Tag Archives: Ian Callaway

Honour Amongst Thieves – 4 Stars


Honour Amongst Thieves

The Cornerhouse

Reviewed – 11th October 2018


“Yates is especially entertaining as the young Danny, equal parts cocky and clueless”


Ian Callaway learned the ins and outs of the English criminal justice system as a prosecutor in both Kent and London, where, for more than two decades, he argued against every manner of crook and criminal. Since retiring from the law, Callaway has adapted his experiences into Honour Amongst Thieves, a farcical look at three petty lawbreakers as they stand before justice.

Maurice, Pete, and Danny span three generations and three degrees of degeneracy; they are each being charged with petty crimes, ranging from theft to drunk and disorderly conduct. As they meet in the hall outside the courtroom, they chat, argue, and boast about their past exploits and future conquests. Soon, they are brought to trial one by one, and, facing a wickedly clever prosecutor and unimpressed judge, find themselves stripped of their bravado.

This is probably the main motif of Honour Amongst Thieves: the flimsiness of male machismo. We watch with bemusement as three tough blokes, each sure of his own power and immortality, are made feeble before the law. In the age of #metoo and concerns over toxic masculinity, it is comforting, and especially gratifying, to watch justice do its business, and to be reminded that alpha males can be taken down, sometimes in minutes, by a lawyer in leopard-print ballet shoes.

Antony Dowd, R. Louis Segal and Aaron Yates all do great work as the three crooks, although Yates is especially entertaining as the young Danny, equal parts cocky and clueless. Also worthy of commendation is Cynon Lewis as the judge, who, in rather few words, sums up a lifetime of exasperation. Director Dina Yates has put together a fine show that moves expeditiously but does not sacrifice any of its humour. Although the ending of the play is a bit odd, Honour Amongst Thieves is a clever, often hilarious look at the Magistrates Court and the people who inhabit it.


Reviewed by Louis Train


Honour Amongst Thieves

The Cornerhouse until 13th October 



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