The word Prisoner has popped into my life quite a bit recently. In September I will in the UK for the 50th anniversary of “The Prisoner“, the iconic series created in the ’60’s by Patrick McGoohan, a wonderful and sadly missed talent. I worked with him four times in 3 episodes of “Danger Man” (“Secret Agent”) in the US, another terrific series, largely devised by Patrick. I loved working with him…his professionalism, his energy and strength were stimulating. I was warned that he did not much like actresses and could be intimidating if you were less than absolutely “on message”. So I was well prepared and we got on well…the experience of working with him was thrilling.
A different kind of Prisoner is a Prisoner of War. I recently came across letters written by my uncle to his mother (my grandmother))from the Italian POW camp, where he was held Prisoner during World War II. He later escaped and walked all the way down and across the Italian Alps to find the British who, with the Allies, were fighting their way into Italy to free it from fascism. This uncle Lee, was rather a hero of mine..he was a Commando with the SAS when he was captured and rarely spoke of his experiences. But he did to me, when we spent quite a lot of time together just before he died. He was a tough old man. His letters were a mixture of loneliness and longing to be free and with the family again, but nonetheless very constrained as all letters were censored by the Camp. “The only shortage here is cigarettes so if you can send me some they’ll be a godsend.” and “I lost weight when I was captured, the shock more than anything, but am putting it on again in the lazy life”.
It’s strange to read these letters, when also I have those from my Aunt Lisemaria, my father’s German sister, sitting in her convent in Holland, knowing that the Nazi’s were on their way to transport her and the other Sisters to Auschwitz. What a strange world we live in.
And now aren’t we all becoming Prisoners too, of our own isolated lives in front of computers, with Social Media, becoming a such powerful source of companionship.
All for now friends!