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Wednesday, 31 October 2018

REVIEW: Honour at Park Theatre

As soon as the lights come up on Henry Goodman as George, a journalist who has been married for thirty two years to Honor, as he is interviewed for a new book by a young attractive journalist Claudia, we are interested and engaged. His intellect, humour and self absorption is immediately clear in the charming amusing way he describes himself to the interviewer. You can see in his eyes he is attracted to her and she flirts and panders to him to get the story which she wants to build her profile and career. Over the subsequent two hours the playwright Joanna Murray-Smith uses these characters in a succession of short scenes, usually one on one, to explore feminist attitudes to career and marriage. 

Honour, played with a powerful heart wrenching intensity by Imogen Stubbs has given up her writing career as a successful published poet to support George and their daughter Sophie. They have a seemingly successful partnership and marriage until the Tuesday when he announces he is leaving and by Friday he has established a new life leaving behind his bewildered and heart broken family. I was in no doubt that the audience was divided in who they sided with depending on their gender and age. The writing was sharp witty and truthful and the alternative attitudes to women's life choices were balanced and insightful. It is suggested that marriage is "just the way two people grow old together " and that loyalty in marriage is " used to justify the absence of self ". 
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