Up The Women (2013) s02e01 Episode Script

The Romance

1 Day one.
Our sisters in suffrage have gone on hunger strike.
I have determined to join them in this valiant action.
Already my mind is beset by hallucinations.
Where once I gave a bun scant attention, now it haunts my every thought.
I dreamt last night I was queen of a land of buns, my consort, Osbert, a giant bun with buns for cheeks, a bun nose, and small bun teeth.
Oh, how the mind maddens as the body weakens! Oh, Margaret, what are you doing sitting here in the dark? Oh.
Eva, Myrtle! I was just writing my account of our hunger strike in support of women's suffrage.
Of course you were.
It will be published in the parish newsletter! Imagine how many people will read of our suffrage starvathon! About ten.
15 at a push.
I'm all prepared for our hunger strike.
How long have you been starving for? Ah, well, um, I meant to begin yesterday, only we had a dinner engagement that we couldn't cancel, so I resolved in earnest to begin this morning, only Cook hadn't been told, so I felt obliged to finish the breakfast kedgeree, and Osbert's sausage would have gone to waste.
So, um, in all just over an hour.
Well, don't worry.
I brought some of my little ones' leftovers from their elevenses in case we got hungry.
Yes, well, but that is rather the point, Eva! What is? Well, being hungry as a weapon of passive persuasion.
And you can't do that on an empty stomach! But we meant to starve together.
I'm sure your ladies in prison sneak a little cake when no-one's looking.
I fasted for a whole month during Ramadan when I was a guest of the Sultan of Egypt and Sudan.
Of course, when the sun went down, we couldn't get enough of feasting and hookahs.
Oh, Margaret, won't you even have a finger sandwich? Here, look, take out the ham.
Make it even thinner.
Erm A morsel thoughtlessly sneaks past my lips.
I A mere butter sandwich, hardly an actual food, yet still I feel a creeping cramp of guilt.
Might just be the rumble-tums, of course.
Oh, quick Someone's coming! Put the food away! Good day, fellow activistes.
How goes the fast? Very well.
Ha! Well done, you, for remembering, Thomas! Yes, I started two days ago, as we agreed.
And as you can see, I have made this "aide starvoire".
Yes, I am calling it the "Calendulator of Famish".
How does it work? Well, I simply enquire as to your level of hunger and then I mark the chart appropriately.
Yes, I've categorised the stages of human hunger.
From "Replete" through "Peckish", I could eat all the way up to at "Death's Door".
I, for example, having fasted for two days now am "Famished", almost "Starving".
Um, I would say I was almost "Hungry".
- I "Could Eat"?" - Yes, why not? Put me down as "Replete".
I like the sound of that.
What about you, Myrtle? "Eat a Horse"! Always.
How do? Sorry I'm late.
Pargeter's cheese shop on the high street was having a closing-down sale.
Oh, did you get anything? Yes.
Oh, my goodness, Gwen! Is that all cheese? Yes, Margaret.
There was quite a scrum! Yes, so I got, erm, Stilton, er, Dovedale, Blacksticks Blue, Banbury Bog! Oooh! Best handle that one Caerphilly, Gwen! Very good, Master Thomas! I don't get it.
Red Leicester.
Double Gloucester.
Derby.
Worcester.
Hereford.
Cheshire.
That's just the hard cheese.
The, er, the Leaning Tower of Cheese-a! Oh! Very good, Master Thomas! I don't get it.
Only, Gwen, we are, somewhat, on hunger strike.
Oh, I clean forgot! I'm so sorry, Margaret! Oh, what'll I do? The Well, these softer ones won't keep.
Oh, don't worry, Gwen.
Perhaps I could do something suffrage-y with them.
Perhaps mould them into a bust of, erm Millicent Fawcett? Yes.
I must say, all this cheese chat is becoming rather grating.
I Camembert it any longer! Very good, Master Thomas! I don't get it.
I must be delirious with hunger.
Would it be ever so against the rules if I was just to munch a crumb of Stilton? I for one can't be near a cheese and not eat it.
