The Edwardians (1972) s01e06 Episode Script

The Reluctant Juggler

(Clock chimes) Come on, I wanna get good seats for Charlie Coborn, cos he's my favourite.
- Who else is on, love? - Vesta Victoria.
I like her.
Oh, hello, how are you? (Lively chatter) - Merry Christmas.
(Piano plays) (Low conversation) - You were right to let me know.
- I thought it best under the circumstances.
Keep your ears open and your eyes open.
Yes, Mr Ross.
I'll be getting back to my post.
Round up the artistes.
I'd be a happier man if we could somehow manage without them.
Ah! (Orchestra plays Burlington Bertie) AUDIENCE: I'm Burlington Bertie from Bow Everything all right? As right as it will ever be.
(Orchestra finishes with musical flourish) (Cheering and applause) (Drum roll) Fanfare (Classical intro) (Sporadic applause) Good evening, ladies, and what you have with you.
This evening, by way of a change, I will show you tricks I have performed all over the civilised world, and in certain parts of Sheffield.
The first illusion, a juggling feat.
Watch very carefully, ladies and gentlemen.
Four spoons, four glasses.
Throwing the spoons into the air (Audience jeers and heckles) Ladies and gentlemen (Cheering) to put all the spoons in the glasses.
I'm sure you'll appreciate, it's a far from easy trick.
Watch very carefully.
(Drum roll) (Audience laughs) It's a bit dark in here.
However, we shall persevere.
Ladies and gentlemen, it's teatime.
- Teatime WOMAN: Hello, Charlie! (Women call out) As you will see, ladies and gentlemen, that was a neat bit of art there.
Now, as you watch very carefully, a balancing feat.
Your indulgence, ladies and gentlemen.
(Drum roll) (Laughter) (Coughs) Since I've been in London It's easy to see There's no other fella looks smarter than me I'm strolling - Leave it there, George, old cock.
- How do? How's the world treating you? Well enough, but not very often.
(Chuckles) And the nipper? Oh, he's grand.
You should hear him singing especially in the middle of the night.
Got a lovely voice just like his old man, is that it? Oh, aye.
(Chuckles) But he's not going to end up doing this sort of job, not if I can help it.
Doctor or a lawyer or chimney sweep - you know, something you can look up to.
Steeplejack? 'Appen.
Where will you be in the new year, George? Here, there and every bloomin' where, if I'm spared, that is.
You know why I'm asking? Oh, aye.
- Aye, I've read the parish newsletter.
- Good boy, George.
I'm a good boy, all right.
But I don't think it'll trouble me all that much, do you? It's only the London halls, in't it? Well, I'm not sure, but probably.
Payne and Gibbons are likely to be most difficult.
Aye, I shouldn't wonder.
Anyroad, during the week in question That's quite good that, in't it? "During the week in question.
" I'm up north somewhere, split week - Birkenhead and Swaziland, something like that, I can't remember.
Anyroad, I'm with you, like.
Good on you, George.
Ah! You don't think it can be done.
Ladies and gentlemen, watch very carefully as I put all of the spoons into the glasses.
(Drum roll) (Jeering and laughter) Don't worry, ladies and gentlemen, I will be back later on in the show and will no doubt put all the spoons into the glasses.
Thank you, ladies and gentlemen.
Fanfare (Piano starts up) (Cheering and applause) (Knock at door) - Five minutes, Mr Formby.
- I thought it was St Peter for a moment.
I'm sorry, Mr Roberts.
- Evening.
- Is it? Oh, well (Coughs) How'd it go? Nah.
(Coughs) - Good luck, pal.
- Oh, ta.
What's the matter, mate? Three balls go up and only two come down? No, double it.
I'm doing two spots here, right? Two spots.
And when I get here it transpires Who? - Transpires.
- Oh, yes, I know him.
He used to play left-half for Chelsea.
Do you want to know what happened or what? All right! I'm listening, ain't I? When I get here, it transpires there's a ventriloquist gone sick at the Paragon.
Can I fill in there as well? So when you asked me did I do well, I just can't tell you.
I can't even think straight.
All I can think about is am I doing the right thing at the right time? Have I got the right props? Am I doing the right routine? It's driving me mad.
They just treat us like dirt.
Well, you've got a contract, haven't you? Well sort of, yes.
If you've got a contract, you've got nothing to worry about if you're in the union.
The union, of course.
You're not in the federation? - I keep meaning to be but - You hang on just a minute.
Now, you fill that in, my old cocker.
And we'll see what transpires.
(Piano plays) Now, it's not easy for a fella like me when I'm in London.
I mean, you're surrounded by them, aren't you? (Laughter) And people put upon you if you don't stand firm.
I don't mind joining things except where religion and politics are concerned.
Nobody's arguing about that.
I don't mind giving to good causes when I can afford it, which isn't very often.
I was just gonna invite you to buy me a drink.
I'll stand my corner, ask anyone in the business.
But I'm not going on strike for nobody! You're gonna have to, mate.
It's all right for the big noises like you.
You'll survive, you always do.
The little people like me - we won't survive.
Every strike that ever was, there'll be victimisation.
There always is.
And who do they pick on? They pick on the ones who can't fight back.
But we're all in this together.
They victimise one, they victimise us all, so we all fight back.
