Up The Women (2013) s02e02 Episode Script

Strike

1 Nana was a suffragette Never thought to fail Nana was a suffragette Spent the night in jail Singing, "Votes for women Is just a beginning "You haven't seen anything yet" Oh, Nana was a suffragette.
Right, so I think I've done everything on Margaret's list.
Er, buffed the furniture, shaken the rug, dusted the coving, shined the brasses.
But it says here, "Set out chairs in an appealing arrangement.
" What does that mean? How can I make seats more appealing? Fill them with men? Oh, no! No, the only reason my Charlie lets me do this suffraging is because there are no men here.
(THOMAS CLEARS HIS THROAT) Well, if there's nothing else, I'll get on with sewing these very important napkins for Helen's dinner party.
Who would like some tea? - Oh, yes, please! - Oh, I'd love a cup.
- Oh, thank you, Gwen - Thank you, Gwen.
Oh.
Right.
I'll, er I'll go and make a pot.
Oh, Banbury seemed very quiet today.
I took the trouble to parade through the Easington slums, but wasn't a soul to be seen.
(SIGHS) Did you chalk the pavements to advertise our meeting, Thomas? Yes, Mrs Unwin.
Every paving stone is covered.
Indeed, my wrists are throbbing from the effort.
Oh.
I also took the liberty of creating this.
A her-storical timeline - of female achievement.
- Wonderful, Thomas.
How does it work? Yes, we begin at year zero - the first woman emerges from the primordial soup.
Year one - the Virgin Mary gives birth.
Year 1400 - Lady Julian reveals Christ's love.
1800 - Madame Tussaud popularises wax.
1910 - the Banbury Intricate Craft Circle politely requests women's suffrage.
(MARGARET CHUCKLES) Yes.
And future predictions include - 1999 - a woman flies to the moon! (THEY ALL CHUCKLE) Wonderful, Thomas.
Most inspiring.
And these, er lovely bows, Eva, are they for anything? Oh, yes, to prettify and soften the room and show that suffrage isn't all ugly-bugly.
Sorry, Gwen.
Ah, thank you, Gwen.
Gwen! - Oh! - Are you, um, going to polish the woodwork? Only I want to make the best possible impression on our potential recruits.
And I noticed a little scuff on the wainscot by the door.
Oh, I'm so sorry.
I must have caught it when I was waxing the floors.
- I'll get a cloth and polish.
- Yes.
And, er, did you manage to spruce the, er facilities? Ah.
Yes, I did.
It's surprising what gets under a rim, isn't it? Yes, I went right up round the U-bend and round the bowl with a toothbrush, as you suggested.
Oh, good, Gwen.
Yes, I'll put the toothbrush back by Mother's washbowl before she's even noticed.
And what about refreshments? Oh, in the privy? Er, no, Gwen! In the hall.
Oh, yes.
I thought perhaps strong tea and sandwiches.
Really? Just sandwiches? Do you think that will appeal to the noble proletariat? The noble proley-what-er-rat? Proletariat.
Poor people, Eva.
Oh.
What do we want with them? Well, we are hoping to spread our suffrage message across the social divide and to swell our ranks.
- Are we though? - Yes.
Well, then just make them boiled cabbage.
Poor people love that! Well, perhaps they would appreciate a change from their usual earthy diet.
You know - almond biscuits, brandy snaps But they can only eat soft food because of their no teeth.
Ah, yes.
Do you think you could whip up a blancmange, Gwen? Of course, Margaret.
- Good.
- I'll get whipping! Wonderful.
Yes, I had hoped for some early-comers.
Perhaps they heard Margaret was giving a speech.
(THEY LAUGH) Sorry, Eva? Oh, I said She can't wait for your speech.
Oh.
Well, perhaps I might rehearse it.
Would you like a preview? Lovely! Bring your tea.
Ah, Gwen! Gwen! I think you will enjoy this.
Sit! Sit! Yes, the theme is dedicated to a remarkable individual who has touched many ordinary people.
Fatty Arbuckle, the film star? No, Eva.
