A Taste of Honey

Shelagh Delaney’s play “A Taste of Honey” was written in 1958 and is set in working-class Manchester, England. The story revolves around Jo, a young woman who has become independent due to her mother’s struggles with alcohol and relationships. Jo falls in love with a young black sailor named Jimmy and becomes pregnant, which leads her to make difficult decisions about her future.

The play provides a poignant and honest portrayal of life in 1950s England, highlighting the complexities of social dynamics, class, and race relations during that era. The characters of Jo, Helen, Peter, Geoffrey, and Jimmy offer insight into the struggles and triumphs of people from different backgrounds and the impact of societal norms and expectations on their lives.

“A Taste of Honey” was groundbreaking in its time, tackling issues such as race, gender, and sexuality in a way that was not commonly seen on stage. Today, it is considered a classic of modern theatre due to its raw and honest portrayal of life.

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Exploring Social Dynamics and Identity in “A Taste of Honey.”


Students will analyze the themes of social dynamics and identity in “A Taste of Honey” by Shelagh Delaney and explore their relevance to contemporary society.


    • Copies of “A Taste of Honey” by Shelagh Delaney
    • Interactive White Board
    • Handout of discussion questions
    • Writing materials


Introduction (10 minutes)

    • Begin by introducing the play “A Taste of Honey” to the students and providing historical context about the period and setting.
    • Explain that the lesson’s objective is to analyze the themes of social dynamics and identity in the play and discuss how they are relevant to contemporary society.

Reading and Discussion (30 minutes)

    • Distribute copies of “A Taste of Honey” to the students and have them read a selected scene or act.
    • After reading, facilitate a discussion using the provided discussion questions to explore the themes of social dynamics and identity in the play.

Small Group Activity (20 minutes)

    • Divide students into small groups and have them analyze a specific character from the play (Jo, Helen, Peter, Geoffrey, or Jimmy) regarding their social identity and how it impacts their relationships with others.
    • Each group should create a visual representation of their analysis (e.g. a character map, a collage, etc.) and be prepared to share their findings with the class.

Whole-Class Discussion (20 minutes)

    • Have each group present their analysis of their assigned character, focusing on how their social identity impacts their relationships with others.
    • Facilitate a whole-class discussion about the themes of social dynamics and identity in the play, drawing connections to contemporary society.

Writing Reflection (10 minutes)

    • Ask the class to produce questions for the characters
    • Input into
    • Student participation on answers


    • Student participation in class discussions and group activities
    • Completion of the writing reflection
    • Quality and depth of analysis in the small group visual representations