Look, it's a full house out there tonight, isn't it? I ain't seen it.
They might run away home when I come on.
Who have they come to see? They've come to see you, to see George, to see all the others who are going on later.
How many have paid to see me? How many looked at the bill and thought, "We must go and see him"? How many? Not one.
Not one solitary person's paid to see my act.
I'm a time filler, friend.
I know what I am! They can manage without me.
There's plenty of others on the street - some better aye, and some worse.
So you're a boss's man? I've got a wife and four children.
If you look at that bill, you'll find my name sharing billing with a printer.
I've got no bloody choice! I've got to be a boss's man.
You'll be back later? You know that.
Well, we might try to persuade you, cock.
You're at the Canterbury.
I've checked on that.
And I've got a lot of friends in the business.
I've checked on that.
For we were all boozed Every blessed one of us All boozed Every mother's son of us We drank Four Ale or anything we could grab There were five and twenty of us and we all went home in a cab We couldn't get the horse to go, so Johnson got a pin.
And with the most delightful smile (Chuckles) he calmly sticks it in.
The gee-gee didn't like it, he let out a sudden roar.
And then shot out its right hind leg in poor old Johnson's jaw.
(Laughter) So after that, we made a move And put the horse inside Together with the cabbie, for we thought they'd like a ride Then six of us shoved the lot along To get the journey o'er But when we got home, our loving wives Would not open the door (Laughter) For we were all boozed Every blessed one of us All boozed Every mother's son of us We drank Four Ale Or anything we could grab There were five and twenty of us and we all went home in a cab All boozed Every blessed one of us All boozed Every mother's son of us We drank Four Ale Or anything we could grab There were five and twenty of us and we all went home in a cab (Cheering) You'd better make it half past nine.
There you are.
There's a cab waiting for you.
He's been waiting five minutes.
Er I got held up in the dressing room.
Just a moment.
Has Gus Elen been talking to you? Yes, we exchanged a few words.
Anything to do with these rumours we've been hearing? Rumours? Talk of a strike in the new year.
Yes, yes, he did mention something about it.
I wonder what you said.
Well, I I said it was out of the question.
That was a very sensible thing to say.
Thank you, Mr Roberts.
Back here sharp at a quarter to ten.
Quarter to ten sharp, Mr Roberts.
She's no girl for sitting down to dream She's the only girl Laguna knows I know she likes me I know she likes me Because she said so She is my Lily of Laguna She is my lily and my rose (George coughs) GUS: You're working very hard tonight, George.
GEORGE: I mustn't grumble but I do.
I quite like a nice grumble.
Oh, well, I'll just have a little drop of medicinal, I think.
- Will you? - Not before I go on, George.
It might improve your performance.
George, you can't improve on perfection, can you? Oh, I wouldn't know.
I never managed it, anyroad.
Don't say I didn't make the offer.
Never to be re peated.
You're on, Mr Elen.
(Posh voice) Oh, George, my public awaits me.
I like anything like that, don't you? I've got a strong inclination to separate him from his breath.
Hardly worth the bother.
The world's full of them - close-set eyes and nasty with it.
Let's go on and do a bit, shall we? (Knock at door) - It's like Piccadilly in here tonight.
Are you decent? For you, Vesta, my darling, always.
Never mind, I'll come in just the same.
Just thought I'd see how you were, both of you.
Mustn't grumble BOTH: But I do.
- George? - Coughing better every day, ta.
Working better every day, too.
You're only saying that, like him - trying to get round me cos I've got the bottle.
It's all talk with him but I was watching you.
- You cheeky beggar! - Mr Elen, please! I'm coming this minute, ain't I? Watch it, lad! It's all right, guv, there's only half of 'em gone home.
(Musical flourish) (Cheering and applause) I never knew you was here! You wasn't making much noise asking me to come on, was you? It wasn't my fault, it was Freddie the Unready.
Come on, Freddie, give us my song.
I hate those blokes what talks about the things what they likes to drink Such as tea and coffee, cocoa and milk Why of such things, I never think Now, I'm plain in my habits and I'm plain in my food And what I says is this: That a bloke what drinks such rubbish with his meals Well, I always gives him a miss Cos for breakfast I never thinks of having tea I likes half a pint of ale And for dinner I like A little bit of meat And half a pint of ale And after tea I likes A little bit of fish And half a pint of ale And for supper I likes A crust of bread and cheese And a pint and a half of ale Now, this is how I looks at it And I think you'll agree with me I've never seen a bloke get drunk in my life On cocoa, coffee or tea (Laughter) Ya think I'd pay one and eight a pound for tea? Why, the thought makes me feel queer When I think of what you get For another half a crown Such a pretty little barrel of beer Cos for breakfast I never think of having tea I likes half a pint of ale And for dinner I like A little bit of meat And half a pint of ale - Problems? - Just one, sir.
Our mutual friend on the stage? Yeah.
My office.
a crust of bread and cheese And a barrel and a half of ale What's he been up to? It's all to do with this strike.
GUS: they've pains in their tummy and they've pains in their back But I never gets a pain with ale And I always feels merry and I always feels right When I've had a glass or two So why should I drink coffee or tea And Elen's been lobbying backstage, has he? Yeah, trying to persuade Alfredo to join the federation and the strike.
Alfredo! The names they give themselves.