So, I shall begin.
Er, good evening.
(COUGHS) Welcome - Gwen, could you? - Glass of water, Margaret? - Sorry, it's a nervous tickle.
- They're the best.
(MARGARET CONTINUES COUGHING) Yes, thank you, Gwen.
Thank you.
Sit! Sit! Ah.
Ah, so good evening, welcome! Women of Banbury, I invite you to consider tonight the contribution made by another great woman Oh, goodness, I nearly forgot the piéce de résistance! Thomas, the gramophone.
I thought my talk might benefit from a rousing musical backdrop.
( VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: Fantasia On A Theme By Thomas Tallis) Women of Banbury, I invite you to consider tonight - (RECORD SKIPS) the contribution made (RECORD SKIPS REPEATEDLY) Mrs Unwin? I suspect a speck of fluff.
If one simply blows, like this? Yes, yes, yes Er, should I put it at the beginning or where it was? Eh, put it where it was, Thomas.
(NEEDLE SCRATCHES) - (MUSIC RESUMES LOUDLY) - Da-da, da-da-da the contribution (SHOUTS) made by another great woman That's too loud, Thomas, too loud.
Er (MUSIC PLAYS FAINTLY) Er, yes, um The woman of It's too quiet now, Thomas.
Too quiet.
(MUSIC PLAYS AT A MODERATE LEVEL) That's it.
(CLEARS HER THROAT) The woman of whom I speak was a champion of the labouring class.
A philanthropist, a literary behemoth.
I speak, of course of Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell! Oh, is that the lady with the one long tooth who lives above the post office and only comes out at Michaelmas? No.
Um, who here can say they have not been moved by the works of Gaskell? Rhetorical.
Never mind.
Her detailed portraits of the very, very, very, very poor captured the wonderful language of the workhouse.
As if she knew the lower orders better even than they - you - know yourselves.
Frabbit, nobbut, clem and knobstick - how they trip off the common tongue.
Do you know what they mean? I think I know what knobstick means.
Gaskell was a pioneer and a social reformer.
She longed to inspire and embolden working women like you to improve your sad, lonely, empty lives.
Oh.
Thank you, Margaret.
It's not a compliment, Gwen.
Oh.
Thank you, Eva.
As we here at the BICCPRWS sit in our ivory towers, protected from the viscera and violence of slum life (MUSIC CONTINUES) Are you quite all right, Margaret? Yes, I'm just waiting for the swell.
I fear you have missed it, Mrs Unwin Er, yes, yes.
- (MARGARET CONTINUES) - Would you like some of this? Take the edge off Margaret's speech? What is it? Cyanide? It's Dr Hamm's Invigorator! Ooh! (THEY GIGGLE) Sorry, ladies, have I said something amusing? Not at all.
Do share! I know my speech is very important and affecting, but it doesn't mean I can't enjoy a moment of levity.
It's Dr Hamm's Invigorator.
Would you like some, Margaret? Oh, no, no.
I don't touch the stuff.
I tried it once and ended up barefoot on a train to Penrith I'm here! I'm here! Oh, dear! Oh, dear! Oh, Helen, I'm so glad you decided to come! I have come only to say that I shall not be coming.
And I see I am not the only one.
I am sure the working women will arrive soon.
You mean after they've finished protesting outside my front gates, clogging up my driveway and making a dreadful row? Are they really protesting? Oh, goodness, how splendid! Not splendid at all.
Inconvenient and irritating.
They intend to disrupt my dinner tonight.
I have 20 captains of industry coming for an extremely important business soiree.
Is it not because of the pong? Is what "not because of the pong"? Well, all those lady workers, they all pong a bit, don't they? Cos they can't wash, cos they haven't got any taps.
Is that why they're protesting? No.
They are demanding what they always demand, Eva.
More money - a 100% pay rise, no less! Goodness! How much are they getting now? A ha'penny.
And how much more do they want? 100%, so a ha'penny, Eva.
But they've already got a ha'penny.
Yes, and they want another one.
