The Colour Room (2021) Movie Script

Whoever is stealing clay,
you will be caught.
And you will be sacked,
and by God, you'll never
work in potteries again.
Get that tat off your bench!
Good evening, Miss Cliff.
It's almost ready for the lace.
Do you think Reg will like it?
He'll love it.
- But it needs summat.
- Well, it's not finished yet.
It's a wedding dress.
Oh, Clarice!
Every blessed day.
Dot, that's looking lovely.
a letter came for you.
I got the job.
I got the job!
I'm gonna be a lithographer
at Wilkinson's with you, Dot.
I'm not a lithographer.
Neither are you.
I know it seems like a step down
but I'll be at a better factory.
And the things that they're making,
I mean, they're...
they're beautiful.
This one's called Oriflamme.
I want you to get on, duck, but...
we can't get by on lower wages.
Lithographers are girls
not smart enough to paint.
- How is that going on?
- We can't afford it.
We're not moving.
That's an end on it.
Olen said they're gonna sack me.
the clay that they were giving me
to practice with,
they... they weren't giving it to me.
- Oh, you never stole it?
- It were offcuts that no-one wanted.
And I just thought I...
Get upstairs.
How do I go about putting
food on the table?
Take in washing?
I like working at Wilkinson's.
I have friends there.
Can you please behave yourself?
Lithography down there.
That's you, i'n't it?
Coming through. All right, Gladys?
This place is amazing.
It's filthy, is what it is. Come on.
Oh, that's my sister.
She wanna be with ya?
Out of bounds.
- Clarice.
- Hey up, Reg.
Dot didn't say
you was at Wilkinson's.
Um, my sister's fiance.
What's this?
- Nothing. Misfires for chucking.
- For chucking?-Go, go, go.
Two minutes of your time
for hundreds of wasted man hours.
Two minutes.
50 years of design
and we needn't spend a penny more.
What about Oriflamme?
That proves my point.
- A new line winning all sorts of
awards.-Look at the sales.
Why are we wasting time and money
with your constant mwuh, mwuh, mwuh.
- We have good pieces here.
- Is that to be our legacy?
Just hawking old stock.
We should be at the forefront
of innovation at Wilkinson's.
I have production lines
falling over.
- Mould stores at bursting point.
- That's not my problem.
Father would be
turning in his grave.
Don't be such a nincompoop.
Gladys. Would you please get out
of there and go back to work?
So sorry, Mr Guy. I'm just showing
the new girl around.
- Oh, I'm late!
- My apology.
Not now, talk to my brother.
He's always right.
Out of the way!
Out of the bloody way!
- For God's sake, man!
- Welcome to Wilkinson's.
All right. There you go.
See if you can do
one yourself now.
Like what you were.
Now on to t'plate.
Uh, no air bubbles.
Good. Right, you're done.
- So, that's it?
- Well, yeah.
How hard d'you think it was?
Bless yer!
Hey, where were you before?
I was a paintress
over at Hollinshead.
What, you're doing this now?
Fancied a change.
- Clarice, lunch ends in two minutes.
- Hmm.
- Where's she going?
- Uh, I don't know.
Can't she just do...
Honestly, that factory tour,
she was a nightmare,
I'm not joking. Uh, no offence.
- Do you like the size?
- Yeah, I do, I like the model.
But somehow I miss the green.
Yes, yes, well,
we could have the green...
- It's possible we'll put some of this
into the next firing.-Hmm.
- Yes. I agree.-Good, good.
- So does he.
Don't you? My wife never wears it,
I don't know why.
Anyway. On with it.
On you go.
It's nothing.
Lithography has ruined
those paintress hands.
Oh, Dot...
It's better than last week.
You need to see a doctor.
And how do we pay for that, hm?
Hey, uh, the girls in
lithography said
someone got a formal warning
- Clarice.
- It might not have been me.
It were nothing. I'm getting on, Mum.
And I'll earn more.
I'm practicing modelling with a bit
of clay left from Hollinshead.
How many women modellers
do you see in Wilkinson's?
I've got hands, I can model.
In anywhere?
Maybe you're right.
Maybe I should try kiln stacking
at Wedgewood.
Go the canal way
so they don't see you.
I owe you, Reg.
That's fancy.
Just make sure you clean
that rolling pin properly.
How was the Hippodrome?
We didn't go to the Hippodrome
cos he was that upset.
Reg got the sack
for helping you steal clay.
And no-one's hiring.
And you'll be sacked the instant
you're through the gates tomorrow.
You need your strength. Eat!
Have you seen what Clarice
made last night?
You should show 'em at Wilkinson's.
That'd get you noticed.
Eat your breakfast.
Oh, she's been noticed, Mum.
And the worst of it is,
she got Reg involved.
Your lunch..
She'll be back home
in time for lunch.
Come here.
The braces won't hold.
What about the capacity?
There is no spare capacity.
I think the braces will hold.
- Sir, I -
- They will hold, that's an end to it.
- Excuse me, sirs.
- What?
Sirs, this, uh, young lady
was caught stealing clay.
Not only do we not tolerate
thieves at Wilkinson's, Miss...
