Confessions of Honour

‘Confessions of Honour’ is a superbly crafted, witty and very moving new play, written and directed by Gerry Hinks, which is set in Whittington Barracks, Near Lichfield and tells the story of Frederick Salisbury V.C. who, on a special celebratory day, is to give his medal to the regiment in which he served in WW2. On this very special day, a German, Herr Wolfgang Meissler also attends and it is very soon clear that there is an ulterior motive to his presence! Did Frederick actually do what he thought he did to win his medal? Why is Herr Meissler so interested in his story? And what revelations will come out when the two men finally open up old wounds and reveal the truth?  This touchingly emotive and very funny play works on many levels and all that have seen it have left feeling uplifted and extremely moved as its story twists and turns and leaves the audience wanting to know more!

The professional premier of this wonderful piece took place in Autumn 2007 at the Gatehouse Theatre, Stafford to great acclaim and toured the Staffordshire region. This Autumn OPUS are now taking the play on a much larger tour starting which started at Great Bridgeford, nr Stafford on the the 12th of September and venues booked so far for the Autumn are:-

The Garrick Studio Theatre, Lichfield 17th, 19th and 20th September
The Brewhouse Arts Centre, Burton-upon-Trent, 27th September
The Dovehouse Theatre, Solihull, 2nd October
The Ridware Theatre, Pipe Ridware, Staffs, 4th October.
The Rose Theatre, Kidderminster, 9th October
Arena Theatre, Wolverhampton, 10th October.
Prince of Wales Centre, Cannock, 19th October.
Birmingham Library Theatre, 25th October.
Jermyn Street Theatre, London’s West End 27th October -1st November
Mumford Theatre Cambridge, 12th November
Bollington Arts Centre, Bollington, Macclesfield, 14th November.
Kaliedocsope Theatre, nr Shifnall 15th November.

OPUS are one of only two professional theatre companies in Staffordshire and our growing reputation for quality is being matched by the reviews and audience reaction that we are receiving at every venue to date.

Tickets cost 17.00 with concessions at 13.00 pounds.

Box office for Jermyn Street is:  020 7287 2875

More info including ALL dates for the tour can be found at www.opustheatrecompany.com

3 thoughts on “Confessions of Honour”

  1. What really happened? When fear, panic and emotion are at play – whose account of the facts is factual? Can there be absolute truth when memories conflict over events half a century ago? Confessions of Honour – written and directed by Gerry Hinks and presented at the MET Studio, Stafford Gatehouse Theatre – takes us through an intricate progression of challenging dramatic confrontations and revelation.

    The scenario is set up conventionally enough. An ex-soldier – Frederick Salisbury (played with great conviction and sensitivity by Keith Minshull) – has come to the home of the Staffordshire Regiment to donate to them his Victoria Cross, won 50 years before. He is easy with this and easy with himself. He is treated with respect by the Regimental Representatives – portrayed with suitable weight and efficiency by Mark Allen Jones and Michaela Warrillow – the play taking place in the Sergeant’s Mess at Whittington Barracks in 1994 as Frederick waits for the regiment to assemble for a march-past at which he will give the salute.

    All is going to plan, until the arrival of a German journalist, Wolfgang Meissler, played by Gerry Hinks himself. It emerges that he has some link with Frederick’s heroic deed in 1944, but the narrative proceeds with the cleverness of a carefully considered game of chess. Hinks remains one move ahead of us as we try to work out the connection between these two men, and the real reason for Meissler to be here on Frederick’s great day. The dialogue amuses, then moves, then surprises us – as the first half skilfully ends with a key revelation.

    The second half concentrates on the consequences of up-turning one man’s half-a-century of understanding of – for him – a historic moment. And what motives lie behind Meissler’s need to persuade Frederick that his account of the shooting of three Germans and rescue of an injured sergeant is the true one? It’s a tribute to Hinks’s skilful writing that at no time do the verbal twists and turns of dialogue become melodramatic. Both men are eager to do the right thing. Frederick’s new doubts are sensitively addressed in caring dialogue. Meissler is here to inform and help. He – for himself – needs Frederick to understand the truth, and Frederick needs to come to terms with the very concept of heroism and the real reason the medal was awarded.

    Will the presentation ceremony go ahead? Would cancellation be justified or not? Confessions of Honour is not a play about revenge or recrimination. At the end of the play there is a sense of resolution, but with what outcome? The overwhelming sense here is one of compassion. The men part with new insight and understanding – both enriched by this meeting. And we are enriched by engaging with the sensitive issues pervading this well-scripted and compelling drama.

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