A Taste of Honey

A Taste of Honey

By Shelagh Delaney
Directed by Tony Cownie

A bittersweet tale of love and longing, loneliness and betrayal.

A Taste of Honey is a British classic from the northwest of England. This drama of tenements, housing estates and bingo halls burst onto the stage in what was to become known as 'kitchen sink drama'.

Delaney tells the story of Jo, a seventeen-year-old lass from Salford, whose mother goes from one relationship to another with little regard for her daughter.

In need of love, Jo takes up with Jimmy, a black sailor. But after proposing marriage, he abandons her and goes back to sea, leaving her pregnant at a time when race and teenage pregnancy were taboo subjects.

Shelagh Delaney was only 18 when she finished A Taste of Honey, a remarkable achievement given that it addresses issues of class, gender, race and sexuality. When it opened in 1958 it revitalised British theatre and in 1961 was made into an award-winning film starring Rita Tushingham as Jo.

This production will be directed by Tony Cownie (Mary Queen of Scots Got Her Head Chopped Off, Educating Agnes).

Cast and Credits

The cast of A Taste of Honey

Josephine - Rebecca Ryan
Helen - Lucy Black
Peter - Keith Fleming
The Boy - Adrian Decosta
Geoffrey - Charlie Ryan

The creative team of A Taste of Honey

Director - Tony Cownie
Designer - Janet Bird
LX Designer - Tim Mascall
Assistant Director - Christie O'Carroll


Our trailer for A Taste of Honey

See rehearsal and production photos in our gallery

Dates and Times

This production has now ended

Dates and times

Friday 18 January, 7.45pm (Preview - on sale from 21 November 2012)
Saturday 19 January, 7.45pm (Preview - on sale from 21 November 2012)

Monday 21 January, 7.45pm (Preview - on sale from 21 November 2012)
Tuesday 22 January, 7.45pm
Wednesday 23 January, 2.30pm<
Wednesday 23 January, 7.45pm
Thursday 24 January, 7.45pm
Friday 25 January, 7.45pm
Saturday 26 January, 2.30pm
Saturday 26 January, 7.45pm

Tuesday 29 January, 7.45pm
Wednesday 30 January, 2.30pm
Wednesday 30 January, 7.45pm
Thursday 31 January, 7.45pm (Touch Tour, 6.15pm and Audio-described Performance)
Friday 1 February, 7.45pm
Saturday 2 February, 2.30pm (Touch Tour, 1pm and Audio-described Performance)
Saturday 2 February, 7.45pm

Tuesday 5 February, 7.45pm
Wednesday 6 February, 2.30pm
Wednesday 6 February, 7.45pm (BSL Interpreted Performance)
Thursday 7 February, 7.45pm
Friday 8 February, 7.45pm
Saturday 9 February, 2.30pm (Captioned Performance)
Saturday 9 February, 7.45pm

Further information on accessible performances



Saturday Evenings

  • Front Stalls and Grand Circle: £29
  • Rear Stalls and Stalls Boxes: £26
  • Front Upper Circle: £19
  • Rear Upper Circle: £15
  • Grand Circle Boxes: £14.50

Tuesday-Friday Evenings

  • Front Stalls and Grand Circle: £24
  • Rear Stalls and Stalls Boxes: £21
  • Front Upper Circle: £16.50
  • Rear Upper Circle: £14.50
  • Grand Circle Boxes: £13.50

Wednesday/Saturday Matinees

  • Front Stalls and Grand Circle: £16
  • Rear Stalls and Stalls Boxes: £16
  • Front Upper Circle: £16
  • Rear Upper Circle: £16
  • Grand Circle Boxes: £13

Side-view seats are also available: £10-£15
Preview performances - all seats £7.50, unreserved seating (no concessions)
A £1 transaction fee applies to all bookings



Over 60s/Concessions

  • Tuesday - Friday: £2 off full price tickets

Students, people with disabilities, under 18s

  • Saturday evenings: all seats £15
  • Tuesday - Friday evenings: all seats £10
  • Saturday matinees: all seats £10
  • Wednesday matinees: all seats £5
  • Wheelchair spaces available in Stalls Boxes
  • Students - ID required

Registered unemployed

  • Tuesday - Friday evenings: all seats £10
  • Wednesday matinees: all seats £5
  • Tuesday - Thursday: £1 Stalls tickets on the day (max 20 per show)
  • ID required