..but we also report them
to the police.
You'll not be
working in The Potteries again.
I took scraps, sir.
And who gave you permission? Hmm?
No one?
Then you stole.
They're floor scraps for chucking.
Uh, speak when spoken to.
If you wouldn't mind...
How dare you.
I've just told you not to...
Ah, ah...
- You made this?
- Stole, more like.
It's rough.
The clay had grit from the floor.
Based on French silverware.
I saw it in a magazine.
Well, it's rather...
- It's rather good.
- Hmm.
- But thieved, nonetheless.-Sir,
if I'd have asked for the scraps,
- would you have said yes?
- You could've tried, young lady.
- One should always ask.
- Uh...
- Wh... where do you work? What... what
does she do?-Lithography, sir.
Lithography is not all I've got,
I went to night school at Tunstall.
A scholarship.
And I've been a paintress
at Hollinshead,
and a bander at Grindley
and a gilder at Lingards.
So, nobody will have you then?
- Do you tire easily?
- No, sir.
No, I'm getting to know the industry.
I'm trying my hand so I can work out
how to make the ideas
that I come up with.
Vases like this one.
Well, you've got some...
talent, I'll say that for you.
Miss Cliff, is this the first time
you've taken clay?
Hey up, duck. Are you all right?
- Ain't she up herself?
- You can tell she's a paintress.
All right, do you two want
to quit your whingin'?
Get your eyes back on your plate.
There's your lunch there.
What'll you do now then?
- Become a modeller, I suppose.
- Oh, don't be messing.-I'm not.
They loved my vase.
They saw what I can do.
No more laundry, Mum,
I'm on double the pay.
It's not right. Well, I never.
- Fred Ridgeway, art director.
- I know who you are.
- Oriflamme.
- Right.
Jolly good. Well, it's...
it's my job to train you up.
I hope you're trained in teamaking?
- This shouldn't be here.
- Oh, will I be modelling new shapes?
- No, that's not the way it works,
young lady.-Excuse me, miss.
It's taken me 40 years
to get where I am. Right.
- Is this clay mine?-Well,
of course, but that's for later.
For now, all you need are...
- Morning, Mr Shorter.
- Mr Shorter.
Good morning.
Miss Cliff. I hope that our junior
modeller is feeling creative.
Hmm. Yes.
Let me introduce you to the family.
Sea captain, policeman, vicar,
collier, jockey, landlord, huntsman,
sailor, squire. All right?
You are now our Wilkinson's
lead designer on our Toby jug range.
Now, look, I need 50 variations.
I was thinking themes, collections,
and these little men,
- they must look similar but...
- Similar but not...
The same?
- Very good. Fred, what did you want
to show me?-Aye.
Here you go.
Two sugars, nice and strong, love.
Don't forget the biscuits.
Looks like you've seen a ghost, Sid.
Come on. Good work, hey.
Well, look lively, lads.
All right, gentleman.
Monthly meeting.
Remember to bring in new ideas, OK?
Come on.
They're beautiful.
Is that what you're making?
Personal favourite.
They won't even let me touch clay.
Just get words.
The theme is "baddies".
Sir, so, Dick Turpin,
Long John Silver, Guy Fawkes.
That's very witty.
Oh, it's good. What else?
Well, I thought perhaps
a female range.
Toby jugs are male. No.
But, uh...
I like her, had an aunty like that
Fred, I need you to cost up
the new Oriflamme range.
Right, well,
add two or three more villains
and then maybe a heroes range,
and then you can start modelling.
Right, yes, of course...
That's it.
Less haste, more speed.
Keep going.
Put your hand on to the other side.
- Right, gentlemen, monthly meeting.
- All right, lads, look lively.
Come on then.
It's our favourite time
of the month.
Come on, lads.
- Hey, keep that fire burning!-Would
you just do this one firing for me?
It'll be a fortnight...
but I'll try.
I can wait.
Where is everyone?
Monthly meeting.
I'm never invited.
Who's he supposed to be?
Long John Silver.
Flat John Silver.
It looks better, actually.
And, um, this is for the Toby jugs?
This is for me.
Fred says I'm not ready for colour.
Well, at least I can try my ideas.
You'll not go flitting factories
again cos you're bored?
Come on.
He's contradicted himself.
Stop producing, start producing.
- The man's under pressure.
- That's ridiculous, Fred.
All we need is a little bit
of clarity.
Let's get on as we are.
Everyone. I just want to add that
monthly meetings will now be weekly.
So that we have time
to deal with the,
let's face it,
ever-changing climate.
All right? Thank you.
AH right. Come on. Sit down.
- Fred...
- Yeah?
Have you seen this?
Well, is that for the heroes
or the villains range?
Bloody hell.-Frankenstein.
Spot on, that. It's spot on.
- That's rather made my day.
- Mr Shorter...
Do you like Toby jugs?
beg your pardon, what?
Do I... do I like them?
No. God, no. No, I...
I don't like much of what we do.
But we do need to return a profit,
so unfortunately, fortunately,
however one thinks about it,
this ghastly stuff sells.
Maybe we could try other colours.
Or gilding.