I feel quite embarrassed giving the information to the printers, some weeks.
Besides they will not go on strike.
Mr Gibbons, our lord and master, says the artistes will not go on strike.
And I agree with him.
Can you see people like them being able to organise themselves? A crust of bread and cheese And a barrel and a half of ale Like that, did you? Did you like that? Did you like it, missus? Do you want some more? There's a woman down here can't get enough! Come on, let's sing it again.
Come on.
For breakfast I never think of having tea I likes my half a pint of ale And for dinner I likes a little bit of meat And half a pint of ale Now for tea I likes a little bit of fish We can't stop people talking to each other.
Mr Gibbons will not have his theatres turned into dens of intrigue.
It's a simple contradiction.
Is it? Entertaining the public one minute, then plotting backstage to ruin the entire profession? But Mr Gibbons said they couldn't organise themselves.
That is his considered opinion.
So do we need to worry all that much? I have a brother, a schoolmaster.
He tells me how the children behave - arrogant, noisy, impertinent, self-centred.
Occasionally talented and very charming - not unlike our artistes.
Yes, I see the resemblance.
Now, one wouldn't expect a classroom of children to organise themselves very efficiently.
But they could run wild and cause a great deal of trouble.
Ah, I see what you mean.
Now, your job And I don't envy you, Mr Roberts, though by the same token, I don't always envy myself.
Your job is to make sure they don't run wild.
It's a great big shame And if she'd belonged to me I'd let her know who's who Nagging at a fella what is six foot three And her only four foot two Oh, they ain't been married for a month or more When underneath her thumb goes Jim Oh, isn't it a pity that the likes of her Should put upon the likes of him? Oh, aye.
I'd go on strike tomorrow, if they asked me.
Would you? Well, I mean to say, what a life, isn't it? I mean, you finish last house Portsmouth or Southampton, you look in your diary to see where next, and it says Aberdeen, you know! Sunday sat in trains.
Always plenty of good company.
Ah, but even in a crowd, you're on your own really, aren't you? You are in a bad way, aren't you, dear? You'll be going the way of Dan Leno.
Well, I've got my Hamlet set hanging behind the door, you know.
Anyway, you're getting well paid, aren't you? Oh, are they supposed to pay you? I thought we did it for good will, like.
Mind, it's nice when they shout and cheer.
(Sighs) They need something to cheer about, most of them.
'Ee, but there was this fella on the bill tonight.
I know him.
Juggler - misery.
Well, they never cheer him, you know.
He's not bad.
He's quite good, really.
I couldn't do what he does.
But they don't cheer him.
A bit of clapping, like, for decency's sake.
But they don't cheer him.
I mean, one day perhaps quite soon, they'll stop clapping him altogether.
What happens then? That can happen to any of us.
Oh, I know that right enough.
(Coughs) When it does, well, what's the odds? You'll just look back and remember the times when they cheered and shouted.
There's still only a few of us.
Most people never get clapped and cheered at all.
We've got that, you see.
Well, that cheers me up a bit.
Next time you're in your train off to Aberdeen, have a look out of the window.
Oh, I do.
I count the sparrows.
I don't mean that.
Look at the towns.
Look at the places where people live, the places where they work.
Where there's muck, there's brass.
And kids going hungry.
Your lad's not going hungry, is he? No.
And he won't.
Then who's the lucky ones - us or them? Aye.
Well, thank you, Grandmama, for putting me right.
Sitting in your railway carriage feeling sorry for yourself.
- I'm sorry.
- Go on.
'Ere, do you think I should take a bit of knitting with me when I go on the train? I just look out of the window.
I thank God I'm in the train.
You should see my little back yard What a pretty spot, you'd cry Oh, it's lovely on a sunny summer's day With the turnip tops and cabbages That people doesn't buy I makes it on a Sunday look all gay Now, the neighbours thinks we grows 'em And you'd think that you're in Kent Or at Epsom if you gaze into the mews It's a wonder as the landlord doesn't wanna raise the rent Because we have such nobby distant views Now, it really is a very pretty garden And Chingford to the eastward can be seen With a ladder and some glasses You can see to Hackney Marshes If it wasn't for the houses in between There's the bunny shares his egg box with the cross-eyed cock and hen Though they has got the pip and him the 'morf In a dog's house on the line post there was pigeons, nine or ten Till someone took a brick and knocked it off The dust cart, though it seldom comes Isjust like harvest home And we're gonna rig a dairy up somehow Stick the donkey in the washhouse with some imitation horns Cos we're teaching 'im to moo just like a cow (Laughter) Now, it really is a very pretty garden And Hendon to the northward can be seen And if you climb up the chimley You can see as far as Wembley If it wasn't for the houses in between Though the gasworks is at Woolwich They improve the rural scene And for mountains, they could very easy pass With the mushrooms in the dust hole And the cucumbers so green Oh, we only wants a bit of hothouse glass Now I wears this milkman's nightshirt And I sits outside all day Like the ploughboy cove what's mizzled o'er the Lea And when I goes inside at night, they dunno what I say Cos my language is as yokel as can be Now, it really is a very pretty garden And Rye House from the cock-Ioft can be seen If I had a rope and pulley I could feel the breeze more fully If it wasn't for the houses in between Now, it really is a very pretty garden And the scrap yard from the rooftops can be seen If I had a rope and pulley I could feel the breeze more fully If it wasn't for the houses in between Thank you! (Rapturous applause) (Cheering and whistling) (Orchestra plays) (Applause) (Drum roll) (Coughs) Since I've been in London Oh, how'd it go? Very good, cock.