But then, how much will they have? A penny! Each?! Where is Gwen? Not slacking, I trust? She is supposed to be making my new napkins for the captains' dinner.
I have selected pale, lemon-yellow damask intricately embroidered with the Bute factory crest - a lion standing on a cog, holding a ball bearing.
Our motto in Latin emblazoned beneath - "Bonus est, quod Bute facit.
" (SHE CHORTLES) Oh! Good day to you, Helen! I'm just finishing your naptains' catkins.
You mean my captains' napkins? Do I? Yes.
Yes, I do.
It's taken me the best part of a month! I'd almost finished, when I noticed that the lion on the crest was facing the wrong way.
So I unpicked the whole lot, only then I realised I'd been looking at the reverse side, so I needn't have unpicked them after all! And then I did them all again.
The reputation of a woman stands or falls on the quality of her napkin, Gwen.
Hmm.
Why does the lion only have three legs? The other one's behind the cog.
It looks rather peculiar.
Like an hirsute milking stool.
Could you add a fourth leg? A whole new set of fourth legs in time for dinner?! Well, after dinner will be too late.
I'll do my best.
Why are you disturbing Gwen, Helen? She has important suffrage business to attend to.
These napkins will touch the mouths of the most powerful men in Europe, nay, the world! These sandwiches will touch the mouths of the most powerless women in Banbury, nay the county! Who are not here.
You choose, Gwen.
When you approach the gates of heaven, will it be the loaf of bread in your hand or the principles in your heart that will gain you entry? Loaf of bread? Wrong, Gwen wrong! Goodness cannot be measured in dough.
And how will she make your sandwiches without bread, hmm? Serve the ham between two slices of self-righteousness? I'm sorry, Margaret, I've only got wholewheat.
Pay no attention to Helen.
Gwen's work may seem menial, but think - one napkin will allow a captain of industry to debate the cost of copper, unimpeded by a dribble of cream on his chin, or a streak of hollandaise in his lap.
Thank you, Helen.
I'll sew as many lion legs as I can.
Four each will be sufficient.
Gwen, if it makes it easier you can leave the crusts on.
- ( LEON DEQUIN: Le Vrai Cake-Walk) - Goodness, what is that noise? Napkins, Gwen! - MYRTLE: Cake-walk! - EVA: Oh! Two-step, arms out! What are you doing? Having fun, Helen! Ever heard of it? Myrtle's teaching us the cake-walk! It's all the rage in America.
Two-step, arms out kick, Thomas! Kick! Come and dance! Absolutely not! Ladies, this is a serious political meeting Come on, Margaret! Oh, goodness, Eva.
Parade, Margaret.
Parade! No, thank you! No, thank you.
What if a lady labourer were to walk in and mistake us for some racy, dancing cabaret honky-tonk? Ooh, imagine! And imagine if someone were to mistake you for someone happy! No-one's coming to your meeting, Margaret! Our meeting, Myrtle.
And if one single, solitary, lady worker comes through those doors, then my efforts will not have been in vain.
Oh, ssh! Ssh! An interested party! I knew someone would come! Thomas, gramophone.
Oh, pooh.
Come on.
Let's get Gwen to make us some more tea! Ooh! More fizzy tea! Lovely! Ah, Good evening! Welcome! Um thank you for coming.
What an honour.
Um, we have sandwiches, a blancmange - in case of soft teeth - and a short but stirring speech delivered by me.
Please, be seated.
Oh! Thomas? Gramophone.
- ( LEON DEQUIN: Le Vrai Cake-Walk) - No, not that infernal din.
(SIGHS) Good evening! Welcome, women woman of Banbury.
( VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: Fantasia On A Theme By Thomas Tallis) I invite you to consider tonight the contribution made by another great woman.
Oh, Margaret! I can't keep this up It's me! Ah-ha! Oh! Emily! What a convincing disguise.
Yes, I did have an inkling.
I've had the most thrilling morning, rubbing shoulders with actual ordinary women protesting for fair pay! Meanwhile, we were running around getting the hall ready for them.
They were right on our doorstep.
