Up The Women (2013) s02e06 Episode Script

Panto

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.
I'll have a three-inch oval, Thomas, if I may.
A three-inch? A nail.
A nail.
Oh, yes, of course.
A nail.
Goodness knows what the ladies are going to put on this stage tonight.
I offered Mrs Unwin my ever popular "Death of Nancy at the hands of Bill Sykes" from Oliver Twist.
I do it to great acclaim every year at the ham-dram.
- What did she say? - No.
Why's that? Apparently it wasn't appropriate for the suffrage panto.
I'll have the ball pein now.
I'm sorry to hear that! The ball pein, the ball pein.
It's a type of hammer.
Oh, yes! Oh, it must be in the kitchen.
I shall fetch it for you.
What exactly would I be looking for? I'll come with you.
What do they teach you at that paying school? I'm here! I'm here! Oh! Nobody's here.
I'm here, Helen! Oh, yes.
I meant somebody.
You know somebody! Oh, I see, yes, yes, I see.
Oh, should I leave until? No, no need, Gwen.
What are you doing? I'm knitting Joan of Arc for the suffrage panto.
Yes, I am profoundly regretting allowing Margaret to stage this "suffrage panto" she's supposed to be writing.
My irritation is compounded by the over-excitement of Emily at playing the role of Joan of Arc.
En garde, vous English dogs! Ooh, hello! Ooh Is this a real sword? Ooh, yes.
No.
I borrowed it from Mrs Trenneman next door.
She keeps it by the bed.
In case of burglars? No.
In case her husband ever comes back.
En garde vous English spaniel! Emily, please wave that somewhere else! I agreed to sell the tickets on the basis that half the moneys would go to the Bute Fund for Confused Dogs.
But every time I ask Margaret to see a script, she scurries away mumbling to herself.
She has been in a bit of a downward dollop lately.
- Really? - Yes, very discomfuffled.
What with Cedric away at boarding school and Mr Osbert in his study day and night.
Well, that's none of our business.
You mean she's not seeing him at all? He's been in there for a month, apparently.
The closest she gets is overseeing the maid handle his night soil.
Frankly I'd rather handle that than handle the husband.
En garde, vous English hounds! Emily, calm down! You'll sprain something.
Have we started rehearsals? Gwen, have you finished the costumes yet? Er, well, yes, no, well, nearly.
Mrs Von Heckling, yours is done.
Oooh! It's Mother's old bedspread.
Oh.
Yes, it's just that Joan has taken up most of my time.
I've created an optional pyre which can be attached to the costume should Margaret want her to burn at the stake as part of the action.
She did mention she might write that in.
Ta-dah! What on earth are you supposed to be, Mother? Apart from an eternal embarrassment? I am the Ancient Greek poetess Sappho, of the Isle of Lesbos.
Tonight I watched the moon and then Pleiades go down.
The night is now half gone.
Youth goes.
I am in bed alone.
Oh, Mrs Von Heckling.
And am I still Judith and Holofernes, whoever they are? Judith was an Old Testament heroine who beheaded General Holofernes because she was brilliant and he was a beast! This is him.
(GASPS) No! No, I'm not touching that.
Oh, Eva, it's only a swede with a dab of pig's blood.
Hello, Thomas.
I have Joan of Arc's sword.
Goodness, Emily, you are quite convincing as the warrior saint.
- D'you think? - Indeed.
Would you like a go? What strong wrists Joan must have had.
Certainly she did not suffer from hereditary ganglions! Oh, Margaret, you're here! Thank goodness! Yes, yes, I come with great great news.
- You have a script? - Well, what I have is news.
- Wonderful news.
- Yes? I learnt today that a halt has been called on all suffrage action.
- Why? - A new conciliation bill.
Parliament has all but promised one million land-owning women the vote.
(GASPS) - We've got the vote? - No, no, not strictly speaking.
But we most surely will.
It's a formality at this point.
The Home Secretary has given his word.
And a politician's word is his bond! Exactly, Frank.
How incredible to imagine that soon millions of women will be One million.
One millions of women will be pouring into polling stations, shoulder to shoulder, and not just with other women.
But with men! How revolting! So does this mean that my Justina, Ernestina, Constance, Clemence, Charity, Chastity, Liberty, Virginity, Abstinence, Moderation, Patience, Providence, Prudence and Suffrage will all be able to vote? Yes.