I kept moving, and they didn't hit me once.
It's best to keep moving.
Just nice time.
- It's Canterbury next, in't it? - Yeah, slumming again.
I've finished for the night.
I'm surprised you're still here.
- I had a word with Vesta.
- You wicked old man! Oh, I know, I've got right wicked since I started parting your hair in the middle? (Drum roll) (Applause) So I said to this Salvation Army geezer, "Do you save wicked women?" "Yes," he said.
"Right," I said.
"Save one for me for Saturday night.
" I don't understand what you mean.
Oh, northerners.
Gawd help us.
(Chuckles) (Drum roll) (Applause) (Cheering) (Drum roll) (Cheering and applause) (Laughter) - Good night.
- Good night.
See you tomorrow, if we're spared.
If you can spare me a minute, Mr Elen.
Well I might be able to spare you three-and-a-half minutes, Mr Ross.
I should just like to explain the operation of this theatre.
That should be very interesting.
I had an auntie who had an operation.
We provide backstage facilities in order that the artistes may change, apply their make-up, prepare their properties.
- It was to cure her limp.
- Was it really? We do not provide accommodation It was very successful.
They cured her.
in order that you may cause troubles among the artistes.
They cut her leg off.
You see, Mr Ross, if I try to persuade some of my colleagues to come to church with me, there's no harm in that.
I must help some of them to see the light.
That's not what we are talking about.
We are talking about incitement to strike.
Oh, that.
Well, there's no sense in discussing that.
Cos if we go on strike, we'll win.
We'll wipe the floor with you and your gentlemen bosses.
Are you coming, George? Yes, well, um I think I'd better be going.
It's not good for a young lad like me to be on the streets this time of night.
It's the night air - it rots my boots.
- Good night, Mr Formby.
- Good night.
- Good night, sir.
- Good night, Billy.
I do hate unpleasantness, don't you, Billy? - Good night.
- Good night, sir.
Oh, for a quiet life.
I'm in a nice bit of trouble, I confess Somebody with me has had a game AUDIENCE: Ooh! I should by now be a proud and happy bride But I've still got to keep my single name I was proposed to by Obadiah Binks In a very gentlemanly way Lent him all my money so that he could buy the home And punctually at twelve o'clock today There was I, waiting at the church Waiting at the church, waiting at the church When I found he'd left me in the lurch Lor, how it did upset me! All at once, he sent me round a note Here's the very note, this is what he wrote: Can't get away to marry you today My wife won't let me Ah, feel better for a breath of fresh air.
Yes, yes.
It can be very nice, that.
I also feel better for being rid of Mr Elen, at least until tomorrow.
(Chuckles) - There's just one little matter, sir.
- What's that? You may be rid of Mr Elen, but here comes Mr Coborn.
Good evening, gentlemen.
- Evening, sir.
- Good evening.
- Your towel, sir.
- Thank you, Billy.
It is so nice to be welcomed personally by the management.
It was partly accidental, I must admit.
I know, I met my dear friend Elen out in the street.
He told me the substance of your conversation.
If you wish to converse with me, I shall be in my dressing room.
Just think of how disappointed I must feel I'll be off my crumpet very soon (Laughter) I've lost my husband - the one I never had And I dreamed so about the honeymoon I'm looking out for another Obadiah I've already bought the wedding ring All my little fal-the-riddles packed up in my box Yes, absolutely two of everything (Raucous laughter) ALL: There was I, waiting at the church Waiting at the church, waiting at the church When I found he'd left me in the lurch Lor, how it did upset me! All at once, he sent me round a note Here's the very note, this is what he wrote: Can't get away to marry you today My wife won't let me (Knock at door) - Mm-hm? May I come in? Please do.
Now, Mr Coborn Ah.
Please treat the place as if it were your own.
You know fine well it doesn't belong to me.
It belongs to Mr Gibbons.
I know all about your Mr Gibbons.
He and his father-in-law, Adney Payne, own 14 halls in London and I've played in every one.
I doubt whether you can claim the same distinction.
I confine my activities to the front of house, as you know.
Why, may I ask, are you in my dressing room? I'm here to convey a message, if you like, from Mr Gibbons.
Convey your message.
You are not to try to persuade artistes to join your federation and involve themselves in this strike talk.
Not during the course of the evening.
If you wish to hold a meeting elsewhere, that is entirely up to you.
But while in this theatre, you will abide by the will of the management, who are paying you a very handsome salary.
What a pretty speech.
Well, I hope you grasped the essential points.
You're wasting your time.
It's all out of your hands now and out of your control.
If it pleases If it pleases you to think so.
I don't suppose you even know what the threatened strike is about.
Money, I expect.
It usually is.
No, it's not about money at all.
All we ask is that every performer arrives at the stage door on a Monday with a proper contract in his pocket, so that he isn't told by somebody like you, "Oh, sorry, you're working across the other side of town.
" So that the performer gets a proper rate when you try to sneak in extra matinees.
So that you will make an agreement with me in advance, and we both stick to it.