I couldn't resist borrowing the scullery maid's clothes and Oh, the workers were magnificent! Thomas, Mummy walked right past and didn't see me.
We all shouted things at her.
I can't say what - it's too daring and awful.
Oh, no, Miss Emily, don't tell.
Votes for Women! Rights for Workers! You are pigs! Cor blimey, let's kick the capitalist toerags right up the arse! Goodness.
How stirring.
(GIGGLING) Where did you find this? Well, the doctor, he prescribed it for the children.
My Virginity's been quite sluggish, so I put it in her milk.
Only she wouldn't drink it unless I drunk some too.
So it's one for Mummy one for Virginity.
One for Mummy one for Virginity.
Three for Mummy Yes, I get the idea.
And that's how I discovered how exhilarating Dr Hamm's Invigorator is! Ooh! I'm all for a little invigoration.
Or a big invigoration! (THEY GIGGLE) Dear God! What is this quack dust? "Ingredients - baking soda, sugar, cocaine.
"May cause excitement, hysteria, increased confidence "and delusions of power.
" Don't have any, Helen, your head might explode! I cannot bear another instant of this brainless yabbering.
Gwen, I shall expect those napkins perfectly completed when I return forthwith.
Oh, what about when you return fifthwith? Or sixthwith? Or seventhwith? Or eighthwith! (THEY SNORT WITH LAUGHTER) I am returning home to attend to my titivations.
To fill the bellies of the already full with fayre toiled for by the great unfed(!) You understand nothing of the capitalist model.
I have read Das Kapital.
Have you? Yes.
All of it? Well, the German was rather dense, so I did skim most of it, but, er I understood enough to know that you profit from the sweated labours of others and that is not very nice.
And on what is that profit spent? Napkins, apparently! Charity! The Bute school for left-handed boys! The annual wake week donkey ride for slow children! The endowment fund for confused dogs! We hold this town together.
Scraps from your table! Better than blancmange from your bowl! Blancmange, blancmange, blancmange.
Don't words sound funny when you say them over and over? - Blancmange! - It's our turn for the gramophone.
I want to practise my high kick! Poop-poop! Cake-walk o'clock! Oh, come, Master Thomas! Oh, no, no.
I fear now is not quite the right time for ragtime.
(HE SQUEAKS) Excuse me.
The rubber barons, copper kings, steel magnates, financiers and tycoons are waiting! I will send Emily back for the napkins - I refuse to pass through that clag of insurgents again.
Who are you callin' a "clag"? Oh, look, Margaret! Your audience has arrived, after all.
That's roight.
I's a workin' woman what toils me fingers to a bone, I is loik.
Sorry? Where are you from? I's don't matter where I's from or what I's looks loik.
I's ooman, in' I? What's it saying? Where did you drag this creature from? She's clearly an imbecile! You are one, more loik! Cos you ain't not payin' your workers adequately.
"Adequately"? Do you even know what that means? It means "enough", what they're not getting, Mother! Emily! Oh, ho-ho! Helen, your face is a picture! Did I miss something? Get back to work! And you, young lady, go into that kitchen and bring me those napkins when they're finished.
And when you sit down to dine tonight, with those eminent men, think about who pays for your food, and the roof over your head, and the dowry for when you choose to marry some floppy-handed half-a-fop! I hate you, Mother.
You see the trouble your affected, philanthropic damp squib has caused? Who do you dare call "affected"? Oh, so you admit you are a philanthropic damp squib? - I do not! - You just did.
- I did not.
- You just did.
- I did not.
- You just did, philanthropic damp squib! I know you are, but what am I?! I'm leaving! Arrivederci! That was very strong, Mrs Unwin.
Yes, it was.
It just came out in the heat of the moment! It was as if you were possessed by the very spirit of the lumpenproletariat! Yes, it was, wasn't it, Thomas! It is such a shame we have no audience here to enjoy that spirit and my cleverly constructed thoughts on oppression.
One lady came, Margaret! That was Emily! Was it? (DOOR OPENS) Are you quite all right? Oh, yes, I'm on the last one now, thank you.
