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An Honourable Life

    by Tom Casling


Drama Play Script: 'An Honourable Life' by Tom Casling

This is the story of two brothers in their 50's and the different life routes they decide to take.

Patrick was a miner who has been through the pit closure crisis in the 80's. He is a no-nonsense kind of man with traditional values who does not believe in living beyond ones means or borrowing from others or getting into debt. Despite this he lives on an estate where those issues are commonplace… almost a way of life.  Patrick rules the family with his gentle but firm outlook on life.

The other brother, Brendan, followed a vocation into the priesthood and is slowly making his way through the hierarchy of the church. He is a go-getter, a life-changer, but also a chancer who cuts corners, who doesn’t believe in consultation, and believes people need his leadership.

As the play develops we see a hint of jealously between the brothers when we discover that Mary had originally fallen in love with Brendan although she decided to marry Patrick. Both brothers tolerate each other and feel that the other could have done better.

When Brendan arrives for Christmas at Patrick’s home, tensions begin to rise, and when he confides a problem in Mary, they rise even further. Patrick discovers what that problem is and the brothers have an almighty fall-out. 

Patrick’s worst fears are realised and he can see no way out of the dilemma. He decides he needs to get away from everyone whilst he works through a number of issues.

This is a strong moral family play about sibling rivalry and how our childhood experiences can follow us into adult life and mark our development.


(4m, 3f)

  • Patrick Armstrong - an ex-miner
  • Mary Armstrong - Patrick’s wife
  • Theresa Armstrong - Patrick’s daughter
  • Brendan Armstrong - Patrick’s brother
  • Rene Johnson - the next-door neighbour
  • Ben Cohen - Theresa’s boyfriend
  • Sean Kelly - Patrick’s best friend

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