School discounts

  • Wednesday matinees: all seats £5
  • Tuesday - Thursday evenings: £8.50 (Stalls), £7.50 (Upper Circle)
  • Friday-Saturday evenings: Same as under 18s prices
  • One teacher free with every ten pupils
  • Call our Groups and Schools booking line - 0131 248 4949

Group discounts for 8 or more people

  • Evenings (Stalls and Grand Circle) £5 off full price plus one free ticket for every 20 paid for
  • Evenings (Upper Circle) £3 off full price plus one free ticket for every 20 paid for
  • Matinees: £3 off full price plus one free ticket for every 20 paid for
  • Call our Groups and Schools booking line - 0131 248 4949


Transaction Fee

  • A £1 transaction fee applies to all bookings (excluding free events) to cover the service costs required to process a transaction.
  • If you buy multiple tickets at the same time the fee will remain £1.
  • Applies to all booking methods and forms of payment.


A BSL Interpreted introduction to this production


Accessible performances for this production

Touch Tours for the visually impaired

  • Thursday 31 January, 6.15pm
  • Saturday 2 February, 1pm

Audio-described Performances

  • Thursday 31 January, 7.45pm
  • Saturday 2 February, 2.30pm

BSL Interpreted Performance

  • Wednesday 6 February, 7.45pm

Captioned Performance

  • Saturday 9 February, 2.30pm

Full information on accessible performances and facilities at the Lyceum


Access facilities at the Lyceum


  • Blue badge parking spaces directly opposite the theatre
  • Street level access to the Lyceum foyer

Front of House

  • Lifts to all levels
  • Front of House wheelchair available for audience use
  • Induction loop at Box Office
  • Accessible toilet in foyer


  • Infra red and radio headsets for hearing enhancement and audio-described performances
  • Guide dogs welcome in auditorium or can be left with Front of House staff
  • Raised Stalls Boxes offers space for up to 27 people in wheelchairs/companions
  • Underlit row letters, tactile row markers and embroidered seats numbers
  • Booster cushions and footstools available
  • Induction loop permanently on

Full information on accessible performances and facilities at the Lyceum

Creative Learning Events

Creative Learning events for this production

Theatre Class

  • Wednesday 23 January, 10.30am 
  • £6 per class 
  • Includes free coffee/tea

Post-show Discussion

  • Tuesday 29 January, after evening performance
  • Free, unticketed

Matinee Discussion Group

  • Wednesday 30 January, after matinee performance
  • Free, but ticketed


To book for ticketed events, please call 0131 248 4848 or book online.

(£1 transaction fee applies per booking)

Audience Feedback

Audience feedback for this production

If you would like to submit your own review of this production, please use the form on this page.

"I have been inspired on very few occasions but the recent production of A Taste of Honey...is simply magical...I am so inspired I may just go and see this production again."
Blog post by Sian Fiddimore on D.J. Mac

"This is perfect theatre weather & you won't do any better...brilliant, watchable cast!"
@JDeBurca on Twitter

"If you haven't gone yet, GO! I'd happily go again myself! Best play I've seen in a while."
@janejune on Twitter

"Amazing performance...totally worth going to see!"
@jesuspotnoodle on Twitter

"This is the first time I have been to a play but after this taste there is no stopping me."
Audience review by Cathy R

"Spectacular performance...brilliant play."
@tomstannard on Twitter

"fantastic play, well acted and brilliant set, highly recommended better than anything on the telly!!"
Maris Williamson on Facebook

"It was great. Brilliant cast."
@davidrobertsonn on Twitter

"Brilliant production...I thoroughly recommend it."
Jessica Innes on Facebook

"Brilliant. Ace set and excellent performances."
@laurajbruce on Twitter

"Great cast, funny...go see it!"
@EmCav94 on Twitter

"Fantastic production, amazing cast - go see it!!!"
Audience review by Heather Gibson 

"Excellent acting and love the stage design."
Audience review by Sue Moody

"This production was the best I have seen...there wasn't one dull moment and the set was magnificent. A magical return to my roots."
Audience review by Val. E

"An extraordinary play brilliantly revived by a fine cast."
Audience review by Michael Boaden

"We were enthralled by the performance."
Audience review by Gillian Lawrenson

"Best play I have ever seen, the acting was flawless."
Kate Lockhart on Facebook

"Absolutely fantastic. It reminded me of why I love theatre so much"
@Kathfunky on Twitter

