A Taste of Honey, Trafalgar Studios - ★★★★ - Until February 29, 2020


So many of today's hot button issues are here: poverty, class, racism and homophobia. Shelagh Delaney touched on all of them in her groundbreaking play of 1958 and her work still resonates. The story of adolescent, Jo, and her overbearing mother, Helen, is still touching and disturbing. Theirs is a search for affection and validation from others while they express their disappointment and frustration by throwing verbal barbs at each other. The work is as visceral and vibrant as when it was first produced and the characters are thoroughly engaging. Jodie Prenger is amazing as Helen the overblown, overconfident yet vulnerable mother. She gets it just right as she alternately infuriates with her selfishness and insensitivity and then confuses us with flashes of caring and fragility. Gemma Dobson is equally strong as her mother's mirror image, stubborn and headstrong yet needy and confused. The play itself still bears some of the hallmarks of a first work, occasionally rather forced plotting and an unevenness in the language with speeches too articulate and references too arcane for the characters involved. The placement of musicians on the stage is also sometimes distracting. Nevertheless, caveats aside, this remains a fine production of a modern classic.

Reviewed by J.C.

 Our Score:  ☆☆☆☆ 

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WHEN, WHERE, GETTING THERE:
Until February 29, 2020
Mon - Sat: 7:30 pm, Thu & Sat: 2:30 pm
Trafalgar Studios (Studio 1)
Nearest station: Charing Cross
https://trafalgar-studios.com/shows/a-taste-of-honey/

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