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.
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.