He meant me.
Yes, I'll be fine.
Oh, Thomas, excuse my rough, calloused hands I have been scrubbing potatoes to understand what it is to be poor.
Oh, Miss Emily, you are extraordinary.
I confess, I once experienced the life of a down-and-out myself.
Did you? No! Yes.
Father forgot to leave the key beneath the statue of Christ the Redeemer, where it is usually kept.
I was forced to sleep, huddled and blanketless, in the doorway for a full half hour! Oh, Thomas! Oh, dear.
Oh, Margaret, the blancmange and the sandwiches are all finished! No-one's coming, Gwen.
All my hard work has been wasted.
Being a high-minded woman of principle is a thankless task.
Well, at least the napkins are done.
Oh, thank you.
Margaret, no! Those are for the very important captains! And God forbid a speck of dirt should offend their very important eyes! I'm going to take these napkins to Mummy now, Gwen.
Thank you, Emily.
Not at all.
(MARGARET SIGHS) (FRENCH PRONUNCIATION) Courage, Mrs Unwin, courage.
Yes, Thomas, yes, you are right, we mustn't give up! I think we can manage one last push! Gwen? - ( LEON DEQUIN: Le Vrai Cake-Walk) - (EVA GIGGLING) Whoo! (GIGGLING) Oh, Gwen, how did you get on? Well, I circumnavigated the town - Three times? - As you asked.
And? Well, there was some interest in the half-price sausages, Margaret, but no-one wants to come to your meeting, I'm sorry.
Oh, well, we did our best.
I suppose we should tidy away and fight another day! Oh, no, thank you.
No, I was thinking you could put them in the kitchen.
Oh, er, would you like another one Margaret? Such a shame they should go to waste.
Oh, no, no, no.
I couldn't eat another thing! Would anyone else like a sandwich? Oh, no, thank you, Gwen.
I don't know why, but I don't feel hungry at all! Nor me! THOMAS: Won't you join us, Gwen? Have a moment's respite from your doings? Er, no.
I've got to put these in the kitchen, and then clear away all these chairs, Thomas.
Gwen, allow me.
Oh, thank you! Oh Oh! Hello, Miss Emily! Did you manage to deliver my napkins? Yes, Gwen, I certainly did.
Oh.
Helen was most insistent they would make or break her very important dinner.
Oh, Emily! How lovely to see you! Will you join us in the dance? Thomas is wonderful! Show her, Thomas! I am essence of devil.
Come, Emily, it's easy! Oh, Gwen, you have made such great efforts.
Well, I'll just put all these chairs away, sweep the floor and then I'm done.
- Let me help you.
- Oh, thank you, Margaret.
- EVA: Copy us.
- EVA AND MYRTLE: Grizzly bear, grizzly bear, high knee, high knee, two-step, two-step, - parade, parade, parade.
- Gwen! You should be joining us - not toiling away alone.
Well, I will in a mo! Well, at least have some of my fizzy tea! That'll pep you up! Oh, thank you, Eva.
It won't discomfuffle me, will it? Oh, no, no, no! It'll just give you a boost and make you feel special.
Oh lovely! I'm here.
I'm here.
Oh, dear! Oh, dear! Turn that infernal music off at once! (NEEDLE SCRATCHES) Gwen, my napkins Gwen! How could you?! I'm sorry, Helen.
I didn't think anyone would notice if I just sewed a few claws on the lion's tail and passed it off as the fourth leg.
I am not referring to your misshapen lion.
- (SHE MOUTHS) - I'm referring to this! And this! - And this! - Oh I am utterly humiliated.
Oh, good! How could you, Gwen?! Helen, you don't think I would do such a thing to my own napkins?! It was me, everyone! It was me! I wanted them to choke on their soup! Oh, Emily! I thought you would approve?! No, I would never condone such napkin abuse.
Oh, Miss Emily, did you do all of them? Yes! But why?! Well, if I may, Gwen? I think, in her own wrong way, Emily was trying to lift the burden from the workers' shoulders.
