An Audience with Philomena

The heartbreaking film of a single mother searching for her lost son, who had been forcibly adopted and sent to the US, was screened on Thursday 24th May by Luton Irish Forum.

It was a very special night as the real Philomena was present, to take part in a Q&A about her life. The multi award winning film, Philomena, starring Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, played to a packed audience of over 165 people who had gathered to celebrate the real Philomena Lee for her courage and tenacity in the face of bureaucracy and sadness. It was also her daughter Jane’s evening too, as in real life, Jane had been the driving force in tracing her brother Anthony, writing countless letters to government departments and religious institutions.

Both Jane and Philomena recounted their tracing journey and talked about the sadness of the moment they discovered that the lost son Anthony was dead. Philomena also spoke about her 30 years as a Psychiatric Nurse, and how looking after vulnerable patients helped her to forgive her former captors.

Philomena had time for everyone, chatting and joking with them as if they were old friends. The audience took Philomena to their hearts and the evening ended on a standing ovation.

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