Oh! What about John? What about John? Will he be able to vote? Well, he can already vote, Eva.
But he's three.
And it is for this reason and this reason alone that we won't be doing the suffrage panto.
In solidarity with our fellow suffragettes in London.
- But it's tonight! - I've sold all the tickets.
I am Sappho.
And I've got a sword and Gwen's made a pyre.
I don't mind really either way.
I could still do my "Death of Nancy at the Hands of Bill Sykes" from Oliver Twist.
- Oh, yes! - No, thank you, Frank.
Unnecessary and somewhat inappropriate.
Margaret, I couldn't care less about disappointing a braying mob of pantophiles, but I refuse to let down the confused dogs of Banbury.
Well, when the audience arrive, we'll just explain to them.
I'm highly suspicious of your enthusiasm for this Conciliation Bill, which has been rejected.
- How do you know? - It was in the very small print of the newspaper, which I make a point of reading with my magnifying lorgnette.
I put it to you, Margaret Unwin, that you are using this Conciliation Bill to cover up for the fact that you have not yet written the suffrage panto.
But Margaret has written the panto, haven't you, Margaret? If you haven't, that's fine, but you have, haven't you? Have you? Haven't you? Of course she has! Hasn't she? She has! Oh, yes.
Have you? - Tell us you have! - Yes, all right! All right, Helen.
I haven't written it! I rest my case.
Oh, never mind, Margaret.
Oh, it's shambolic.
I'm so ashamed.
The truth is I did write a script and then I burnt it! Goodness, Margaret! Whatever for? Did you not have any kindling? I left a copy outside Osbert's study in the hope that he might glance through it.
When I returned, in the morning, I found this propped up against his night soil.
The first two pages address grammatical syntax errors and then he goes on to say, "The writer's derivative, shoddy Latin verse "disguises none of the crippling mediocrity "at the heart of this Tuppenny Gaiety.
"Disjointed, ill-conceived drivel.
"Respectfully, your husband, Osbert.
" "PS - Have we changed butchers, as my sausages seem fatter than usual?" And he was right.
My pantomime was awful.
- Oh, I'm sure it wasn't.
- It was! Oh, no, it wasn't! Oh, yes, it was! - ALL: Oh, no, it wasn't! - Yes, it was! I'm sure Mr Osbert didn't mean to be mean, Margaret.
Have you changed butchers? - Margaret? - He wasn't being mean, Gwen.
He's just an undiscovered genius.
He's quite sure of that.
Margaret? I can still be Sappho.
No, you cannot! Margaret I've got a script.
- Have you? - Well, yes.
It's just a bit of fun I wrote for the children.
Yes, yes, not quite what we need.
But it's better than the charred remains of your tuppeny huppeny.
What's it about, Eva? I don't think we need to ask.
It won't be right.
How do you know? I'm sure a play about tiggy pumpkins and wibbly kittens will not be appropriate.
Oh, is it about tiggly kittens and piggy pumpkins, Eva? No, it's about a princess.
- Ooh! - Do tell us more, Eva.
Well, it's about a princess who nobody knows is a princess.
I think we'll need a little more than that, Eva.
Nobody knows she's a princess because she's an orphan that's been forced to work as a scullery maid in a big house.
Oh, Eva, that's wonderful! - Really? - Have you written any of this down? Well, yes, I've got a script with me, as a matter of fact.
- Oh, well done, Eva! - Congratulations, Eva.
A script.
How clever of you! Don't you think, Margaret? I hope there aren't too many words to learn.
Words make my teeth hurt! No, no.
The princess has got most of the lines and I know them off by heart already.
You can always read off the page like we do at the am-dram ham-dram.
Just bring it to life with hand acting - or "hacting" as we call it.
For example, if you're performing a line such as "I think I will!" There's a gesture that goes with it.
Like this - "I think I will!" I think I will! I think I will! Ooh, that's very good, Thomas, you're a natural! - I think I will! - Goodness, yes, that's Goodness! I was fortunate enough to see the late great actor, Leonard Hevescleaver finger his way through The Merry Wives of Windsor.
Myrtle, you can play the wicked aunt.