As I, well, we all were trying to do today.
She wasn't doing anything of the sort.
She was trying to annoy me by slumming it with those hopeless women, who couldn't be elevated if you fired them out of a cannon.
Those workers were born foolish and stupid, Margaret, and if they work like donkeys they should be paid in carrots! We are tabulae rasae, Helen, waiting to be written on by history and circumstance! I really did want to help all the workers I met but I did want to annoy Mummy as well.
I'm sorry, Gwen.
Can I say something, Margaret? Oh, yes, Gwen.
I'd love a cup of tea.
I'm sorry, Margaret, you're going to have to make it yourself.
- Oh, this is good tea, Eva! - Isn't it? Right, sit down, everyone, I've something to say.
Go on, sit down.
Stop gawping! Oh Right, I'm Gwen, I'm a seamstress and a worker and a woman.
When I was growing up, I had seven brothers.
Yet I was expected to work just as long and hard in the factories as them but for half the pay.
And then, when we got home, they all put their feet up but I had to work all night cleaning the floor, and making the bread, and washing the clothes.
Well, Mother was already getting sick by then.
And then, one by one, my brothers all just took off and got married, and left me and Mother to fend for ourselves.
They gave us nothing.
They ( VAUGHAN WILLIAMS: Fantasia On A Theme By Thomas Tallis) They gave us nothing.
Because I'd only ever had one proposal from Kenneth Hillingdon, who was a simpleton, they said it was my duty to stay at home and look after Mother and keep working.
And it was then then, Margaret, that I decided - yes, I decided, without any help from your t-t-tapioca rice thing, or whatever it was you said - I decided, that if I could just find a few more hours in the day, then I could learn to sew and I could get a better job for a better wage, and I wouldn't have to work all hours that God sends just to put food on the table for me and Mother.
Carrots included! And And I do for Mother what Father can't because, well, he's dead.
Yes! And I'm proud of it, Margaret, I'm proud of it! None of you lot know anything! (APPLAUSE) I'm sorry, everyone, I don't know what came over me.
That'll be the fizzy tea.
Gwen, you were magnificent! Yes, I was, wasn't I? I'm sorry, I've been so blind.
Oh, no, Margaret, you haven't been blind.
No, just a bit ignorant.
Sorry, Margaret.
I can still make the tea for everyone, though, can't I, Margaret? - I do so enjoy it! - Yes, well, only if you want to.
Oh, I do, Margaret, I do! May I make the tea, Gwen? Just this once? Well, all right, Miss Emily.
Normal tea! Well, then, let us have a tray and tuck in to your delicious blancmange! Blancmange! Gwen, you have touched my heart today.
I am not made of iron and your words have moved me to consider the hardships some endure.
I am now going home to speak to those women on my doorstep and to tell that clag of ingrates that I know someone much worse off than them.
Thank you, Helen.
Well, tell them that there are sandwiches and blancmange waiting for them in the church hall, and a stirring speech set to rousing music! I shall.
Indeed.
Who's going to be speaking, Margaret? Gwen is.
- Oh.
- Oh! Margaret, what an honour! Blancmange, anyone? - Gwen? - Yes, Master Thomas? - I hope you do not find me too forward.
- Hmm? I have added you to the her-storical timeline of female achievement.
"1910 - Gwen Rapier's Tapioca Ricey speech won over - "the hearts and minds of the BICCPIWS.
" - Oh And the blancmange was delicious! Oh, thank you, Master Thomas! - Cake-walk! - Oh! Come on, Margaret! Oh, must I? ( LEON DEQUIN: Le Vrai Cake-Walk) ALL: Grizzly bear, grizzly bear, high knee, high knee, two-step, two-step, parade, parade, parade.
Grizzly bear, grizzly bear, high knee, high knee, two-step, two-step, parade, parade, parade! (THEY GIGGLE) Nana was a suffragette Never thought to fail Nana was a suffragette Spent the night in jail Singing, "Votes for women Is just a beginning "You haven't seen anything yet" Oh, Nana was a suffragette.