Just a taste! Oh, does cheese even count as food when it's not between bread? Yes, yes, I-I fear it does, cheese being technically an edible solid.
Yes, yes, of course, of course! We must be strong for suffrage! Put the cheese away, Gwen.
Put the cheese away.
Oh, I am to blame! Oh, I'm like Satan in the wilderness, tempting Our Lord.
Cheesus Christ? Oh, very good, Master Thomas.
I still don't get it.
I'll just pop them under the bell-end in the kitchen for now.
The bell what, Gwen? The bell-end.
You know, the cheesy bell-end? Do you mean the cheese bell jar? Do I? I do, yes.
Feeling strangely full.
Perhaps I have reached that physical plateau of starvation, where the body, denied sustenance, begins to eat itself Aaargh! Emily, whatever's the matter? Mother! Not content with trying to palm me off on the spoon-maker's son, now plans to marry me to the spoon-maker's second son.
But isn't that bigamy? Or whatever it's called with men? Bigmeny? Twomeny? I am not a commodity to be bought and sold! I will be married for love, to one who is not too shy to requite that love.
Is it Jonty Smuth? Bertie Smuth.
Jonty Smuth was secretly married to an actress last month and disinherited for it.
Oh, dear.
And is this Bertie nice? I don't know! And I don't care.
He probably thinks that women shouldn't read or drive or weld or hunger-strike.
Well, I shall refuse him! What will you do, Emily? Will you elope to the Polynesian islands? No.
I shall hide in the kitchen.
Oh, gosh! How could Helen expect Emily to marry a man she's never met? Well, I didn't know my Charlie when we married.
And now you can hardly tell we've got nothing in common except 14 children.
But Emily loves Thomas please know we are your allies in this endeavour.
The hunger strike? Yes, yes.
No, I'm talking of a certain young lady.
Oh! Oh.
Be brave.
Love's highway is never smooth.
The tarmacadam is full of holes and highwaymen lurk at every bend.
You have such a way with metaphor.
Yes, I find it invaluable for conveying meaning without having to make it at all clear what it is I'm saying.
Yes.
Yes.
Yes, so if, I, for example - Yes.
had something to tell someone Yes! You might talk about something else as if it that were the thing that you were talking about and not the actual thing at all.
What are you telling the boy? Do you want Thomas to stay a eunuch while Emily is being spooned rigid by Bertie Smuth?! I am merely advocating subtlety.
Well, the romance of words can satisfy the soul until the body is prone.
Thomas, there is nothing noble about letting your grapes wither on the vine whilst everyone else's are getting a regular pressing.
Go in and tell her! In a roundabout way.
Oh, for goodness' sake.
Don't listen to Margaret.
Go in and tell Emily exactly how you feel.
I could poultice it down and make it into a chest rub for Mother.
Have you heard, Gwen? I'm to be married.
Oh, congratulations! Oh, I never thought you'd have it in you to ask, Master Thomas! - He didn't.
- Oh, dear.
I am sorry.
Oh, look out! Banbury Bog alert! Oh, best put this honker somewhere safe.
To, um, to shield your nostrils from the pong.
What about your nostrils? They can endure.
In truth, they would suffer the seven sulphurs of hell to protect that which they cherish.
Yes.
And whom do your nostrils cherish? Oh, Miss Emily, they are but simple nostrils, neither wealthy, nor ambitious, but they would gladly give all they have Yes.
But to whom would your nostrils give all that? Emily, I confess I'm not really talking of my nostrils.
I know.
When I say "nostrils" I mean - Yes?! - I mean I'm here! I'm here! - Oh! - I have great news! - Where is Emily? - She's with Thomas in the kitchen.
What?! - Helen, might you not listen - No! Emily! Why is this door locked? I am not coming out.
I refuse to be bartered like a side of beef! Bertie Smuth is the most eligible bachelor in the Northeast, now heir to the Smuth spoon-manufacturing empire.
He's quite the finest match a Bute girl could make.
He is no poodle-faking wrist-flop.
I shall not move an inch.
I should rather die than marry your horrible spoon tycoon.
