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Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Joanna Murray-Smith
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 61
Pub. Date: 1999
ISBN-10: 0822216833
ISBN-13: 9780822216834
Cast Size: 3 women, 1 man

About the Play:

Honour has long been a favourite of acting teachers for Female Monologues.

Honour is a full-length drama by Joanna Murray-Smith. A long marriage is threatened when a sexy female journalist arrives to interview the husband. What happens when everything you have used to define yourself – every quality, role and affiliation – suddenly abandons you? What happens when a mature, intelligent, responsible and loving woman finds her life disappearing?

Honour is an unsettling play about infidelity seen from the perspective of the three women involved: the wife, the lover and the daughter. After thirty-two years, a marriage shatters into pieces. Acclaimed journalist Gus leaves Honour, a poet, wife and mother, for Claudia, a bright young journalist not much older than his and Honour's twenty-four-year-old daughter, Sophie. In the wake of new passion stands Honour, who must come to grips with the career she has willingly sacrificed for her husband and child, the evolution of a marriage, her abandonment and eventual resurrection. Gus must face the consequences of betraying his own long-held principles about duty and justice, of leaving a secure love for the raptures of passion. Claudia confronts the darkness of her own impulses and learns that to love truly and wisely is to understand moral responsibility. In a series of intense confrontations, the wife, husband, lover and daughter negotiate the forces of passion, lust, history, responsibility and honour. This story, Greek in its examination of the fundamental human experience, is also utterly contemporary. A familiar story is told in a distinctly original way, using theatrical language that is darkly comic, highly poetic and uncompromisingly savage.

Honour premiered in 1995 at the Playbox Theater in Melbourne, Australia and on the Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Best Play. Since then it has been produced in over three dozen countries, including productions on Broadway in 1998 at the Belasco Theatre, at the National Theatre in London in 2003, and in the West End in 2006 starring Diana Rigg. The play has become a favourite scene study vehicle in acting classes and workshops and has been performed in regional and college theatre productions.

Cast: 3 female, 1 male

What people say:

"Honour makes for surprisingly interesting viewing. Tight, crackling dialogue (usually played out in punchy verbal duels) captures characters unable to deal with emotions…Murray-Smith effectively places her characters in situations that strip away pretense." — Variety

"…the play's virtues are strong: a distinctive theatrical voice, passionate concerns…Honour might just capture a few honors of its own." — Time Out (New York)

"Bracingly honest and deeply moving." — San Francisco Chronicle

"Murray-Smith's considerable skill lies in charting the minute emotional shifts and the subtle power play between the four people... Superb." — The Mail on Sunday (London)

"Murray-Smith's writing is searching and droll, naturalistic and poetically honed." — The Independent on Sunday (London)

"An old story, but thanks to the quality of the writing and acting we share the characters' sense of sailing into uncharted waters... And there are some excellent comic touches... the piece deserves full credit for its honesty and dramatic grip." — The Sunday Telegraph (London)

"A really powerful new play. Joanna Murray-Smith is the most exciting Australian dramatist of her generation." — New Statesman (London)

"It’s an intelligent, powerful, gripping piece." — The Times (London)

About the Playwright:

Joanna Murray-Smith is a Melbourne-based Australian playwright, screenwriter, novelist, librettist and newspaper columnist. One of Australia's most successful playwrights, she has written more than 20 plays and they have been translated and performed in 30 countries around the world.

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