At Linguard's if something was gilded
it sold better.
Miss Cliff, people who buy
our Toby jugs don't buy one.
They collect sets.
The jugs coordinate, so...
No other colours, no standing out,
no gilding.
I certainly wouldn't set much store
with what Linguard's are doing.
They've just gone out of business.
Right. Onwards.
- Good night. Sweet dreams!
- Good night, Miss Cliff.
Night, duck. You'll be dreaming of
Toby jugs, you will.
- Good night, Fred.
- Good night.
I do hope you're not gilding
my Toby jugs.
Oh, I wouldn't do that.
- Go home, Miss Cliff.
- Just finishing off, sir.
- All right, come on. I'm locking up.
- I'll be ten minutes.
You'll be five.
Oh, praise be.
Thank you.
What did the doctor say?
He's going to refer me
to a specialist at the hospital.
What does that mean?
- It's not serious?
- No. Now, mutton hot pot.
An hot pot.
Monthly... I mean, weekly meeting!
Get your new ideas.
Come on.
Don't be chatty, son, come on.
Good ideas. Bloody hell.
It's a neat little thing.
Do me one, would ya? For me son.
And me mate Arthur would like one
as well, for his little 'un.
Of course.
You're not listening!
This is an opportunity
to shape the future of Wilkinson's
and ambition should not be thwarted!
Ambition is a luxury
we cannot afford.
We need to focus on
the here and now.
We've more than enough to be getting
on with. The trade fair -
- our chance, Fred.-Oh, please.
- Yes?
I thought I might come along.
- I'm sorry, sirs. I tried -
- No, no, no.
Miss Cliff...
We are not civilised enough
to host a lady.
- Jack...
- All right, young lady.
- Get yourself downstairs.
- No, no. Wait, Jack.
If Miss Cliff wants to be a part
of this, then by all means.
Please, come in. Sit down.
Sit down.
I told you to concentrate on
Toby jugs, no?
I know you're looking for new ideas,
so I made this for my sister.
It's a Puddle Duck egg cup set.
Made in my own time.
The clay and paint was lying around.
- How old is she?
- 20.
She needed cheering up.
And I thought, well...
it's fun and maybe we could do
a range.
The folks in the factory
seem to like it.
I've taken orders actually.
- Well, I'm sorry, but...
- It's charming, Miss Cliff, really.
Four times the profit.
Well, go on.
That's what you make per piece
compared to your standard Toby jug.
Three enamels only.
Quick to paint. A quarter less clay.
- Do it. Go on, do it.-Hold on.
- What? I like it. What?
I'm sorry, Clarice.
You can do better than that.
No, it's crude, it's cheap, and it's
not what Wilkinson's stands for.
I don't see as how it's worse
than Toby jugs.
It's one thing liking an egg cup
but taking commercial risks
- at a difficult time -
- Oh, it's always a difficult time.
Not right now. You've heard
Hollinshead's the latest to close.
My God, doesn't that prove we should
be doing something different?
Just for once, we should be bold.
- The girl's a lithographer.
- I'm a modeller.
I don't care
if she is a bloody barrow boy!
The point is,
one can't be giving design freedoms
- to the barely trained.
- Oh, then step up the training, Fred.
Uh, take a look at these.
What's this?
Oh, um, a pokewiser.
I ordered it from Paris.
Well, have you done these?
That sort of thing, sir...
Oh, they are beautiful.
Well, once upon a time...
Look at them corners.
This is really a Mackintosh.
Look at that.
- That will all be glass.
- Yes, of course.
- I've seen that. It's beautiful...
- Fred...
I need Miss Cliff for five minutes.
I have a favour to ask of you. Um...
My wife, having heard we now have
such a thing as a lady modeller,
would very much like
for you to model a bust of her.
Now I've tried to dissuade her.
I told her how busy you are with
toby jugs and it's more than likely
that you'll make her into one.
Uh, but, alas to no avail,
so, well, will you do it?
Yes, yes, sir.
You will? Thank you.
Thank you, uh...
All right, as you were, thank you.
More misfires for chucking?
Just do it, please.
Head up and to your right.
- Happy?
- Yes.
Well, it's easy to model
someone beautiful.
Oh, yes. She is very beautiful.
Um, I won't be able to offer you
a lift, I'm afraid.
Oh, that's all right.
Shall I lock up, sir?
Yes, yes. All right, um...
This is the, um...
my office, modelling room...
inner main gate,
and outer main gate.
Look after my factory.
Yes, sir.
Uh, well, um, good night,
Miss Cliff.
Good night.
Oh, you're drenched.
Not on t'carpet!
What'll folks be thinking?
Working all hours,
you and Mr Shorter...
And his wife.
I doubt Mr Shorter's
got eyes for her.
Look at the state of her.
She looks like she's been dragged
through an hedge backwards.
Look who has the keys to Wilkinson's.
Well, I know it's my wife,
but what do you think, Fred? John?
- That is a seriously impressive
bit of work, sir.-It is, isn't it?
Even more remarkable considering
the sitter didn't sit
considering particularly still.
- How is that stiff back, sir?
- No, it's not her back.
