Women tell The Lonely Soldier Monologues at Cockpit Theatre

The Lonely Soldier Monologues
The Lonely Soldier Monologues. Image Mary Calvert

Sometimes it isn’t only in the field of battle that soldiers come up against brutality.

Helen Benedict’s The Lonely Soldier Monologues, which opens at London’s Cockpit Theatre in May makes for sombre viewing.

Seven Soldiers. Seven Women. Seven stories. The Lonely Soldier Monologues is a brave verbatim play that looks at the lives of women who served in the US Armed forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

All of the stories told in this explosive play are true accounts from real soldiers. There is no embellishment. Just the facts.

The Monologues tells the story of the women’s difficult experiences inside the armed forces which, until now, have been often unheard and suppressed from the public.

Telling a story that desperately needs telling, The Lonely Soldier Monologues exposes some shocking truths about war and asks some probing questions about the military, our society and western culture.

And it’s not just a US Military problem – it is also relevant in the UK, as seen in the tragic case of Corporal AnneMarie Ellement, who committed suicide in 2011 at her barracks in Bulford, Wiltshire.

PMJ Productions, which are staging the piece, are holding post-show talks on the themes of military justice in the US and UK, and domestic and sexual violence.

Speakers include writer Professor Helen Benedict (who has testified twice to Congress on behalf of women soldiers and lectures at colleges and military academies in the USA about gender justice and the military), Emma Norton from LIBERTY and Madeleine Moon MP (who has sat on the Defence Select Committee since 2008).

The Lonely Soldier Monologues runs at the Cockpit Theatre, Gateforth Street, from May 6–31.

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