And if we disagree about anything, it'll be a proper board of arbitration.
It won't be a case of who shouts loudest or who's got the biggest stick.
That's all.
Very reasonable.
You'll never believe it, but your Mr Gibbons and your Mr Payne are saying they might not sign the charter we'll present to them.
They have the right to refuse.
And we have the right to close the halls down if they do.
But these places aren't factories or shipyards.
You can't close them down.
Your people aren't like that.
We're learning faster than you might think.
I mean, Mr Ross, don't believe what you see on the stage.
Enjoy it, make your living by it if you like.
But don't believe it.
That's fairyland, Mr Ross.
Oh, it's terrible trying to cross London.
The streets are all choked up.
I don't know how it's going to all end up.
You've got plenty of time.
I'm glad, cos Well, I don't want to cause any trouble.
You're causing trouble but you've got plenty of time.
Trouble? About this strike business.
I don't want to get involved.
- I don't know.
- It's all right for the stars.
There's something to be said for sticking together.
Mind you, I don't hold much to this present lot.
They can't hold a candle to George Leybourne.
There isn't really time to discuss that now, is there? Well, I'm not stopping you.
(Sighs) Well, you've only got a handful of singers and comedians.
My friend, we have almost 4,000 members.
And it won't be just our members, it'll be the musicians and the stage staff.
I'll believe that when I see it.
Not only will you have to sing songs, but you'll have to leap into the orchestra pit to play music, and you'll have to open the tabs and change the scenery, and work the lights, all at the same time, hm? Could make quite a good routine.
The Performing Blackleg to coin a phrase.
How did your act go down at the Paragon? Very well, thank you, Mr Ross.
And now, if you'll excuse us, Mr Ross, we have professional matters to attend to.
Remember what I told you.
Professional matters.
I have some advice to give our friend about his performance.
What er what was the advice? - Advice? - Yes, about my act.
Yes, the advice.
The advice about your act is this.
When the strike call comes, don't do your act.
I have it on good authority that it's an excellent act, but er don't do it when the call comes.
With respect, sir, I have it on good authority that you've been trying to get performers for 20 years organised in some sort of union, and you've failed every time.
So why should I listen to you? Because! The point is, that unless we all work together, we'll always be treated like dirt.
And don't throw failure at me, friend.
You've heard me singing a well-known song, haven't you? - Well, your song, yes.
- Yes.
The first time I sang it to an audience, they weren't interested.
So I sang it to them again, and again.
Six times I sang it to them, and in the end, they liked it.
That's what we'll do with that little man.
We'll keep singing our song, whether he wants to listen or not.
But he pays my wages! That's very easy.
All you have to do is to be able to count money and smile at the people as they come in.
(Scoffs) We can do that.
We can count money.
We can smile at people.
We're extremely good at smiling.
It's part of our stock in trade.
We can also sing songs, we can dance, we can tell jokes.
Some of us have the remarkable power to juggle and perform amazing feats of magic, hm? Mr Ross can't do any of these things.
All he can do is count money and smile at people.
We are much, much cleverer than Mr Ross and his colleagues on that side.
We are cleverer, therefore they must do our bidding, hm? I'm surrounded by clever people telling me what to do.
My old man is a very clever chap He's an artist of The Royal Academy He paints pictures from morning until night Paints them with his left hand Paints them with his right All of his subjects, take a tip from me Are very, very Eve and Adam-y And I'm the model that has to pose For his pictures every day And it's all right in the summertime In the summertime it's lovely While my old man's painting hard I'm posing in the old back yard Oh, oh, in the wintertime It's another thing, you know With a little red nose And very little clothes And the stormy winds do blow I can't go on strike.
If I did, I'd never work again! I'm not a star, nor never likely to be.
It's all right for you people, you The strike, as and when it takes place, will be one hundred per cent.
Blacklegs might not work again.
Big word for a juggler.
Oh, you don't frighten me, Mr Coborn.
I started off playing the Northern mining villages: Northumberland, Durham, the Yorkshire coalfields.
- You know those audiences.
- A passing acquaintance, yes.
After that, it takes a lot to make me frightened.
You said just now that I'd failed, failed to organise the profession.
- I don't like people saying things like that.
- Well, that's hard luck, but that's what they say! You should be frightened.
My old man Well, he plays a funny game - (Laughter) And I've only just begun to tumble him All day long he's a-running out for paint But the paint is whisky Don't you think it ain't - (Laughter) These are all the clothes I've got to wear But I've made up my mind to humble him I'll take a walk up the west one day Just dressed up as I am ALL: And it's all right in the summertime In the summertime it's lovely While my old man's painting hard I'm posing in the old back yard My friend, you deserve everything that's coming to you.
It can't be worse than anything I've already had.
In the summertime it's lovely While my old man's painting hard I'm posing in the old back yard Oh, oh, in the wintertime It's another thing, you know With a little red nose And very little clothes And the stormy winds do blow (Cheering) (Whistling and cheering) (Cheering) (Music intro) MAN: How's things, Charlie? Ah, yes! Remarkably seasonable for the time of year.
MAN: Merry Christmas to you! And the same to you, my dear sir.
(Knock on door) - Come in.
- Are you decent? - Oh, nearly always, yes.
I'll come in just the same.
I just wondered if you'd made up your mind.
