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Was A Taste of Honey a typical film of the British New Wave?

Image result for a taste of honey arch

Was A Taste of Honey a typical film of the British New Wave?

The British New Wave was a series of films released between 1959-1963 which depicted a realistic and raw view of working-class life and the issues they faced.

A Taste of Honey is a multi-award-winning film which finds itself being considered a part of the New Wave. It was written as novel by Shelagh Delaney, but she then adapted it for the screen because she hoped to revitalize the British theatre and film industry and present issues in society no one else were mentioning. The film follows the story of Jo, a 17-year-old girl not that much younger than Delaney herself who has to deal with the challenges of teen pregnancy in a society looking down on her and the working class as a whole.

If we watch the clip alone and compare it to the aforementioned features and characteristics of the British New Wave we can see many similarities. The scene starts with a wide shot where we see Jo and Geoff speaking to eachother under the arch. Because of the heavy use of location shooting and the fact that it wasn’t shoot in a studio with perfect lighting and sound engineering it gives the whole scene and film as a whole a much more rugged feeling; its rough around the edges but it forces the audience to appreciate the plot and societal comments within the plot a lot more because they are not distracted by flashy visuals or perfect sound. Everything the viewers sees feels real and because of this Delany and Richardson were able to make the content feel more relatable because the audience can recognize the similarities between the character’s problems and their own problems.

Location shooting also allows creates the sense of “what McFarlane calls the “insistent evocation of time and place” is to suggest that the lives of the working class protagonists are inescapably defined and limited by their environment.”( Hanley, 2011) So, by using location shooting Richardson and Delaney were able to show the limited impact that the working class has and in a literal and metaphorical sense in this scene, their voices are quiet and insignificant and they are dwarfed by their surroundings much like how they feel dwarfed in importance in comparison to the other classes.

Overall, through the use of location shooting, Delaney’s deliverance of comments on the treatment of the working class makes A Taste Of Honey a typical British New Wave film; it addresses the same issues as it’s counterparts and it does so using the same techniques.


Hanley, D. (2011). The British New Wave and Its Sources. Retrieved 24 January 2020, from

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