Stars explained: * A production of no real merit with failings in all areas. ** A production showing evidence of not enough time or effort, or even talent, and which never breathes any real life into the piece – or a show lumbered with a terrible script. *** A good enjoyable show which might have some small flaws but has largely achieved what it set out to do.**** An excellent show which shows a great deal of work and stage craft with no noticeable or major flaws.***** A four star show which has found that extra bit of magic which lifts theatre to another plane.
Half stars fall between the ratings

All over bar the shouting


Highbury Theatre Centre


HONOUR, written in 1995 by Australian Joanna Murray-Smith, certainly gives an actor the chance to vocally clear any internal frustrations they may have.

Practically all of the characters in this marriage meltdown tale get an opportunity to let rip in a torrent of anger and profanity at their respective co-player.

It is the story of a middle aged man, George, who reaching a 32 year abyss of passionless familiarity leaves his wife, Honour, and their 24-year-old daughter, Sophie, for a younger woman Claudia.

Nothing goes well and even his ideal and perfect Claudia eventually reveals she has designs on his success and a few emotional issues of her own.

The quartet at Highbury certainly didn’t hold back and due to the volume of certain exchanges, the arguments were probably heard down the street from the studio theatre. It certainly took the audience by surprise as some were seen looking at one another as if they had been caught in the domestic crossfire.

Whilst it may be shocking there is a great degree of subtly in the writing and director Keith Hayes has done a good job of keeping this series of continuing duologues fizzing with interest as the marital breakdown progresses.

George, a sixty-year-old man, is played by Kerry Frater and he did a superb job of balancing the tide of emotional contrasts in his character. Whilst Smith makes George out to be a stereotypical older man lusting after a young woman, she does better with her main component Honour, George’s wife, played by Susie May Lynch.


Lynch delivered a determined and magnetic performance and her constant intensity in her disbelief of her failing marriage, her husband’s needs and her own largely ignored career were handled with a great deal of confidence. Her bitter exchanges with Frater in the central leaving scene were convincing and very intense.

Enter then Claudia, George’s younger distraction played by Louise Grifferty.  A relatively new addition to the Highbury team and she squeezed nicely into several tight and revealing outfits to portray the seductive mistress. At times she seemed a little at odds with her performance and occasionally struggled to achieve the flow of dialogue with George but overall was very convincing.

Finally the young daughter Sophie played by Karrise Willetts seems to be a part that hardly relates to the others. Although the daughter is another consideration to George leaving his family she is put aside quickly only to turn up at Claudia’s house and declare some sort of admiration for her clear if misguided thinking. Miss Willetts added yet another nice performance to her credit and completed what was an excellent play over all.

Honour is definitely a play worth seeing as it deals with so many issues of marriage, duty and ambition. You will certainly be asking question of yourself as you watch it all play out but if you have sensitive hearing then maybe take some ear plugs. To 01-02-14.

Jeff Grant 

Home Reviews A-Z Reviews by affiliate