Enough of this nonsense.
Thomas, come out at once! As for you, young lady Emily! Emily! Open this hatch at once! I blame your woman-y politicking and high ideals-ing.
A young girl of society should be concerned with hemlines, table mats and the cost of iron ore, not wasting her youth changing the world.
Emily simply wishes for a love match.
She is, after all, a beacon of the new generation, one who refuses to be passed like chattel from father to spouse.
And can she not, through our efforts at the coalface of suffragism, exercise free will in love as in all things? No.
Remember whom you are addressing.
Helen - the only woman to have insisted on not marrying for love.
Yes.
I made it quite clear to Laurence that when I used the word "love" in the wedding vows, he should mentally replace it with "like".
I wonder what he mentally replaces it with now? Emily, you have exactly one English minute to come out.
One Mrs Beaton, two Mrs Beaton, three Mrs Beaton, four Mrs Beaton Do not be downhearted, Thomas.
Though your ship of love is in peril on the high seas I shall tether you to the mast seize the rudder and steer you into Oh! My goodness! Good afternoon.
Oh, it is now! Please, forgive the interruption.
I was looking for the ladies Bute? My name is Smuth, Bertie Smuth.
Oh, Master Bertie! I am Helen Bute.
How intrepid of you to find us.
Yes, I am Smuth the sleuth.
I followed a trail of broken twigs and disturbed leaves and the scent of heliotrope? That is my perfume! And I asked the stationmaster if he knew where you were.
Oh, you! Come.
Hang your coat Why look at that! It's rather like Emily's.
Ah, then she must be a young lady of enormously good taste.
Come, meet us all.
This is my mother I'm afraid I know.
We look like sisters.
An honour and a pleasure.
- Of course it is.
- Thank you, Mother.
And this is Mrs Eva Moore of the Cotswold Moores.
Oh, forgive my looking like a pudding.
I'm normally much slimmer and even prettier.
No! You are a vision! Da Vinci's Madonna And Child.
A sfumato beauty.
Oh, Master Bertie! Stop trying to turn my head with fancy French talk.
Italian.
I'm Margaret Unwin.
Oh! Hello up there! You are so tall! And buongiorno to you down there! Will you take tea with us? Please.
I should love to.
- What-ho! Smuth.
Bertie Smuth.
- Thomas Grisham.
Agh! Sorry! Did I, er, squish your hand? No.
Ganglions.
I am a brute! Oh! Curse these beastly paws! Arghh! I rather hoped I might meet Miss Emily.
Is she not here? Yes, she's in the kitchen.
She's very domesticated And also very learned.
And she's nearly as pretty as me.
But you can see for yourself.
Don't tell him I'm in here.
What? Who? Why? Mind your head on the lintel, what with your astonishing tallness.
Thanks awfully.
Whoop.
A-ha! Here she is! Vesta, goddess of the hearth! Ooh! Ooh, hello! Sorry, but I'm not Vesta.
Then you are Hygeia, goddess of cleanliness and health! Oh, no, I'm not! I know.
You are Emily, of course.
- Bertie Smuth at your service.
- Oh.
Er Oh, what-what a funny mistake! How could I be Emily? She's there, under the table.
Gwen! Ah, the table! She speaks! No, no, that was that was Emily.
I am Emily Bute.
Ah! A confusion worthy of Miss Austen.
Bertie Smuth at your service.
You read Jane Austen? I do! But, er, please, don't tell anyone or you'll ruin my reputation as a terrible rogue.
Oh, Master Bertie, you could never be a terrible rogue! Oh, you're far too smartly turned out.
What? That will not do.
I shall have to rough myself up.
Raargh! See! An utter ruffian! Oooh, help! I knew they'd be a perfect match.
My instincts are never wrong.
Other than always.
Don't be downhearted.
No, no.
He may be dashing and altogether wonderful in every way but I don't think he would make Emily happy.
- No? - Enough virginal blushing.
You must set to seducing Emily.
Mrs Von Heckling, I cannot.
I cannot even speak.
My mouth parches, my tongue turns to rubber.
