In writing, “A Taste of Honey” in the year 1958, what impact did Shelagh Delaney desire to leave on her audience members and what type of technique did she use in connecting them?
Shelagh Deleney wrote her plays for the upper and middle classed of people where individuals could find the scenes completely opposite to what they were familiar with and saw everyday in society.
Delaney didn’t focus on families being what everyone conceived them as, where the family consisted of the head of the household or the dad, working for the family in order to earn a living and then the mother who stayed at home and cooked and cleaned and tended to the children.
We learn at 123HelpMe.com that Shelagh Delaney tells us that, (p.1) “The stereotypical play was where the men worked and the women stayed at home, cleaning and cooking.”
Delaney wanted to offer something entirely different to her audience and she used her vivid imagination to shock her audience members with families that were entirely, untraditional.
“A Taste of Honey” (back cover) offers to enlighten us that, “A Taste of Honey” is “a sensational theatrical success in London. A Taste of Honey was written by Shelagh Delaney at the age of 18.
The play prompted Graham Greene to say that it had “all the freshness of Mr. Osborne’s Look Back in Anger and a greater maturity.” Delaney’s play was successful because of her originality.
Delaney is compared to another great writer and is even paid the compliment that her writing is more mature than that of someone who is more experienced in the writing field and who is much older than Delaney.
Delaney’s writing style was mature because she wished to connect with her audience members and to achieve that she found it necessary to write with maturity and on topics that would appeal to those members who viewed her play.
In the first act of Delaney‘s play it opens up with two character entering a room, carrying their belongings. (P. 1) Book Rags teaches us that, “The scene opens in a shabby apartment in Manchester, England, in 1956. Helen and her teenage daughter, Jo, enter loaded with bags. Helen is described as a semi-prostitute, but her men are her only known source of financial support.”
Delaney also writes that, “The Boy is a black sailor who appears briefly, professing love for Jo.
He asks her to marry him and gives her a ring. They spend a week together during Christmas, but then he leaves for a six month tour at sea.” The young author is able to demonstrate an extremely adult situation in an era where this type of behavior was not accepted in connecting with her audience and gaining their complete and undivided attention.
To connect more closely with her viewers, Delaney used scenes that depicted more mature subject matter, in catching and maintaining their attention of the scenes in the play.
Did Delaney’s audience respect her work as she linked with their personalities? We learn in her biography that a fan said, After seeing the first production of Shelagh Delaney’s A Taste of Honey in May 1958, Lindsay Anderson said of the play in Encore: “To talk as we do about new working-class audiences, about plays that will interpret the common experiences of today-all this is one thing and a good thing too.”
It is evident that Delaney cast a spell on her audience while reeling them in and capturing their full attention. They go on further to mention about the play, “A work of complete, exhilarating originality.” Delaney gained tremendous acceptance with her play and many individuals viewed and thought there was nothing else like the work that Delaney provided.
Susan Whitehead offers that, “But, how much better even, how much more exciting, to find such theatre suddenly here, suddenly sprung up under our feet!”(p. 55-60) Delaney offered an exciting escape from reality in her play where people could gather and take in the scenes that Delaney offered for entertainment in order to grasp the affection of her audience.
“A Taste of Honey” is full of situations where the author left her audience in a gasp at her incredible imagination and thoughts on what life would be like if it were flip-flopped to something that was completely different than one would ever guess it to be.
She is remarkable in her attempt to form situations that impress upons one’s theories and attitudes toward rules in society.
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