Is she an alluring femme fatale? No, she's the wicked aunt.
No, thank you! Are there any suffragettes in this play, Eva? This is a suffrage panto, after all.
Well, there are the ugly cousins.
The ugly cousins? What exactly is it about? The orphaned princess goes to live with her wicked aunt and ugly cousins.
I thought they could be the suffragettes.
Then I shall be one of those! - Oh, can I be the other? - Yes, lovely! Yes, and then what happens? The poor orphan princess, who I'll play.
Obviously! So the beautiful poor orphan princess, me, is made to do all of the work in the house.
Oh, Eva, this is so clever and brilliant! Yes, Eva, carry on.
Is there a ball in a castle, by any chance? Yes! Yes there is, Margaret! - And a prince looking for a bride.
- Yes! Margaret, how did you know? Hmm! Frank, because you've done the ham-dram, could you play the prince? Oh, no, not for me.
Why not ask Thomas? He's definitely got the finger! I think I will! Yes, I suppose we could give him a moustache, make him look more like a man.
Can none of you see? We cannot perform this.
It is a direct plagiarisation of Cinderella.
- A plagia-what? - A plagiarisation.
It means stealing somebody else's idea.
I think somebody's jealous because somebody's written a script and somebody else hasn't! Who? I'm not jealous.
If you don't want to take part, then don't.
- I won't.
- That's such a shame, Margaret, cos I was thinking you'd make a wonderful magical witch.
I don't want to play the fairy godmother! It's the magical witch! The fairy godmother! In this juvenile piece of theatre.
What does juvenile mean? Childish and I'll have my costumes back.
But why, Margaret? Cos I'm starting my own breakaway production.
Will it be a mime show? No, it will be a speculative, incendiary, experimental, improvised, probably in French.
Improvised? Are you a Bolshevik, Margaret? Don't be absurd, Helen.
If you wish to endorse a pageant celebrating the corruption of a noble working woman by Imperialist greed, then do so.
We do wish to and we shall so! I pity you, Margaret.
You're labouring under the delusion that things matter and that the world can be changed.
Whereas you think they don't and they can't.
I play by the rules and I win by them which is why I am extremely rich and happy and you are not.
I don't care about wealth and happiness.
I care about truth.
The truth is Eva's written a play and you haven't! Ladies, we only have this afternoon to stage this What's it called again, Eva? The Dirty Princess.
Wonderful! Just perfect.
Don't you think, Margaret? I will be in the kitchen if anyone wishes to take part in my extemporised production, Joan of Arc's Yuletide Suffrage - the Panto.
No, thank you, Margaret.
I'll be too busy with my scripted play.
When do you propose performing your coup de théâtre? - Tonight.
- I think you'll find the stage occupied.
Well, we could do a double bill if you like? Oh, could we? Thank you, Eva.
- Can I be Joan? En garde, vous - Sit down, Emily! - I could always pop between - Sit down, Gwen! Would I upset things terribly if I joined Margaret? - Yes, you would.
- Margaret, count me in.
So are you familiar with improvisation, Myrtle? (CHUCKLES) Sometimes one feels one's whole life has been one long improvisation.
Sometimes sorrowful sometimes joyful always passionate! Yes, yes.
Good, good.
But have you done any actual improvisation? No.
A princess would do this.
Like this, Frank? Elbows a bit higher.
Perfect! What about me, Frank, for the wicked old aunt? When I played the king in the ham-dram Hamlet, I did it like this To show the audience I was the baddie, do you see? Is it like this, Frank? Maybe just what you were doing before.
I wasn't doing anything before.
Yes, do that.
Don't tell Mummy, but I plan to do my ugly suffragette cousin as Joan of Arc.
Clean ze grate, you English dog! Magnificent.
Would you like to practise your lines? Ah, yes, please.
Perhaps the scene where The prince falls in love with the dirty princess at the ball? Yes, yes.
I could read in as the princess? Yes, please.
So, um "They stand very cl ose together "looking deep into each others' eyes.
"I never want this ball to end.
" "Nor me, "only my chauffeur is waiting in the Model T Ford, so I must go.
" - "Must you really?" - "I must.
" "They continue to look deep into each others' eyes, "until suddenly, overcome with passion, - "he leans forward and" - I'm back, I'm back! (LEANS ON PIANO) I've brought a few costume elements to give a token flavour to your characters.