Beg your pardon, sirs.
Who has the spare keys, please?
Miss Cliff.
Miss Cliff, keys.
Everyone else has their own set.
Well, I don't know, Miss Cliff.
Lots of bags of clay lying around.
Good point.
I was joking.
Let her have her own set of keys.
What if she's one of them
Oh, don't be silly.
Right, you may as well set light to
the factory and have done with it.
That's enough, Jack!
It's terribly good.
- Now, how long is it going to take?
- Uh, a couple of weeks, sir.
A fortnight?
It's meant to be now. Something that
reminds her of her youth.
Which key is
the one to the Colour Room?
- Had she seen a mouse?
- Back to work.
- Your pants, Reg.
- You know me.
You can't look.
It's... it's the dress.
- I've been working on it. It's bad
luck, you can't look.-Why?-Stop.
Uh, do you want a cuppa?
Uh, no, no, no.
- You sure?-Yeah, go and get some
rest.-Are you sure?
Make yourself better.
You're home early.
Look closely.
Can you see any faults?
Hairline cracks, anything?
Mr Colley says to tell you they're
making your new Oriflamme range
- the centre of the trade fair.
- Well, thank you, Vera.
- We know what we're doing now.
- He wants it all finished
- and in the kilns Friday night.
- Of course he does.
Someone's working late.
And Clarice, Mr Colley wants to
know if you have
any prior engagements
on Saturday afternoon.
- Why?-He wants you to accompany him
to Trentham Hall.
Something about the future
of The Potteries.
- Oh, ah!
- Will you keep still.-Here.
Oh, smell of your father's
Can't get rid of it.
- Why does Mr Shorter want you there?
- To talk about my ideas.
- Don't you see him every day?
- Yes.
Dot, this is brilliant.
You should do this for a living.
Right, er...
Look, it's a Rolls-Royce.
It's so shiny.
I can see myself in there.
- What are you doing?-Uh...
- Hop in.-Um...
There, there, there.
The handle, just give it a...
- I'll do it.-How?
- I'll do it, I'll do it.-How?
Ask if we can have a ride.
On we go.
So, first rule of thumb, Miss Cliff,
is do not point at anyone living.
Now good stance, butt into the
shoulders to deal with the recoil,
you got two shots, two corresponding
triggers. Now...
you yell "pull"...
Oh, it's Pottery's tradition.
The local potbank gives damaged ware
to the fair for the coconut shy.
- It's fun.
- Yes, I thought to myself,
I thought why should the proletariat
have all the fun.
Gordon Forsythe,
and you are, young miss?
Clarice Cliff, sir.
I'm a designer at Wilkinson's.
Are you indeed?
I was just saying, Miss Cliff,
that we could do with more
lady designers about the place.
Well, uh, shall I go first?
And... pull!
Good shot.
Into the shoulder. That's it.
Very good.
Be careful, Miss Cliff.
Well, I won't shoot ya.
I mean, don't misinterpret
my brother's attentions.
I can tell you
he's a devoted family man.
- The fact that you are here today -
- I'm here as a designer, Mr Shorter.
I'm not here as a woman.
- A designer?
- Yes, sir.
Miss Cliff, you've given us
one cheap child's egg cup.
- Everything all right?
- Of course.
Good, good.
So, Gordon, what's this plan of
yours to save this industry?
Well, The Potteries need
a higher ambition.
Art and industry combined.
Modern art for the table.
Folks don't want new.
They want what they've always had.
But fancier and cheaper.
Foreign imports are flooding
the bottom end of the market.
What we need are The Potteries to be
in their rightful place,
at the pinnacle of excellence.
But if folks are buying
the cheap stuff,
then surely that's what they want.
So, we descend to the level
of the foreign imports?
That's our future as you see it,
Miss Cliff?
Well, it's just I don't see as how
folks want posher, pricier things,
what with no-one having any money
these days.
Well, that's because the customer
needs to be educated.
What he's buying is an investment.
It's an heirloom.
But do folks really think like that
these days?
Where The Potteries lead,
everyone follows,
remember that, Miss Cliff.
WE set the standard.
All right.
Let's have that goddamn drink.
Well, I think that went rather well.
What do you think, Guy?
I won't be invited back, will I?
Well, that was a bold move
disagreeing with Gordon Forsythe.
But then we have to shake things up,
otherwise what's the point.
What will... What will Wilkinson's
achieve? Nothing of consequence,
nothing that matters.
Mr Shorter, I have ideas.
Well, abou... about pieces that folk
might like.
Well, folk except Gordon.
Have you had that
in your bag all day?
May I?
I've never seen anything like it.
- It's the flawed biscuit ware.
- Well, you can't use that.
Wilkinson's sold by quality.
The cracks are hairline.
The pieces are sound.
Where are the flaws on that cup?
- Hmm, the light's poor.-Even in the
best light, it's impossible to see.
This could make
the unsaleable saleable.
And it only needs an enamel firing,
that's all.
Thank you.
No, thank you for...
Thank you, Miss Cliff.
You look beautiful.
How'd it go?
Well, I didn't shoot anyone.
With him.
I showed him the cup.
- You did?
