(from the Guardian, 9/20/19.)

20 September 1960 Promoting her latest play, The Lion in Love, Delaney says ‘I would rather write a terrible play than a mediocre one’

Surrounded by a clutch of journalists and looking, in a grubby white mackintosh and a hastily tied scarf, her usual determinedly unfashionable self, Shelagh Delaney was busily parrying questions about her love life and her taste in clothes.

A press conference to herald the Manchester opening of her latest play, The Lion in Love, had produced a large attendance, for to journalists Shelagh Delaney is the nearest thing to a homegrown, contemporary Garbo.

She has not, apart from the tall austerity of her height, anything like the looks but she has the same talent for creating, almost in spite of herself, racy headlines. The proscenium arch of the Palace Theatre had, for instance, chosen to collapse on the arrival of her already controversial play and it was announced that the Manchester opening would be delayed for a day.

In between denying that she was engaged to be married and defending her taste in clothes, she found some time to talk about the theatre. She does so in a modest, down-to-earth way and values herself in a different sort of language from the gossip columnists’ now hackneyed line about the “slum girl from Salford who has arrived in the West End.”

Photograph: Tom Stuttard/The Guardian

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