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2015 Shelagh Delaney Day to feature new musical production

Lesley Sharp in Delaney's A Taste of Honey at the National Theatre. Photo: Tristram Kenton
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A short story by A Taste of Honey playwright Shelagh Delaney is to be set to music under plans for the second annual day in her honour.

The first Shelagh Delaney day took place in 2014, and plans for 2015 include Delaney’s All About and to a Female Artist being set to original music by composer Stuart Stevens.

The work has been commissioned by the playwright’s family, with event organisers claiming it is the only work of Delaney’s likely to be released by her estate in the foreseeable future.

It is set to take place on November 25 – Delaney’s birthday – and November 26 at Salford Arts Theatre. In the week leading up to the event, the show will be performed at Scarborough’s Stephen Joseph Theatre, which Delaney lived close to for the latter part of her life.

The project’s founder and organiser, Louise Woodward-Styles, said the group behind the plans was seeking funding from Arts Council England as well as undertaking fundraising activities in order to get the event off the ground.

“We’re doing a big push on trying to get sponsors and funding. We’re hoping that the City of Salford and beyond get behind it as they did in 2014 and that the response from the inaugural day shows that [Delaney] is still very much an influential figure in the arts,” she said.

All About and to a Female Artist will be performed as part of a show that will also include performances of new short stories and miniature musical works that will be the culmination of two new competitions launched in Delaney’s name.

“Our ultimate vision is that Salford, through Shelagh Delaney Day, becomes established as a focus for an ongoing festival of new and emerging writers of drama, poetry, stories and music from Salford and beyond,” Woodward-Styles said.

Roni Ellis and Scott T Berry – owners and directors of Salford Arts Theatre – have formed a temporary production company in order to produce the show.

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