- Mm.
We'll see.
Perfect bride.
Everyone out!
Do something! Do something!
What is it? What's happened?
It's my fault.
The bonts on the glost kiln...
broke. All the stocks and shave
fibres in the kiln went down on
Fred's new Oriflamme.
I've run out of time.
I have a plan.
We're sitting on hundreds of pounds
worth of unused stock.
And all it needs is the enamel kiln.
Once the decoration's on,
no need for a glost kiln.
This is just bizarre.
It will cost our reputation.
Or make it.
Gordon Forsythe was
calling for art in industry.
This... this thing is ours.
- Is it?
- It would show that we're innovating.
That... that we're not afraid
at Wilkinson's
to do something different
once in a while.
We have the courage
of our conviction.
We have courage.
The kiln hands showed courage
going into the ruins
of our bottle ovens,
and rescuing what they could.
Some might say we should not be
pushing so hard
to do something different.
I can do a full range
in time for the trade fair.
In four weeks, that's impossible.
All right.
All right, which is worse? Hm?
Turning up to the trade fair
or this, this, this, all this.
I am not risking our reputation.
We put it under a different name.
- Surely you're not considering...
- What about the Newport factory?
We could use that. And we could put
her name on the pieces,
make her look like
a renowned designer.
You can't put it in the Newport
factory. It's condemned.
What's the range called, Miss Cliff?
- Bizarre.
- Bizarre...
Bizarre, Fred, Bizarre. I like it.
I like it.
I like it.
After you.
I thought it fell down.
Well, only part of it.
Oh, look at that.
Your very own factory.
Go on.
There's a big one there.
Bring that too.
Just put it over there.
Let me have a go. Come here.
Not in my factory, you don't.
No, no.
I had a crocus design once
and it didn't sell, so...
Yeah, well,
then I'll do it differently.
- Yeah.
- It won't sell.
Oh, come on, Fred.
It's bold, it's exciting,
it's... it's vibrant.
It will sell.
Clarice, this...
Clarice, this is... this is...
this is... it is too rough
with one coat, no?
Far too rough.
The brushwork is part of the design.
Too fussy and there's just...
There's no life to it.
What does that look mean?
Means you are right.
My apologies.
Means you're right.
And that one.
Losing my touch.
Don't you judge me...
You know her?
Yeah, she got me
sacked from Wilkinson's.
You tell Dot or I will.
- Who's Dot?
- How could you?!
Don't you go on acting
all high and mighty.
Everybody knows how low you've
gone to keep your job.
Oh, my God, is that the woman?
I thought she'd be pretty.
Give that back to Dot for me!
You cheap hussy!
Yer bath's gone cold,
but you're not touching owt
- till you're washed.
- Dot...
I was walkin' home
and I saw Reg with another woman.
Leave her be.
Why'd you have to tell her?
Why couldn't it wait?
On top of the worry
of the operation.
What operation?
Oh, I hadn't seen you to tell you.
Tell me what?
In the next week, she's having
her innards taken out.
Dot... stop.
Stop it!
It's cos he knows there's no future.
We can't have a family.
What was she like?
I don't know how that woman
could live with herself,
taking somebody else's man.
Maybe she just doesn't think
about it, I mean...
is that how you homewreckers
live with yourselves?
I've done nothing.
You comin' home?
Thought this place fell down.
Only a part of it.
It's you.
It's your name on it.
Clarice, I'm absolutely done here.
- Well, buck up.
- Who's the boss of who?
Uh, Colley, this is my sister Dot.
- Nice to meet you, Dot.
- You too.
I'll see you later.
I need help.
I need paintresses.
All right.
All right.
Mr Shorter.
My apologies.
I'll leave you to it.
Yes. Betty, Gladys.
Ladies, thank you so much
for coming.
What's he doing here?
Well, we've got work to do.
Look, see, thick strokes.
- No, thicker.
- You'll see me brush mark.
- I want to see your brush marks.
- You're messin'?
Well, you're free to go back
to painting rosebuds next door.
Betty's got it.
Look, you're still not getting it.
Look, sweep. See?
We will prevail, ladies.
Thick brush marks.
We need thicker strokes and colour.
Still better than yours.
Just touch this one, please.
I like it green.
Do it.
Are you sure?
OK, it's not finished,
I still need to...
I love it.
Thank you.
It's too early for breakfast,
so I've made...
Oh, my good Lord.
Your beautiful hair.
- She made me do it.
- No, I didn't.
You look like summat
from t'workhouse.
Go show 'em what you're made of.
And put a hat on!
Now, the displays. Are you happy?
..exactly what he said. "I think
it's because I have three legs."
I've never understood what he meant.
Oh, I do love that.
Ah, there she is.
Oh, oh, nearly went.
Oh, come on.
- I can't dance.-Neither can I.
- Two left feet. Always have.
They're very good. Tell you what,
I know a rather wonderful
little French restaurant
just off Piccadilly.
Or we can go to the Criterion
or we can go to Savoy,
the choice is yours.
I have an idea.
I like ideas.
- Well, I'm far too hungry to wait.
- I'm far too old to catch up.
