Insert culture gene here

I was about to embark on the second day of my cultural awaking at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

We chose to see a play called One Day When We Were Young at the Assembly. A sad tale of the hardships of love in World War Two.

So there we sat, with twenty other people in a shipping container watching two actors playing Leonard and Violet. The were both beautiful, attractive people. It was a little confronting sitting in such a confined space with the actors only two metres from us, but after 10 minutes I became so engrossed in the storyline I forgot about it.

A summary of the story. Three major settings.

Setting one. Violet and Leonard are young. Leonard’s about to go to war. They have one night together in a hotel room. They love each other. They will wait for each other. It’s a beautifully awkward scene of love making.

Setting two. The war has passed. Violet and Leonard have agreed to meet in what seems to be a park. A scene uncovering what happened in the two decades following the war. Violet, married another war man, Jack, has two children, a washing machine and a television. Leonard has a limp, is single and his mother has just passed away. Bitterness, resentment, with a passionate kiss and the sadness of their situation following them around like a lost child.

Setting three. Violet visits Leonard. They are in there 80’s. Violet’s daughter calls her on the device in her bag, she can’t seem to use called a mobile phone. The weather is bad and the daughter is concerned her mother didn’t arrive safely. Violet shows Leonard a picture of a lady she’s been writing to in Canberra, Australia. She is their daughter. She’s wants to meet. Leonard collapses in a coughing fit. He can’t take it. The power goes off. The weather clears.

The end.

It sounds tragic and heartbreaking as I write it, but at the time, I didn’t feel like crying.

I do feel sad and teary writing it now, because I imagine this one just a snapshot of millions of families in the 1930’s and 1940’s.

They did a brilliant job and I left thinking that I needed to really start embracing the arts scene when I get home.

Just go and watch it.


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