The Cultural Evening on 21 January raised thought-provoking questions on the subject of the human condition and relationships. We watched an episode of a BBC series made in 2020 of monologues written by the British playwright Alan Bennett. These monologues were first written and performed by top-class actors in 1988 with a second set written and performed in 1998. The remake of these, plus a few new monologues, suited the restrictions of COVID.
We watched Soldiering On played by Harriet Walter as Muriel Carpenter, a woman who has just been left a widow. She was a 'pillar of society' and her husband left her well off. But she had never managed the finances before so she relies on the son. Slowly we discover that all the relationships in her life are not as she described them early on. Her son uses all her money in hair-brained schemes and loses it all plus the money of lots of other people. Her husband was not the moral man she assumed and her daughter was not mentally ill, but recovering from trauma. Her friends were only there because of what they could get. But she is "not a tragic woman" and keeps soldiering on, although she would like to find a community to which she could belong.
We discussed the human condition and relationships based on the movie and in the light of poems and songs that some of those present shared.
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