of Honey now a ‘period’ piece, and therefore acceptable as of a bygone era?
In rep until May 11.
www.nationaltheatre.org.uk T. 020 7452 3000