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A telling tale of remembrance

Confessions of Honour

Lichfield Garrick Studio

***** 

CONFESSIONS of Honour, written and directed by Gerry Hinks, should, I believe, be compulsory viewing on Remembrance Weekend.

The compelling, poignant and often funny play has you hanging on every word moving you from laughter to tears and back again. 

Keith Minshull is totally believable as World War II veteran, Frederick Salisbury VC, even down to his highly polished shoes and regimental badge worn with pride. 

Aged 69, he is returning the Victoria Cross to his regiment, the First Staffordshire, on the 50th anniversary of his decoration for his valour at Epernay; saving a comrade whilst under fire.  

Keith Minshull as VC hero Frederick Salisbury with Gerry Hinks as Wolfgang Meissler, the German newspaper editor with a secret past  

There will be a march-past and dinner.  He can't understand what all the fuss is about.  There was never this fuss when he received his medal from the late King; ‘didn't even get a cup of tea'. 

Alyson Joynes, plays with compassion and a real interest, the kindly Sergeant Major Karen Baker aka Chief; the face of the modern army.  She has the honour of chaperoning the old soldier and introduces Salisbury to a surprise guest, Wolfgang Meissler (Gerry Hinks).   

Hinks plays Meissler with Tuetuonic efficiency and logic, later allowing us into his tortured soul.  Now 68 and a newspaper editor he is here to interview Salisbury about events at Epernay.  

As the story unfolds we realise that there are always two sides to every story and in this case there are even more.  The audience hangs on to every word as the events unfold, giving an insight to the horrors of war and what people had to do to survive.  

When Meissler interviews Salisbury he asks ‘What do you remember most….?'  ‘The noise…and the rain' replies Salisbury, very real hardships of war that aren't always considered.

Whilst the two old soldiers have never actually met before their stories are inextricably linked.

This is a story which challenges sterotypes such as the ‘Germans' and a woman's role in the army.  It encompasses changing times, male bonding and, most importantly, that we have more in common with our enemy than we think. 12-11-11

Lynda Ford    

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