Then write.
The written word can stir a girl's desire every bit as much as a sensual whisper.
Yes.
Perhaps something from 1 Corinthians, chapter 13 Oh! I confess, I have written a poem loaded with my deepest yearnings.
Oh! Good for you! Now's your chance, Thomas.
Go! Oh, isn't Master Bertie the most amusing young gentleman we have ever, ever met?! And he was in the Gilbert & Sullivan Society.
He has a very fine falsetto.
You're too kind! Shall I be Mother? Oh, no, no, no.
Let Gwen.
Oh, yes, you are our most estimated guest.
Well, at least I can be chair monitor.
Thomas, will you sit? I shall fetch another.
Thank you, Emily.
- An orange pekoe, I believe? - Yes! How did you know? I could taste a pekoe at 20 paces with a clothes peg on my nose.
I'm so sorry, I've only brought two ginger snaps.
We're all on hungry strike, otherwise I might have offered you a poppy-seed nibble, or a rosemary fancy, or perhaps even a plate of frilled ham, or a buttered finger sandwich with gentlemen's relish and a sprig of cress.
Oh, stop, Gwen! You're tormenting us! Perhaps the tea will slake the void.
Oh, tea's not the same without a biscuit to bolster it.
Yes, remember, Eva, we are starving for suffrage.
I'm not.
Mmm! Admirable, but, ladies, such unbearable privations I know.
And we have a ripe Easington Log that badly wants eating in the kitchen.
Ahem.
But Thomas says we're not allowed.
Yes, Thomas says we're not allowed.
Surely cheese is merely a hardened form of milk, therefore hardly a foodstuff? Oh, Master Bertie, you're so clever! Was there ever a happier sound than that of ladies nibbling cheese? Master Bertie, shall I fetch us some? Yes, cheese! Oh, very good, Master Bertie.
I get it! Cheese! Oh! This hungry-striking is much easier than they make it sound.
All right, Gwen, but, um, but no crackers.
My father sends his regards.
Oh, how is dear Habakkuk? Quite well.
His new bowl-casting device has increased output from 300 to 700 spoons per day.
Oh.
Well, people will always need spoons! If you'll excuse me, I might take this moment to step out.
Thomas, would you care to join me for a cigarette? No, thank you, I don't.
Such a masculine habit.
Laurence smoked in his youth.
It was one of the many qualities I admired, the others being punctuality, solvency and a thick neck.
I look forward to making Mr Bute's acquaintance.
Oh, rest assured Laurence approves wholeheartedly of the match.
He is drawing up contracts as we speak.
Mother! Well, pending the formality of a proposal, the conclusion is quite foregone, is it not? How very romantic We shall have much to discuss when I return.
Excuse me.
"Yes, cheese"! "Yes, cheese"! Are you unwell, Thomas? No Oh, Mrs Unwin, I have written a poem for Emily.
- Oh! - But I fear Bertie has discovered it.
Oh No, this is good! Now Bertie will know your true feelings and leave off Emily.
Thomas, might I have a word in private, please? He means to fight me for Emily! Oh, dear.
He is an athlete, you are not.
Oh, Thomas, if you love something very much, let it go.
For goodness' sake, be a man! - Tell him you stand by every word! - Yes Or I could just stay here.
Thomas I found your outpouring in my pocket.
I stand by every word.
You brazen fool! Perhaps I am a fool.
But I should rather be a fool for love than for any other thing that makes one be a fool for it.
You realise you could go to gaol for this?! Really? Why? Well If love is a crime, then lock me up and throw away the key for I am guilty, m'lud, on all counts! You outrageous lunatic! Bertie will pulverise Thomas! We must intervene.
Wait, wait! I wouldn't be so sure.
You would take violent advantage of a man half-starved? I am wholly starved! But your words, Thomas, have filled my belly with their fire! "A garden of buds stiffen with proud beauty.
"I wander through the swaying stems.
"One little head catches my eye.
"Would I could give you that head "That you may smell yourself.