- What about? - Coming out on strike with us.
- No, I am not! - Sorry I spoke.
- Not if Marie Lloyd herself was to ask me! - All right! I hope you drop everything.
Do you know, it's surprising, it's surprising how nasty people can be to each other when they start arguing.
- I'm enjoying this tune.
- (Laughter) Which you may possibly have heard before.
Just possibly.
Well, I'm singing it again, cos it shows how careful you have to be if you er begin to argue.
Very very careful.
Strolling so happy down Bethnal Green This gay youth you might have seen Tompkins and I, with his girl in between Oh, what a surprise I praised the Conservatives, frank and free Tompkins got angry so speedily All in a moment he handed to me Two lovely black eyes Two lovely black eyes ALL: Oh, what a surprise Only for telling a man he was wrong Two lovely black eyes (Buzz of chatter) Miss Lloyd! This is an unexpected pleasure.
As I recall, you are not due to delight our audiences until the end of January.
Yeah, well, it's a social call.
But I don't mind buying a ticket, if things look bad.
Ah, that won't be necessary.
We can always find the best seat in the house for Marie Lloyd.
It's a social call backstage, and I'll find my own way.
It wouldn't be anything to do with the strike talk we've been hearing, would it? Well, if it was, I wouldn't tell you, now would I? (Sighs) Two lovely black eyes Two lovely black eyes Oh, what a surprise Only for telling a man he was wrong Two lovely black eyes Oh, what a surprise Only for telling a man he was wrong Two lovely black eyes The moral you've caught, I can hardly doubt Never on politics rave and shout Leave it to others to fight it out If you would be wise Better, far better, it is to let Liberals and Tories alone, you bet Unless you're willing and anxious to get ROBERTS: Miss Lloyd! Miss Lloyd! Miss Lloyd! No, I can't remember.
I know your face, can't put a name to it.
I'm sorry, Miss Lloyd, but artists not appearing on the bill are not allowed backstage.
- Come off it! - Special instructions from Mr Ross.
Well, you go and call a policeman while I go talk to my friends.
- I'm sorry, Miss Lloyd, I must insist.
- I remember! - Roberts, Stage Manager.
That's right, isn't it? - That's right, yes.
Stage Manager, course.
Well, you just clear off and manage the bloody stage.
Two lovely black eyes Oh, what a surprise Only for telling a man he was wrong Two lovely black eyes (Applause and cheering) (Knock on door) - Come in.
All right if Marie comes in, warm the cockles of her heart? Yes, you're very welcome.
Thank you very much.
- Sit yourself down, dear.
- Thank you.
- Sheffield, weren't it? - Sheffield? Last time we played on the same bill together.
Oh, 'ey, yes, it was.
Sheffield, you're quite right.
That'll be two years ago now.
- You were top of the bill, weren't you, dear? - Ha-ha.
Just a little joke.
Oh, it's all right, no offence taken.
It's just it's been a bit of a night, one way or another.
I saw Gus Elen.
- I'm working the Canterbury.
- Oh, yes, of course you are.
We had a few words.
More like several words.
(Chuckles) More like three thousand, Brother Elen and me.
Don't tell me, I can guess.
'Ere, don't worry, dear.
I'm not gonna bully you.
I don't go in for all that sort of bother.
Besides, I bet you've had a right load of it, ain't you? - Quite a lot, yes.
- I can imagine.
Charlie Coborn and Gus Elen.
There's a right pair of bullies for a start.
- And I bet Vesta had a little word.
- One or two! She said she hoped I dropped everything when I got on stage.
Oh, dear! That's naughty! That's very naughty, wishing anybody that.
That's downright wicked, that is.
I'll er I'll have a few words with her myself.
Oh, no, no, don't do that, there's no need.
Live and let live.
- If she wants to think that, well, that's her affair.
- You let me be the judge of that, dear.
How much money are you making? Well, I I manage.
Come on, I'm not gonna tell no-one.
Well, about five or six a week.
Sometimes as much as ten.
That's if I'm doing two halls, with a few matinées thrown in.
Who else has to live on that money? Wife and kids? Yes, yes, a wife and four children.
- Where do they live? - In Yorkshire, just outside Sheffield.
- We've got a nice little house.
- Bet you don't see much of it.
Not a lot, no.
Unless I'm playing nearby.
You know what this business is.
- You go where they send you.
- Yes.
What sort of kids you got? Boys? Girls? Yes.
Boy 16, girl 13, girl 10 and another boy, 8.
Hey, is that their picture? - Yes.
- Let's have a look.
Oh! Oh, they're beautiful.
Next time you go home, you tell 'em, Marie Lloyd thinks they're all beautiful.
You tell 'em, Marie Lloyd envies their father.
Thank you, yes, I'll tell them that.
'Ere, your eldest will be working.
- Yes, we've got him a position in an office.
- That's good.
Yes, he's a clever boy.
He did very well at school.
I'm glad, otherwise he'd be working down a pit.
- That's no life for anyone.
- No.
A terrible life.
If you weren't in the business you'd be working down a pit.
Yes, you're quite right I would.
I understand that, dear.
If I wasn't in the business, I'd be gawd knows! Working in some factory in the East End, I wouldn't wonder.
What a thought! I'd wreck everything I touched.
You might not believe it, but I'm hopeless at anything practical.
