After a fantastic repertory Shakespeare double-bill in April, award-winning Daniel Taylor Productions return from this October with a new production of the hard-hitting and gritty drama A Taste Of Honey.
Written by British dramatist Shelagh Delaney when she was just 18 years old, it was considered one of the most influential plays of its generation and comes to The Epstein in what marks 60 years since its premiere!
The production will be produced and directed by Blood Brothers and West End star Daniel Taylor.
Part of the post-war kitchen sink movement, the play premiered at Theatre Royal, Stratford East in 1958 before taking the West End by storm when it transferred to The Wyndham Theatre the following year, and The Lyceum Theatre on Broadway in 1960.
The play later became a classic of British cinema when it was adapted for the big screen in 1961 starring Rita Tushingham and Dora Bryan.
Set in Salford in the 1950’s, the plot centres around 17-year-old Jo who is desperate to break free from her vulgar, wayward and man hunting mother, Helen. Resilient and feisty, Jo's instinct for survival and happiness leads her to a taste of honey when she falls in love with Jimmy, a black sailor on shore leave.
Abandoned by her mother and left to cope on her own, Jo's courage is tested yet again when Jimmy returns to sea, and she discovers she's pregnant.
Defiant in the face of convention, Jo moves in with her friend Geoffrey, a young art student, who assumes the role of surrogate father to her unborn child. As their relationship deepens, Jo discovers that her independent spirit is both her torment and her salvation.
Telling the gripping story of the turbulent relationship between mother and daughter, it will star Liverpool actress Sharon Byatt in the role of Helen, and LIPA graduate Sophie Coward as Jo.
The full cast also includes Jason Lamar Ricketts; James Templeton; and Chris Pybus.
Sharon Byatt returns to The Epstein following her performances earlier in the year in Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Her other credits include UK tour of The Tommy Cooper Show; and West End production of Blood Brothers for which she is the only actress to play 3 leading roles (Linda, Mrs Johnstone and Mrs Lyons).
A graduate from Liverpool’s prestigious LIPA, Sophie Coward most recently performed with Feelgood Theatre as Benvolio in Romeo and Juliet. Audiences may also recognise Sophie from Daniel Taylor Productions’ 2017 production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Playing the role of Jimmie is talented actor Jason Lamar Ricketts. Since training at London’s Identity School of Acting, Jason has starred in The Royal Exchange’s production of Hamlet and Refugee Boy at Northern Stage.
James Templeton reprised his role of Puck in 2018’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in April this year as well as playing Samson and Balthazar in Romeo & Juliet. His other credits include West End and UK tour of Blood Brothers, and UK tour of Jesus Christ Superstar. James will be starring as Geoffrey.
Playing the role of Peter is Liverpool native Chris Pybus who trained at Central School of Speech and was also a member of the National Youth Theatre. His theatre credits include Adolf in Toxteth (Unity Theatre), Finishing Touches (Halifax Chapel Theatre), and Roses and Castles (Theatre Royal, Portsmouth).