A monocle for you, Thomas, a duster for Eva, and spectacles and a raggedy shawl for Emily's ugly cousin.
What about me, as the other ugly cousin? Oh, you don't need anything, Gwen.
I'm playing the wicked old aunt as well.
You still don't need anything.
Sorry, Gwen.
Well, I suggest we reconvene at 8pm, ready for the show.
But, Helen, what about rehearsals? Just stand at the front and speak up.
If I may interject, Mrs Bute, in the ham-dram, we have a director, who directs the hacting of the hactors.
We don't have time for all that.
Then, with all due respect, you will not have a show.
Oh, very well, if I must do everything We were about to look at Thomas and Eva's scene with the glove.
Good.
Carry on! Er, so um Dear sweet prin Dear sweet princess - May I - What are you doing there, Gwen? Sorry, sorry.
Sorry! Extraordinary! Continue.
May I have the pleasure of trying this glove onto your beautiful, delicate hand? Yes, you may.
(GASPS) It fits! Thank you, Frank.
Go on.
- Will you marry me? - Yes.
- Down on your knees, Thomas.
- Sorry? Get on your knees and look at Eva! - Ah, yes.
Will you marry me? - Yes.
- Right, it's Gwen now.
- Is it? Which part? Doesn't matter.
Just do it! Quicker! Quicker! Quicker! You cannot be this slow on the night! Which is in exactly 36 minutes' time! Begin.
Begin.
Begin.
- I haven't got a script.
- Here, use mine.
Oh, thank you! Right, oh, and they lived happily ever after.
No, no - that's the Magical Witch's line.
Well, will the Magical Witch please say her line? - You're the Magical Witch, Mummy.
- Yes, right, of course, well I'll do that on the night.
No need now.
Next time, Gwen, please try to get it right! Helen, are you sure you don't want to rehearse your bits? Eva, reading a few lines in front of the lower orders hardly requires rehearsal.
- It's not quite working.
- Pleiades Yes, not quite working.
Not quite working.
I am Joan of Arc, channelling God in medieval French.
You are Sappho, fresh from writing an epic Greek poem - in Greek, OK? Rudimentary Greek is fine.
Can I try it with a Yorkshire accent? Yes, yes, yes! Why not.
- Je frapperai ceux qui - Tonight I watched the moon and then Pleiades go down - Je volent leurs communes - Tonight I watched the moon and then Pleiades go down - Je vais de moi ceux qui - Tonight I watched the moon and then Pleiades go down You can't say the same thing over and over again.
It's not improvising.
- But it's Sappho's poetry.
- Yes, but it's not improvising! I don't want to play this game any more.
Yes, that's better.
Fresher, more believable.
Yes, keep going, keep improvising.
I'm not improvising, I'm going to be in The Dirty Princess.
Au revoir! A bien (DOOR SLAMS) tôt! And on, Thomas! I have decided to return.
Oh, Myrtle, thank goodness, Gwen's not coping at all with two parts.
Sorry, Gwen! Would you play the wicked aunt? Is she simply wicked or deliciously wicked? Was she always wicked or did she become wicked from being spurned by many young lovers? Mother, stand there, read this! People are arriving already.
Shall we let them in? All right! Yes, everybody calm! We will reconvene backstage.
Or "backstage", as we say.
- Oh, what if I forget my lines? - You've only got the one.
You'll help me, won't you, Miss Emily? Please, Gwen, ssh! I'm trying to warm up.
(ALL HUMMING) Thomas, why don't you cover "front of house"? Cover the front what with? Oh, just go and tear the tickets! I must give Mrs Unwin her five-minute call.
- Five minutes, Mrs Unwin.
- I am ready now, Frank.
Dear God! What's the matter? Never seen a saint before? A full house, ladies! A full house for my first play! - God, absurd! My first play! - (PIANO PLAYS) That's the go-ahead from Thomas.
House lights down.
On you go, Mrs Bute! Break a leg! What? The Magical Witch opens the play with a little rhyme and a soft-shoe shuffle.
Soft-shoe shuffle! Yes, of course.
Yes, I know.
I know.
(BREATHES HEAVILY) I can't hear her.
Must be a very soft shoe.
