Close this search box.

Andrew Sheridan tackles a complex character in the iconic A Taste of Honey

Esteemed actor Andrew Sheridan will be playing Peter Smith in the Royal Exchange's upcoming production of A Taste of Honey.
A Taste of Honey

Shelagh Delaney’s iconic play, A Taste of Honey, is a sharply observed portrait of working-class life in Salford in the late 1950s.

Written when she was only 19 years old, this, her first play, was developed by Joan Littlewood in the radical Theatre Workshop and subsequently transferred to the West End before becoming an era-defining film.

This sharply observed portrait of working-class life in Salford was a daring piece of theatre, not only for its gritty realism and honesty but also for placing two resilient women at the centre of the drama.

It lands at the Royal Exchange in March, in an exciting new production directed by Emma Baggott.

You can get tickets to see A Taste of Honey at the Royal Exchange Theatre by clicking here

A Taste of Honey at the Royal Exchange Theatre

Andrew Sheridan will be playing Peter Smith.

A boldly assertive, often vulgar young man, Peter is a car salesman who follows Helen to her new home and convinces her to marry him.

He shows little sensitivity to the subtleties of Helen and Jo’s relationship, believing that Jo hates her mother and is a capricious, intolerable young woman.

Andrew Sheridan as Peter Smith

Andrew Sheridan
Left to right: Jill Halfpenny, Obadiah and Andrew Sheridan limber up

We sat down with Andrew, to talk about the play, and what it means to be back in Manchester at the Royal Exchange Theatre.

What drew you to the role of Peter in A Taste of Honey?

A Taste of Honey is a seminal working class play that always meant a great deal to me.

Peter is a cracking character to take on.

How do you approach portraying a character like Peter, particularly within the context of the play’s exploration of working-class life in the late 1950s?

Attitudes towards certain issues raised in the play have changed but some haven’t.

So, approaching certain parts of the play have such resonance.

You can only approach them honestly and truthfully through the eyes of the character.

“A Taste of Honey” is known for its gritty realism and honesty. How do you prepare to embody the authenticity required for such a role?

Lots of research.

We’ve been lucky enough to have lots of experts come into rehearsals, which was fantastic.

What aspects of Shelagh Delaney’s writing do you find most compelling or challenging to bring to life on stage?

I just think she’s a massive working class hero.

As a writer, I and all other working class writers (from the North) stand on her shoulders.

The dialogue, the bravery, the sheer bravery.

It’s astoundingly good.

How does the production’s setting in Salford inform your interpretation of the character and the overall atmosphere of the play?

Old Salford doesn’t exist physically anymore.

But the photographer Shirley Baker captures forever that period.

It’s a lost world that we are trying to bring back to life.

As an award-winning writer yourself, how does your experience as a playwright influence your approach to interpreting characters and scripts as an actor?

You spend so much time are a writer alone.

It’s great. I like being alone. But there comes a time when you need to recharge your creative batteries. I’m lucky I straddle both worlds, acting and writing. They both inform each other.

You’ve previously worked with the Royal Exchange Theatre in productions like “Let the Right One In” and “Nora: A Doll’s House.” How does returning to this venue feel, and how does it compare to your previous experiences there?

The Exchange was the first theatre I saw a play at.

It was the place I first worked at after drama school It was the place that my first play was performed at.

It’s a theatre that is a lot of firsts for me.

It’s always felt like home to me.

I’m always glad to be there.

What do you like most about performing in Manchester?

It’s the best place in the world. It’s home.

Emma Baggott on A Taste of Honey

Emma Baggott, Director said: “I am delighted to be directing the RET forthcoming production of A Taste of Honey.

“It was one of the first texts I studied as a teenager and has long lived in my head and heart.

“I have always been inspired by Delaney’s radical and courageous decision to centre working-class women at the centre of her drama and not as subordinate to the interests of male characters.

“Delaney makes all of her characters in her play extraordinary by placing them centre stage.

“It is a real privilege to be directing this play at the RET, a stone’s throw away from Salford where the Delaney was born, and A Taste of Honey is set.

“I am looking forward to bringing this revolutionary text to new audiences.”

You can get tickets to see A Taste of Honey at the Royal Exchange Theatre by clicking here

It runs from 15th March – 13th April.

Did we miss something? Let us know: [email protected]

Want to be the first to receive all the latest news stories, what’s on and events from the heart of Manchester? Sign up here.


Manchester is a successful city, but there are many people that suffer. The I Love MCR Foundation helps raise vital funds to help improve the lives and prospects of people and communities across Greater Manchester – and we can’t do it without your help. So please donate or fundraise what you can because investing in your local community to help it thrive can be a massively rewarding experience. Thank you in advance!

Got a story worth sharing?

What’s the story? We are all ears when it comes to positive news and inspiring stories. You can send story ideas to [email protected]

Close this search box.