"really enjoyed it, surprisingly current and phenomenal stage design!"
@RubiedMoon on Twitter

"An 'awfy guid' performance - great acting, amazing set! Well done to everyone involved! #goseeit
@Rachaelanne_x on Twitter

"wonderful...I'll tell everyone"
@MartGray on Twitter

"Very gripping."
Michelle Ryan on Facebook

"a great night in the theatre. It  was a truly timely revival of this influential play."
Audience review by Stan Howes

"A very enjoyable performance."
Audience review by Mike Ainger

"brill performances and powerful storytelling from cast. Really enjoyed it!"
@ClaireETurner on Twitter

"Another excellent production from the Lyceum team...such an entertaining production."
Audience review by Grizzlepuss

"absolutely fantastic"
@Hwattedinburgh on Twitter

"A perfect night out...reminds me why I love plays."
Audience review by Jenny McEwan

"Excellent performances from all, especially the two main actresses."
Audience Review by OldDutch

"Really good, very funny! Incredibly well done!"
@jessica_xxl on Twitter

"So glad I went out on such a cold January night. A good evening at the theatre."
Heather Clark on Facebook

"Amazing it was written more than 50 years ago by an 18 year old girl!"
@JennyLid on Twitter

"Excellent play! Loved it!"
Anca Martin on Facebook

"Brilliant. The actors were amazing and the script so witty."
@_KateeScarlett_ on Twitter

"Loved the set and some fantastic performances, especially Lucy Black as Helen."
@Mortimooray on Twitter

"Very strong...excellent performances."
@DavidKettle 1 on Twitter

"A great night out."
Audience review by Mike and Frances Gray

"Excellent play. Thoroughly recommended!!"
Helen Blackburn on Facebook

"I take my hat off to the cast...great show last night!"
@porty_gal on Twitter

"Excellent...well done Lyceum."
@broadreachltd on Twitter

"Excellent play."
Terri Thomson on Facebook

"Really great...thank goodness for good theatre."
Audience review by Jean Craig


Press Coverage


"most extraordinary of all, especially in Tony Cownie's production, is the vivid intensity of Delaney's two central characters."
The Guardian ★★★★

"Tony Cownie’s big, heartfelt revival...the superbly theatrical and energetic central power struggle between Rebecca Ryan’s Jo, and Lucy Black’s Helen."
The Scotsman ★★★★

"Rebecca Ryan absolutely nails her character’s defensive vulnerability...the production stands as a fine piece of work"
The Edinburgh Evening News ★★★★

"The cast rise ably to Cownie's approach with a series of heartfelt but refreshingly unsentimental performances."
The List ★★★★

"Performances in the Lyceum’s production are excellent...Cownie succeeds in sharpening the already keen script into something which slices through the decades to still have relevance today."
Edinburgh Spotlight ★★★★

"the repartee between her (Rebecca Ryan) and (Lucy) Black’s Helen is irrefutably highly enjoyable and engrossing theatre".
TVBomb ★★★★

"Mesmerising, challenging, and thought-provoking, A Taste of Honey is a perfect example of theatre at its most effective and damning."
The Public Reviews ★★★★

"Rebecca Ryan...nails Jo’s moodiness and vulnerability."
Female Arts ★★★★

"A winning set of performances."
The Herald ★★★

"Finely acted and well designed."
The Telegraph ★★★

"Cownie has brought out five amiable performances. Ryan is compellingly convincing as Jo, with Lucy Black vicious and self-interested as Helen."
The Stage 

"The play is certainly worth reviving"
British Theatre Guide (don't award stars)


Previews and Interviews

"They have a very fiery relationship, but as much as she says in the play she hates Helen and doesn't want to end up like her, she is becoming her, because it's all she knows."
The Herald

"the writing absolutely bounces off the page, it fizzes and it crackles"
Interview with Mark Thomson, Artistic Director in Annals of Edinburgh Stage

""Delaney's really fighting a social battle single-handedly. The play encompasses and defends so much...As a director, you feel a real responsibility to maintain the authenticity of the play."
Interview with Tony Cownie, Director of A Taste of Honey in The Sunday Herald

"A Taste of Honey...became one of the most sensational shows ever to appear on a British stage."
Critics Choice - What to Watch in the Scotsman



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