Monday, 21 November 2011

Salford playwright Delaney dies

Sad news today that Salford born playwright Shelagh Delaney, best known for her 1958 play “A Taste of Honey,” has died of cancer at the age of 71.

Her agent Jane Villiers announced that Delaney died Sunday night at her daughter’s home in eastern England.She was a few days short of her 72nd birthday.

The work for which she will be best known was a downbeat tale of a young woman’s pregnancy following a one-night stand with a black sailor, and her supportive relationship with a gay artist.

Regarded as scandalous the play had successful runs in London and New York.

Delaney and the film’s director, Tony Richardson, shared BAFTA and Writer’s Guild awards for best screenplay for the 1961 film adaptation, which starred Rita Tushingham.

She was the daughter of a bus inspector and of Irish descent.The play was written, partly in protest at what she saw as the insensitivity in which Terence Rattigan portrayed gay men.

Delaney’s other screenplays included Charlie Bubbles (1967) and Dance with a Stranger (1985). She also wrote several radio plays, including Whoopi Goldberg’s Country Life (2010). In 1985, Delaney was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

According to this Obituary

Salford council fumed that the portrayal was an insult to the town — but when it became a runaway success, and Delaney a national celebrity, she was asked for her manuscript copy for its library. The feisty Delaney, who disliked being called a "six-footer" (she was 5ft 11in) called them hypocrites, and gave the original script to Littlewood instead.

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