Mummy? Just need a moment.
Mummy, are you all right? Helen, can you go on? Yes, absolutely, if I just stay here in this chair behind the curtain.
This is stage fright.
I had it once during Lady Windermere's Fan.
The only cure is to go on stage and not be frightened.
Don't be ridiculous, Frank! I do not have stage fright.
I'm perfectly fine.
There is something wrong with the audience.
They're the wrong sort.
You sold the tickets.
Gwen, you're going to have to go on in Helen's place.
Oh, no, don't make me go on, Eva! It's like a tornado down there! Well, that's it then! No panto! No Christmas! No nothing! Oh, Eva, no! Not no Christmas! - Margaret, won't you help us? - Yes, please, Margaret.
- Please be the Magical Witch thingy? - We can't do it without you! Please, Margaret, step down from your high horse and help us! To sacrifice what you are, to live without belief, that is a fate more terrible than dying.
The wig has gone to her head.
You are selfish, Margaret! Plagiarise that! You're using the word "plagiarise" in an entirely inappropriate context.
That doesn't even mean anything - you're just making things up.
- (ALL ARGUE AT ONCE) - Ladies (SHOUTS) Ladies! I have suffrage news from London.
Mrs Unwin, you must read this.
"300 suffragettes marched on Parliament yesterday "to protest the rejection of the Conciliation Bill.
" Told you it had been rejected.
"The battle between police and suffragettes went on for six hours.
"Their suffering was pitiful and horrible in the extreme, "with several sustaining severe injuries at the hands of the police.
" (MEN SINGING) Why are we waiting? Frank, do you think you could go on and do a few minutes of ham-dram? Keep the theatre-goers entranced? "The Death of Nancy at the Hands of Bill Sykes?" Yes, yes, if you will.
I think I will! - Ladies and gentlemen! - (APPLAUSE) Everyone, Eva, I owe you an apology.
- Yes, you do.
- Yes, I've been Selfish, jealous, mean-spirited.
If you'd been one of my 15, you'd have been on the naughty step until tea time.
I accept your apology.
Thank you.
May I suggest we have a minute's silence for those brave suffragettes who fought for us yesterday? FRANK: Bill! Don't look at me like that, Bill! Leave the boy alone! He's just a boy! Come 'ere, Nancy! (THUD) (BARKS LIKE A DOG) Quiet, Bullseye! Not Bullseye! Don't hurt the dog! You mangy cur! Owww! Take that and that! (HOWLS LIKE A DOG) Yes, well, I think that's about a minute.
Eva, with your permission, I should like to make a few amendments to your script and then I shall join you all on stage.
Oh, what a relief! Is Christmas back on? - Yes, Gwen.
- Oh, Mother will be pleased.
It's the only time she ever smiles.
- I resign.
- You can't.
- Why not? - You're fired.
THOMAS: Trying this glove onto your dainty hand.
You may.
(GASPS) It fits! It fits! Indeed it does.
Dear, sweet princess.
However although I admire your beauty and your proletarian work ethic, it is not a princess I seek, but a passionate woman of political conscience.
Your cousin, the fearless suffragette! And so Oh, goodness! The suffragette - and the prince lived happily - Happily ever after! Happily together, bringing justice and fairness to this great nation of ours.
For marriage is not a fairy tale.
It is the union of like minds carrying the double-handed torch of enlightenment into the dark corners of ignorance.
And now I shall burn at the stake.
I'm burning.
I'm burning.
And we, as suffragettes, stand shoulder to shoulder so we should stand face to face with our men, seeing beyond the tiresome charade of gender, and deep into one another's unique souls.
I'm still burning, still burning Perhaps we may find more than we ever imagined.
I am now burnt.
Osbert? Really, really, really quite good.
- So do I marry the prince or not? - No.
What are you doing? - Improvising! - Well, stop it! - Frank, Frank, come on.
- (AUDIENCE CHEERS) And now for a song! Thank you, Thomas.
Suffragettes, come one, come all This Christmas tide attend the call Show you have the wherewithal to stand and be political Up, up, up the women Up, up, up we go Up, up, up the women Choose your side Are you friend or foe? (AUDIENCE APPLAUDS) Merry Christmas, everyone! (AUDIENCE CHEERS) 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.