Shelagh Delaney Biography
(1939– ), The Lion in Love, Dance with a Stranger, A Taste of Honey
British dramatist, born in Salford; she left school at 16. Though she subsequently wrote The Lion in Love (1960) for the stage, and several screenplays, including Dance with a Stranger (1985), she is remembered primarily for her first play, A Taste of Honey (1958). This shows a working-class northern girl—pregnant by a black sailor, temporarily deserted by her nagging mother, and befriended by a homosexual art student—in the process of discovering her identity and accepting the impending birth of her baby. On its production in 1958, its unpretentious and often humorous realism was acclaimed as a vital contribution to the socially conscious or ‘kitchen sink’ school of playwriting then establishing itself in reaction to the drawing-room drama fashionable in the West End of London.