- Hurry up.
- All right, hold on.
That's going to be you later on.
- Hey, shall we sit?
- Yes.
All right.
- Well, you start by opening it.
- Mmm-hmm. All right.
I'm starving.
Mmm. Really good.
Mmm. Really good.
You can't cope with
a working man's food, can you?
Hey, you should have asked them
to wrap your chips in The Telegraph.
Don't mock me,
I've never done this before.
You've never lived.
I started too late.
Hey, better late than never.
Fred, the sugar bowl,
it's too near the table edge.
They're coming.
They're coming?
It's not set up right.
No, no, no, no, no, no. Leave it.
Get ready.
- Why did you change it?
- It's all right.
It's all right.
Sorry about that, I...
Look, Guy, I'm afraid, insisted.
Good morning, gentleman.
How are you? Been a long time.
Good to see you. I heard your mother
had a fall. Is she all right?
I want to show you
something very special.
This is the design
that's called Bizarre.
We are trying to blow everyone
out of the water with that.
- Interesting technique.
- Do come back later and speak to me.
I wanna show you something.
It's a new design.
- Female designer.-If you have colour,
you might as well use it.
- What do you think?
- It's interesting.
Maybe it's not for everyone,
but we... we...
What's this?
It's Bizarre.
Test pieces?
It's a bright and cheerful
burst of joy for the modern woman.
And what you say is bright and
cheerful could also be described as
- cheap and tasteless.
- A bit of colour brings a smile.
You'll find a modern woman
has a more refined taste.
What they want are
pieces to invest in,
heirlooms to pass on
to her own children.
What she wants is the reassurances
of the best quality
and classic design.
The modern woman is forward-looking.
Not backward-looking.
A modern woman, my dear,
will not want tat.
Many's the time I had
my ideas pushed back.
Clarice, the trick is to know
when to keep going
but also to know when to stop.
Clarice, I'm so sorry.
I thought I had something
that people would want,
but I...
I don't, do I? I don't have anything
that these people want.
I really love Bizarre, Cliff.
It's too late now, anyway.
You better go back inside.
I saw them and I smiled,
didn't I, Elsie?
- Yes, you did.
- And they make you smile.
Oh, I'll bet it's pricey.
Take it.
- Thank you.
- Here you go.
Thank you.
Welcome back.
I made you a coconut cake.
How'd it go?
They said, uh...
They said Bizarre made them smile.
Course they did.
- Is this it?
- Mmm.
That's a bit of sunshine, ain't it?
Oh, good Lord.
"Bizarre by Clarice Cliff."
You never gave up.
You knew what you wanted
and you did it.
Well, so can you.
Eh, you should, uh...
- You should do your dressmaking.
- Hmm.
- I'm going to bed.
- Night.
She wanted to stay up to see you.
- We were that jittery, weren't we?
- Yeah.
It sold nowt, Mum.
I didn't want to upset Dot.
Oh, duck.
What next?
Beg for my job. I mean,
we can't all three be without work.
Can you not go elsewhere?
No-one's hiring. Besides,
they all saw me fail.
They're not going to take me on.
It's not all on your shoulders.
My name's on the pieces.
It is on my shoulders.
Where's Colley?
He won't be in.
Do you know when he'll be back?
Sit down.
- Mr Shorter...
- Sit.
Please don't sack me.
- My sister's...
- You're not losing your job.
You're back on a paintress wage.
Back on toby jugs.
And that's being more than fair.
The only reason you've still got
a job is I promised my damn fool
brother I wouldn't sack you.
Where is he?
Hear this, Miss Cliff.
After I've spoken to you, go
straight to the Newport Factory
and sack your paintresses.
If they ask you why,
you'll say it's because of you
and your damned Bizarre ware
ruining the trade fair.
We've never had so few orders.
We are on a knife-edge!
Uh, yeah.
- Mr Shorter, can my girls
not go back to Wilkinson's?-No.
- They're hard workers!
- We can't afford them.
You have harmed our factory
and you have harmed our family.
We should have sacked you
when we caught you stealing.
Knowing when to stop.
I've got to ask for two days off.
My sister's goin' in to hospital.
I'll let Mr Guy know.
I did want to ask Guy about stock.
That the brights have run out.
Mr Guy wants us to cut costs.
So they'll not restock.
You'll have to change your colour
ways to the cheaper enamels.
Then let him go.
I bill him too much.
Vera, was, um,
was Colley made to step down
after the trade fair?
Well, I thought
Mr Colley might have told ya.
Uh, told me what?
Please put together a list of names.
Please, we are on our knees.
We have to let people go.
Mr Colley has cancer.
They decided to delay the treatment
till after the trade fair.
Doctors urged him not to,
but you know how he is.
He wanted to do right
by the factory.
..firing people.
They have families, children.
Many of these people have been
with us two generations.
At least 50%. Now, we are done.
It's been too long. Go and ask.
Sit down. I'll get you some tea.
Excuse me.
- We've been waiting so long. My sister -
- Clarice.
This way.
Mrs Cliff, please, take a seat.
- Where is she then?
- I'm very sorry,
Dorothy has passed away.