" Oh, Thomas! Thomas Thomas? Is that a wrestling manoeuvre? I knew it! Margaret, he's a Mary-Ann! Who's Mary-Ann? - Does Bertie have another lady friend? - Oh Thomas! Thomas! Oh! Ah, the boy fainted and I caught him.
Please, that is a private doodle.
Oh, look! Thomas forgot to dedicate his poem to Emily.
Emily? Yes, poor Thomas was so lovelorn, he thought a romantic ode might help him win her back.
So the poem was not meant for Oh! Thomas? Oh Don't judge him too harshly.
He's a fragile soul.
But Emily does not return his affection? Well, she does when her head's not turned by someone altogether more tall and astonishing.
Yes.
Well.
I suppose the wheels of betrothal are in motion.
Who are we to defy the Bute-Smuth merger? Please don't throw your life away on useless notions of honour and duty.
No good will come of a loveless marriage.
Look at Margaret.
Would you rather gorge ripe plums in the sunshine or slurp briny oysters in the rain? Oh Can one not have both? Can one? Well, maybe not in the same sitting.
But, Mrs Von Heckling, how the law despises lovers of plums! Oh, I don't think there's anything in the statutes about plums.
I could be wrong.
I know a place where young men are free to eat all fruits to go about open-shirted, trousers rolled up, feet quite bare.
The sun blanches the soft, downy hair of their muscular, brown bodies, and hot nights are filled with the Ars Amatoria.
Oh, Ovid! It is a place of people neither here nor there, but somewhere in-between.
Northampton? Cefalù! On the island of Sicily.
I have a friend there - Mr Crowley - a Uranian aesthete, who can take you and coax you to full expression.
I I wish Oh, no, don't wish! Go! Live! Here, take this book as a token of introduction.
I keep a copy with me always! Oh! Oh! Cefalù, you say? Mama always said I should travel.
The grand tour can last a lifetime, you know? I should explain to Mrs Bute Oh, we'll handle Helen.
Right.
Wonderful.
Er I mean, it's for the best, isn't it? Goodbye, Bertie.
Thank you.
Thank you! And bye-ee! Bye-ee! Oh! - Myrtle? - Yes? You may not understand, and forgive me if I shock you, but I think that Bertie might be a touch homosexual.
Oh Yes, I know, I know.
It's shocking, isn't it? But who are we to condemn love, be it man for man or woman for woman? Or woman for many men? Yes, quite.
Well, what are we going to tell poor Emily? You can wear my old wedding dress.
Ah, what's this? Young Thomas, having challenged Bertie to fight for Emily's hand, has soundly beaten young Smuth.
- What?! - No! Is Bertie hurt?! Er, er, no, he ran away.
He couldn't match such mortal passion.
Erm, he said to say, erm, sorry and bye-ee! What shall become of Emily? Do you think the Smuths are made of sons? What's this? Emily's brave protector.
Yes, he fainted clean away from the exertion of fisticuffs on an empty stomach! Thomas! Poor Thomas! Wait I know! - What have you done, Mother? - I?! Bertie? Bertie Smuth? Come back! Of course, the Banbury Bog! Oh! That would wake the dead! - He's alive! - Oh, Thomas! I thought I'd lost you.
I remember Bertie Smuth holding me in his arms.
He smelled of hyacinths.
Yes, he's hallucinating.
Apply more Bog, Emily.
Oh! Emily Miss Emily Oh, Thomas, I'm so sorry.
It's just Bertie was so strong and brilliant and you so flimsy and mewling.
But now that you've made him go, I I'm glad! Oh, do you mean that? - Yes.
- Do you really? I did just say so.
Miss Emily, you must know I I do so love Yes? I do love - Yes? - I do so love cheese.
I love cheese, too, Thomas.
Very much.
Aw! Bertie Smuth has entirely gone! How very queer! As our first hunger strike casualty recovers, I reflect on the hardships of self-denial.
I have only had a small taste of the suffragettes' privations, but it has brought me close to our cause and taught me that in desires of the heart, mind and stomach, we are all created equal.
A woman or man may want Cheese, Margaret? Oh, yes, please, Gwen!