Fun Facts Friday: Shelagh Delaney

November 25, 2022

Shelagh Delaney (25 November, 1938 – 20 November, 2011) was a screenwriter and dramatist from England.

Fun Facts Friday: Shelagh Delaney
Books by Shelagh Delaney*

Fun facts about Shelagh Delaney:

  1. Sheila Mary Delaney was born in Broughton, Salford, Lancashire. Her father, Joseph, was from Ireland and worked as a bus inspector. Elsie Tremlow, her mother was born in Salford as well.
  2. The reason she changed her name to Shelagh was to have an Irish-sounding one.
  3. The reason she wrote her first play, A Taste of Honey (1958) was that she felt she could do a better job after seeing a Terence Rattigan play. The play could have been either Variation on a Theme, or Samuel Beckett‘s Waiting for Godot at the Opera House, Manchester.
  4. The play was hailed as “probably the most performed play by a post-war British woman playwright” by Michael Patterson, and Ms. Delaney as ” a real dramatist” by Gerry Raffles of Theatre Workshop.
  5. A Taste of Honey was performed on Broadway with Angela Lansbury as the mother, and Joan Plowright as Jo.
  6. A Taste of Honey was also adopted into a 1961 motion picture, with the author appearing as an extra in the opening scene. The screenplay was written by Miss Delaney in conjunction with Tony Richardson, who also directed the movie. The screenplay won a BAFTA Award for “Best British Screenplay”, as well as the Writer’s Guild of Great Britain Award a year later (1962).
  7. Shelagh Delany’s second play, The Lion in Love (1960), was not received as well. One reviewer thought it “read like a depressing essay on sexism”.
  8. Sweetly Sings the Donkey, a collection of short stories, was published in 1963.
  9. Shelagh Delaney wrote several more screenplays for movies, a BBC series that as adapted in 1979 as an off-off-Broadway play (The House that Jack Built, 1977), as well as several radio play.
  10. Delay passed away five days before her 73rd birthday from cancer and heart failure.

Books by Shelagh Delaney*

Zohar — Man of la Book
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account, the money is usually spent on books

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Fun Facts Friday: Shelagh Delaney
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Fun Facts Friday: Shelagh Delaney
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Shelagh Delaney (25 November, 1938 – 20 November, 2011) was a screenwriter and dramatist from England.
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Man of la Book - A Bookish Blog
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