Shelagh Delaney 1939-2011
Thanks to Ken Russell, the legendary film *A Taste of Honey, became so much more to me and I discovered the woman behind it; the great Shelagh Delaney. Being only a slight Smiths fan unlike all my friends and hubby who are nuts for them, I had no idea she'd been on the cover of Louder Than Bombs until just now.
This week Shelagh is being remembered and sadly only slightly celebrated here in the press *(TV has been rubbish; nothing at all) for the genius she will always be. To anyone woman who has ever written a play about the real world (especially of the working class) Shelagh flickered subliminally for decades along with Lorraine Hansberry her American compatriot. The GLBT community owes her a huge debt of gratitude as well for it was after sensing the auto pilot homophobia in Terence Rattigan's Variations on a Theme, that she was moved to write A Taste of Honey at the mind boggling age of 17. Feminists owe her a big debt too but then so does the average man who appreciates a smart and down to earth, earthy woman. It took a concerted group to create the sexual revolution and Shelagh work is the strongest effort waged in British theatre for certain. Nothing as yet has come along to properly take off where she let.
Shelagh will continue to inspire. Bless her.
*introduced to me by a now long lost beloved friend Danny Hardie Hardy last seen working at Boots on Bond Street and living in Nunnhead which is not unlike the Salford of London.
*That's the dumbed down world we live in. Ugly Elle MacPherson snorting Rhino powder and helping them all go extinct to Madonna's 25 million pound anti-Semitic sanitary towel advert. Shelagh Delany is too good for today's rubbish media