Then again, you might.
I'm grateful.
Having a bit of talent: Singing, dancing, whatever you fancy.
We're lucky people, you and me.
At least we don't have to go digging coal.
I mean, how many people you know can say they enjoy doing their work? Come on, you tell me if I'm wrong.
No, no, no, you're not wrong, you're right.
I mean, you might not be rich, but you've got your little family, you've got your house.
All right, you don't see much of it, but you're in a business, you're a travelling man.
Rich? (Chuckles) Who wants to be rich? I wouldn't mind trying it for a day or two.
Money? Get rid of it, dear.
It's a joke.
Nothing but a flaming nuisance and a joke.
I patronised the tables at the Monte Carlo hell Till they hadn't got a sou for a Christian or a Jew Then I quickly went to Paris for the charms of mademoiselle Who's the loadstone of my heart What shall I do? When with twenty tongues She tells me she'll be true As I walk along the Bois de Boulogne With an independent air You can hear the girls declare He must be a millionaire You can hear them sigh and wish to die You can see them wink the other eye At the man who broke the bank at Monte Carlo So you'll come on strike with us, won't you, dear? (Knock) - Five minutes, Alfred.
- Thank you.
Do please forgive me, but I've temporarily forgotten your name.
- Roberts.
- Oh, yeah! Well, go and lose yourself, Mr Roberts.
It's all right, dear, Charlie knows I'm here.
He'll keep it going.
Well? - Well, I've explained it all to Gus.
- No, I want you to do it for us.
Not for yourself, for other people.
Top of the bill people, people who aren't on the bill at all.
Now you said yourself you're a very lucky man.
Well, you have a little thought for the unlucky ones.
- Like Gus and like Charlie? - And George.
He's sick in here.
- Now you know that.
- Everybody knows that.
And he needs looking after.
We all need looking after.
We all end up in the workhouse or the loony bin, as far as I can see - those that are not dead, drunk.
We come and we go, dear.
It's the Gibbons and the Paynes that stay.
And they're still making their money.
They've got bigger houses than you and me.
They're hard, and they're strong.
And we're soft and silly, like a like a lot of children.
The least we can do is huddle together for a bit of warmth.
As I walk along the Bois de Boulogne With an independent air You can hear the girls declare He must be a millionaire You can hear them sigh and wish to die You can see them wink the other eye At the man who broke the bank at Monte Carlo (Cheering) (Whistling and cheering) Don't worry, dear.
I'm frightened as well.
When I go on, I'm frightened.
Frightened this time it might not work, you know.
Oh, I'm frightened when I meet important people, frightened when I go into posh hotels and restaurants.
I pretend I'm not.
Put a big smile on my face, say dopey things.
But I know what it is to be frightened, I promise you.
Look, we're always having to do things we're not cut out for, but Excuse me, please.
- I will think about it.
- Thinking's no good, dear.
That's what you do with your head.
We're not thinking people, you and me.
I I have to go.
I'll get the sack if I'm not there on time.
(Applause and cheering) Good luck.
'Ere! If you tell anyone what I told you about Marie being frightened (Chuckles) I'll kill you.
Off you go, dear.
I always hold with having it if you fancy it If you fancy it, it's understood And suppose it makes you fat I don't worry over that Did you tell her? With the greatest of respect to you, you don't tell Marie Lloyd.
My God! Anybody would think the artistes were running the theatre! A little dramatic monologue.
Rosie O'Grady went to a concert one night, and when she got there, what a dreadful sight.
A programme had stuck to her bustle, and on it these words it did state, "These doors will open at seven, and the concert commences at eight.
" (Laughter) A lovely lady with a lovely laugh.
Will you accept a carnation with my compliments, my love? There we are.
Lovely! And don't you worry your heart, I've got another one.
(Knock) - Come in! - Did I see Marie in the corridor just now? - You did indeed.
What's she doing, looking for work? A little union matter.
(Tuts) Misery guts? (Applause and cheering) The funny thing was, I saw Gus as I was arriving here, outside on the street.
He was on his way to the Canterbury, and he said, "I'll send Marie over to talk to him, that'll serve him right.
" I thought he was joking.
He probably was.
You can never tell with Marie.
You only have to say the slightest thing and she's Oh, we all know Marie.
- Everyone talking about me? - Marie! - Merry Christmas, girl.
- Same to you, darling.
We wouldn't dream of talking about you, my love.
Merry Christmas.
'Ere, I've been doing your dirty work for you tonight, Charlie C.
- Probably with as little success.
- Don't you believe it.
- Eh? - (Chuckles) Bullying the poor little fella ain't gonna do him any good, dear.
- What did you do? - A bit of love and kindness.
(Giggles) My God, what have you been doing? - With all those people watching, an' all! - (Laughter) Ladies and gentlemen, watch very carefully.
Four spoons, four glasses.
I shall now put all of the spoons into the glasses.
- Mr Drummer, if you please.
(Drum roll) (Applause and cheering) Do we drink a toast to Marie's success with old misery guts? I'm just drinking for the sheer enjoyment of the taste, my love.
Until I have proper evidence You were very good, dear.
Much better than old Coborn.
Thank you.
Er Earlier on tonight, Mr Elen gave me an application form which I signed.
I tore it up.
Oh, I didn't do it on purpose.