We believe she must have had
an undiagnosed heart.
Her heart were broken.
We were there in that corridor.
While she was alone.
I heard she was wearing green.
"I heard a voice
from heaven saying unto me...'
I'll collect Dot's things
from the factory tomorrow.
What'll you do now then?
You'll find a way.
What does that Mr Shorter think?
I haven't seen him
since the trade fair.
He's got cancer.
And I don't know if he's alive.
Or dead or dying and I...
He didn't even tell me he was ill.
I mean not that he had to.
Were you... Were you and he...
Did Dot never say?
He was the only man
who liked Bizarre.
No-one else liked it.
We're sorry.
- About Dot.
- She were that lovely.
Thank you.
You're painting with drabs, too.
There's no brights.
My Archie, he does the books.
He said there's
six months left in the place.
They're running it down.
Do you ever buy any of the stuff
we make here?
- It's hideous.
- God, no.
- Me nana buys it.
- I liked what you were doin'.
- Over next door.
- It was so cheerful.
Wee bit of fun.
If I get some cake in...
would you come to the Newport factory
tomorrow lunchtime
and just talk to me about what you
buy and how you buy it?
If there's cake, I'm there.
Oh, no. I'd never buy a green.
I saw this display once. There was
all these plates piled together,
they must have been glued or summat.
It was like a tower.
- I couldn't keep my eyes off it.
- Mind you, there's only so much
- you can do with plates and bowls.
- I'm sure we could do something.
- Well, like what?-We could make
an animal, an horse,
and it could have a big terrine
as its body.
Sugar bowl snout.
- And little candlesticks for legs.
- Cups for ears.
And a little salt shaker
for his tail.
- That would make me stop in a shop.
- It would when it all fell over.
Glue it. Wire the plates together.
- That will be good.-There's some good
ideas comin' out of this one.
It looks great.
- Where else do you shop from?
- Makeup demonstrations.
A woman at the counter
ready to take your money,
make a girl look like
she's in the movies.
I just went to the fancy butchers.
Awful gossip he is.
He knows everything about everyone.
Anyway, he was telling me
about Mr Colley Shorter
of all the people...
And he's all right, Clarice.
Apparently, he's lost his spirit.
That's what they're saying, anyway.
Had to buy the best beef for that.
You going in there askin' about
Mr Shorter, people are gonna talk.
Sirloin steak tonight.
We don't buy door to door.
Get on with ya.
I'm from Wilkinson's.
I'm here to see Colley Shorter.
It's urgent.
Oh, God.
- What the hell are you doing here?
- I wanted to see you.
You should've...
you should have warned me.
Cliff, it's good to see you.
And you.
I hear you're on the mend.
Bloody cancer.
I'd not bother with it
if I were you.
Look, Cliff...
I just...
I couldn't, uh, tell you.
I tried, I did.
And will you be back?
Oh, yes, I'm sure they're all
to have me back at the factory.
Well, I want you back.
Bless you.
I know how we can sell Bizarre.
And there I was thinking that you
came here because of me.
- I am here because of you.
- Hmm.
I know how much you believe
in being bold.
Doing something new.
You want my help in pushing
Bizarre? Is that it?
- Hmm?
- Yes.
Cliff, no, no. Bizarre is dead.
What's wrong with you?
What's wr... wrong with me
- was... You mean apart from the
obvious?-Oh, I didn't mean that.
I know what you meant.
I know what you meant.
Well, let's see, shall we,
I've taken the family business
and thrown it all away.
I've caused a kiln to collapse.
A man will likely never recover
from his burns.
- That enough? Do you require more
from me?-We took risks. Together.
And we... we failed, yes.
- But then we try again.
- At what cost?!
What cost if we do nothing?
I won't give up.
Cliff, nobody wants Bizarre.
But Bizarre isn't the problem,
it's the way that we sold it.
Oh, you come to my home
and presume to tell me
- you know my business better than me?
- I know your business
differently to you.
What... what did Gordon Forsythe say.
"Where The Potteries leads,
others follow."
How do we lead
if we're not first off the block?
Taking risks,
doing something different!
And what price
have I paid for that?!
Please just get it into your head
now is not the time.
What do you mean...
You're wrong.
Now is the only time.
And you know what, I'm...
I'm going to Monday's board meeting.
Because I still believe in Bizarre.
- Good.
- Good!
- Good!
- What happened to Colley Shorter?
Where did he go?
- You've got a bloody nerve.-Gladys,
I have a plan to get your job back.
I just... I need you and Betty to...
The men are all liars
at the trade fair.
They didn't like Bizarre.
But we both know that women do.
How do we sell this directly
to women?
I need as many of us as we can
to come up with ideas
and convince the men.
If you come back,
the others will, too.
Do you always have a cup on ya?
You look beautiful.
If it works for lipstick,
it'll work for tea cups.
- Get it up. Up, up.
- Hang on.
All right.
- Make way for Bizooka!
- Are you sure? OK.
Well, you're doing a great job.
Make way for Bizooka!
What, you never seen a giraffe
on a walk before, lad?
OK, Bizarre girls.
Yes, that's it.
- Ready?
- No.
