Tue 24 September 2019
The National Theatre today announced that Bijan Sheibani’s (Barber Shop Chronicles, Dance Nation) production of A Taste of Honey, the remarkable taboo-breaking 1950s play written by Shelagh Delaney when she was just 19, will transfer to the West End immediately following a nine-week UK tour. A Taste of Honey will play a limited 12-week run at Trafalgar Studios from 5 December in a co-production with Trafalgar Theatre Productions (the producing arm of Trafalgar Entertainment), with an opening night on Monday 9 December. Tickets will go on sale to the general public from 11 October.
Jodie Prenger (Oliver!, Shirley Valentine, Annie, Abigail’s Party UK tour), leads the cast as Helen, with Gemma Dobson as Jo, Durone Stokes as Jimmie, Stuart Thompson as Geoffrey, and Tom Varey as Peter.
A Taste of Honey, which returns to the West End for the first time in 60 years, is designed by Hildegard Bechtler, who collaborated with Sheibani on the NT’s 2014 Lyttelton Theatre production. This production is reimagined in an exciting new 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.
A Taste of Honey is an exhilarating depiction of working-class life in post-war Salford which offers an explosive celebration of the vulnerabilities and strengths of the female spirit in a deprived and restless world.
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.
Lisa Burger, Executive Director of the NT said, ‘We opened the NT tour of A Taste of Honey at The Lowry in Salford last week and it was very special to be able to take Shelagh Delaney’s beloved play home. It now feels very fitting to return this important play to the West End for the first time in 60 years, following its tour around the UK. After the success of Nine Night at Trafalgar Studios, we look forward to partnering with Trafalgar Theatre Productions to introduce new audiences in London to this classic.’
A Taste of Honey is produced in the West End by the National Theatre and Trafalgar Theatre Productions.
Tickets from £18
Book via nationaltheatre.org.uk / 020 7452 3000 from 11 October.