"No one in my play despairs. Like the majority of people they take in their stride whatever happens to them and remain cheerful" ShelaghDelaney on A Taste Of Honey
Shelagh Delaney, who died last night of cancer at her daughter's home, days before her 72nd birthday, put Salford firmly on the working class theatrical map when she was only 19, writing A Taste Of Honey in just two weeks.
The classic play about a Salford girl who gets pregnant through a one night stand with a sailor was later brought to the big screen in the famous film starring Rita Tushingham that still defines the city to many people.
Rita Tushingham attended the second Salford Film Festival where she paid her own tribute to Shelagh Delaney…
"I met her quite a few times and she was around when we were filming" Rita recalled "She was a very clever woman, particularly when you think how old she was when she wrote the play. She was just a bank clerk and isn't it wonderful that she sat down and wrote that? Joan Littlewood discovered her and Tony Richardson wanted to do the film.
"It was called a `kitchen sink' film but it was film realism, real life and those films broke new ground" she added "They're not `kitchen sink', everyone's got one of those – what do rich people do? Throw their plates away? If it hadn't have been for A Taste Of Honey I would probably never have been in the film business…"
Shelagh Delaney herself would never attend the Salford Film Festival, preferring to remain private and letting her work – which also included screenplays for classic Salford films, The White Bus and Charlie Bubbles – speak for itself.
The only time anyone from the Salford Star can remember Shelagh Delaney getting properly involved in her home town was when she backed the campaign to save the old Ambassador Cinema, which was eventually demolished for a block of flats. Shelagh Delaney obviously cared passionately about her Salford heritage.
Shelagh Delaney 25 November 1939 – 20 November 2011
A true Salford star…
Tribute from Nigel Pivaro to follow...