It was a mistake, an accident.
I was wondering if, by any chance, you had another application form.
- I think that can be arranged.
- Thank you.
Well, now you're really doomed, dear.
(Chuckles) But my gawd, you're in good company.
MAN: Come along, then! (Lively chatter) Come on, then.
Oi! Wave it about a bit, will ya? (Drunken shouting) (Slurs) 'Ere, where's Harry gone? He's gone down the stairs.
We'll see him down here? (Drunken shouting) (Drunken shouting continues) (Drunken singing) I'm glad you enjoyed it.
- Good night.
- Good night.
(Door slams) The stars that once in music halls Their light and talent shared In spite of posters on the walls Have from these temples fled Too long below the tyrant's heel They've sorely been oppressed Till maddened by the trust they feel They'd like to take a rest (Applause and cheering) I thank you all for your magnificent support during the strike.
I'm sure you all know the moral of the story.
The moral is the oldest one in the world.
United we stand! (Cheering) And if there's no further business, I declare the meeting closed.
And we can all have a little drop of nourishment if we so desire.
(Laughter and chatter) Hey, George, you missed a treat.
- Marie Kendall got arrested! - No! And we all sang our strike song.
I know, you sang me one before the meeting, remember.
You know, I'm right sorry I missed it.
Where were you working when the strike was on? Split week.
Sandringham Lodge and Barnsley Alhambra.
Daft devil! - You see who's over there? - Who? You remember that juggler fellow who was on the bill with us? - Oh, yeah.
Misery guts, she called him.
- He was on the picket line with me.
I had to stop him hitting a copper! He knocked his helmet off.
If he'd knocked three off, he could have juggled with them! It goes to show.
- What does it go to show? - I don't know, darling, but it goes to show something.
'Ere, but listen, you reckon this arbitration thing will work out all right for us? If it does there's no problem.
And if it doesn't, there's no problem either, cos out we come again.
- We've shown we can hit 'em where it hurts.
- Oh, you cheeky devils! 'Ere, I'm at the Empire next week.
When I see that Ross fella, I shall tell him a thing or two.
- Go easy on him, Marie.
- I'll be sweet, darling.
ALL: I'll be sweet as the flaming dawn! - (Laughter) (Music intro) The boy I love, they call him a cobbler But he's not a cobbler, allow me to state Cos Johnny is a tradesman And he works in the borough Where they sole and heel them Whilst you wait The boy I love is up in the gallery The boy I love is looking now at me There he is Can't you see? A-waving of his handkerchief As merry as a robin That sings on the tree Now if I was a duchess and I had a lot of money I'd give it to the boy who's gonna marry me But I haven't got a penny So we'll live on love and kisses And we'll be just as happy As the birds on the trees The boy I love is up in the gallery The boy I love is looking now at me There he is Can't you see? A-waving of his handkerchief As merry as a robin That sings on the tree As merry as a robin That sings on a tree (Applause and cheering) (Whistling) Ladies and gentlemen as you know, we've been on a little holiday.
(Laughter) But we're back.
Bigger and better than ever.
And to prove it, music, maestro, please! (Music intro) We had to move away cos the rent we couldn't pay The moving van came round just after dark There's me and my old man shoving things inside a van Which we often done before, let me remark We packed all that could be packed in the van and that's a fact And we got inside all we could get inside Then we packed what could be packed on the tailboard at the back Till there wasn't any room for me to ride And my old man said follow the van And don't dilly dally on the way Off went the van with my home in it I followed on with my old cock linnet I dillied, I dallied Dallied and dillied I lost my way and don't know where to roam Now, I just stopped off for my old half-quartern And I can't find my way home I thought I'd give an hand with the marble washing stand And straight, we wasn't getting on so bad All at once the driver bloke had an accident and broke The nicest bit of china that we had Well, you'll understand, of course I was cross about the loss Same as any other human woman would But I soon got over that What with two-out and a chat Cos it's little things like that what does you good And my old man said follow the van And don't dilly dally on the way Off went the van with my home in it I followed on with my old cock linnet I dillied, I dallied I dallied and I dillied I lost my way and don't know where to roam Now, who's gonna put up the old iron bedstead If I can't find my way home? Oh! (Breathlessly) Oh! Oh! I'm in such a mess I don't know the new address, dear Don't even know the bloomin' neighbourhood (Laughter) And I feel as though I might Have to stay out half the night (Laughter) And that ain't gonna do me any good Well, I don't make no complaint But I'm coming over faint What I needs now is a good substantial feed (Laughter) And I sort of kind of feel If I don't soon get a meal I shall have to rob the linnet of his seed And my old man said follow the van And don't dilly dally on the way Off went the van with my home in it I followed on with my old cock linnet I dillied, I dallied I dallied and dillied I lost my way and don't know where to roam I stopped off for a little bit of tiddly And I can't find my way home All together now! ALL: Well, my old man said follow the van And don't dilly dally on the way Off went the van with my home packed in it I followed on with my old cock linnet I dillied, I dallied Dallied and dillied Lost my way and don't know where to roam I just stopped off for a little bit of tiddly And I can't find my way home (Cheering) As good as ever, Miss Lloyd, if I might say so.
Mr Ross, we're indestructible.
Or didn't you know that? (Cheering and applause continues) (Cheering continues)