Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews for Bijan Sheibani’s production.
The Upcoming: ★★★★ “A Taste of Honey might not be the sweetest story, but that doesn’t mean it lacks heart. With the once shocking elements of homosexuality and interracial relationships now simply an embraced aspect of modern life, this revival is able to cast more focus on the mother-daughter relationship at the heart of the play.”
London Theatre.co.uk: ★★★★ “There’s not a lot of plot, but plenty of feeling underpinning the drama, and Sheibani’s production fully maps how high the stakes are for all of them.”
Hamhigh.co.uk: ★★★★ “The quick fire put-downs between Helen and Jo, an inspired Gemma Dobson, sprang from lived experience and rings true across the decades.”
Londonist: ★★★★ “Jodie Prenger is terrific as the boozy, chain-smoking ‘good-time girl’ Helen, avoiding responsibility for looking after her daughter. Her bickering with Jo (played superbly with a mixture of feistiness and vulnerability by Gemma Dobson) provides most of the play’s comedy and pathos.”
The Guardian: ★★★★ “Prenger has a rich brooding voice and, when she sings, she owns the stage. For a few precious moments she is absolutely in control.”
Time Out:★★★★ “Prenger is great as the sharp-tongued Helen, not to mention resplendent in her ’50s wiggle skirts and emerald green wedding dress. But it’s Dobson who puts in a really fascinating performance. Conventionally understood as ‘feisty’, Dobson gets the vulnerability and loneliness underwriting Jo’s gobby front.”
City Am: “Delaney’s writing really shines – she’s like a working class Oscar Wilde, forever toying with language and setting up punchlines dripping with bathos. It’s a shame this play turned out to be her magnum opus – her second, The Lion In Love, was poorly received and she wrote only sporadically after – but it’s all the more reason to watch A Taste of Honey whenever it’s on.”
Evening Standard: ★★★★ “The play felt ponderous and dated when Bijan Sheibani’s production first appeared in 2014, but now its revolutionary verve is more powerfully realised.”
British Theatre Guide: “A Taste of Honey refuses categorisation. It’s a hilarious tragedy-cum-musical with something of the soap opera about it. And, fifty years after it was first written, it is still painfully relevant.”
West End Wilma: ★★★ “A Taste of Honey is an enjoyable play with strong performances, but I felt it did not quite fully capture the gritty essence of the piece.”
Broadway World: ★★★★ “Delaney’s play, which premiered when she was just 19, offers a real insight into the lives of working-class women in the 1950s. Poverty and inequality are prevalent themes, and it’s sad that even after 60 years, these are still topics that will resonate with audiences in today’s society.”
A Taste of Honey continues to play at the Trafalgar Studios.