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SHELAGH DELANEY SALFORD STAR DIES
 

Star date: 21st November 2011

SALFORD PLAYWRIGHT SHELAGH DELANEY
25 November 1939 – 20 November 2011

Salford playwright, Shelagh Delaney, has died of cancer days before her 72nd birthday. Broughton born Delaney wrote a string of plays and screenplays expressing the Salford psyche of the 50s and 60s including Taste Of Honey, Charlie Bubbles and The White Bus, which were all shown in her honour at the Salford Film Festival.

Despite a million pleas and invites she remained extremely private and would never attend, nor would she do any interviews for the Salford Star. Nevertheless, Shelagh Delaney was a true Salford star.

Full story here...


"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...

Ann Henry wrote
at 6:35:31 AM on Tuesday, November 22, 2011
She spoke, through her work, to people everywhere. I was preparing a class about Modern British Drama when my googling informed me about her death. I was her age when she wrote Taste of Honey when I first read it. Was contemplating a boring critical work no one would ever read, since this is the third semester I taught this play. A true genius and a teller of truths.
 
Ken Thompson wrote
at 12:24:52 PM on Monday, November 21, 2011
We had a lot in common but never kept in touch: We shared an aunt - Mary Marcroft nee Delaney - failed the 11+ and attended Broughton Secondary school, worked briefly for Metropolitan Vickers, and both achieved more than predicted by our 11+ failure (in my case an Oxford Ph.D. and professorship at the Open University). She really captured the Salford of our childhood and made it famous.
 
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