Nothing we can do, Fred.
It's not good enough.
- Get the hell out!-Hey, hey, hey,
let's not forget ourselves.
- You deal with it.
- Jack.
Ah, sit down...
No, I don't think so, ladies.
Now is not the time or the place.
What the bloody hell is that?
- What in God's name.-Well, someone
didn't know when to stop.
Mr Colley.
- Morning, everyone.
- What is this?
Pretend I'm not here.
So just, uh, carry on, Guy.
Will somebody tell me what
the bloody hell is going on here?
Products aimed at women
are sold directly to women.
Not to men.
I bet you don't buy lipstick, Fred?
Me? Well, no, not often.
Oh, but there's people making
a lot of money out of lipstick.
And you don't buy
these magazines, John.
Me... me wife does. Masses of'em.
- Well, Bizarre...
- Not Bizarre.
Hear me out.
- Bizarre doesn't appeal to men.
- That much is clear.
Well, neither do these things here,
but these things sell.
And so can Bizarre.
Because most of the women
we know like it.
We love it.
If we sell Bizarre directly to women,
we'd be doing what other industries
have done for years with these things
here, but we'd be leading
the way in The Potteries.
No trade fairs,
no adverts in a gazette,
no salesmen dealing with shop men.
Well, go on.
Yes, go on, Miss Cliff.
Please, how do we reach women?
Right, uh-huh.
- That's right, well...
- Yes.
Sit down, positions.
- You all look marvellous.
- Right.
Are we ready?
All right.
- Clarice, are you ready?
- Yes. Yes.
- All right.
- We're ready then.
- Ready, Bizarre girls?
- Yes!-Ready.
I didn't expect that.
Don't worry, they'll come.
They'll come.
Just do it.
Well, let... let's get painting,
shall we?
- Yeah.
- All right.
And they shall follow.
They... they will come.
They're coming. They're coming.
They really are coming in.
We are getting a photograph.
"The famous young pottery artist,
Miss Cliff,
is the quin...
quintessential woman about town."
Says here you live in London
and have a dog called Chichi.
It says here
I'm 20 and regularly enjoy Paris.
I don't know about this woman here,
but the Clarice Cliff I know
sets her own path.
More tea?
All right, we do have it.
Thank you.
Where is she?
- Hey!
- Getting changed.
- You haven't signed the contract?
- No.
Oh, for God's sake. Why not?
We've never had so many orders,
you're now art director,
your paintresses had their pay rise,
what's the problem?
Have you had other offers?
If so, from who?
- Oh.
- Give me some time, please.
Well, I don't have long.
Guy's taking Fred and I
to the industry dinner tonight.
Herbert's waiting outside.
It'll be quicker.
Come on, we're late.
My wife bought a crocus set
last week,
I nearly choked on my tea when I saw
what I was drinking from.
How'd you get that line?
Well, I'll have to teach you.
I have to tell you, Fred, it's taken
me many years to get to where I am.
Fred, I need Miss Cliff
for five minutes.
Right. I'll see you later.
I heard the Palace got in touch.
Queen Mary wants a set of them.
Oh, do we have to go
to the industry dinner?
- Goodnight, ladies.-I mean, they hate
Bizarre and they hate us.-This way.
- They'll hate us even more if we're
late.-Come on, it's important.
Don't be a stick-in-the-mud.
Now I hate to keep going on like
this, Cliff. This contract...
- is three years too long?
- Only three years?
- Well, how long can you give?
- Well, how long do you want?
Well, I... I...
I never want you to leave.
If I'm honest.
Well, then.
Let's say...
Take it from there.
What? What's this?
- Come on.
- What?
A different kind of industry dinner.
Daily Mail or Telegraph?
- Thank you.
- My pleasure.
I've been thinking.
Go on.
I say we ditch the tired old shapes.
We stop playing it safe.
And we experiment
with entirely new forms.
- Hmm.
- Square plates. Uh, uh, rectangles.
Angular cups.
Triangular handles.
Candlesticks, cone on cone.
We could do flat-sided teapots.
Sun burst. Sun ray.
- What about factory smoke?
- Stop it.
The girls had quite
a pleasant sort of painting room,
I can remember that.
It was good, real good.
All the girls enjoyed it.
And we all were one team
and we used to have some fun.
She made me appreciate colour.
I've wondered about it since,
how she was able to think
of such ideas,
but she did, didn't she?
And I did admire
the girls that worked there
because they were so clever.
We had to sit in the window with
white overalls and a large collar.
A large spotted bow, like an artist,
and we just sat there painting away.
She brought so much light
into it and life.
Pottery trained I think.
Her contribution to the
A J Wilkinson factory was, I think,
er, a certain flair.
Her success was off the charts.
I mean, over her career
she sold more than eight and a half
million pieces of pottery.
She thought the world
of her clients.
They were very close.
Us paintresses would never
speak of it directly,
but secrets.
The two houses on the hill,
the collection really was about
Clarice and Colley.
He was in another world.
A world different
from a row of terraced houses
where she was born and brought up.
This was something different.
It was a fairy story, wasn't it?
We knew she'd been seeing him then.