Georgia Brown: Shoulder to Shoulder
September 15, 2015 4:00 PM   Subscribe

Georgia Brown was a well-known singer and star of musical theater, film and television in Great Britain. She defined the role of Nancy in the original 1960 production of Oliver!, a musical created by her childhood friend Lionel Bart, and went on to appear in dozens of stage and screen productions. But by the early 1970s, Brown had become increasingly dissatisfied with the television roles available to women, and the BBC asked her to choose a project. From her discussions with then-script editor Midge Mackenzie and with the help of producer Verity Lambert, the 1974 mini-series Shoulder to Shoulder was born.

Shoulder to Shoulder is a six-part dramatized history of the women's suffrage movement in Great Britain, encompassing the 1890s to 1919. Brown, Mackenzie and Lambert had originally intended for the series to be written by women, but the use of male writers forced them to edit the scripts to remove the "innuendoes, misconceptions and untruths" characteristic of what Brown referred to as "the male point of view".

Georgia Brown appeared in five of the six episodes as Annie Kenney and sang the theme song, "The March of the Women," composed by Dame Ethel Smyth.

Episode 1: The Pankhursts
Episode 2: Annie Kenney
Episode 3: Lady Constance Lytton
Episode 4: Christabel Pankhurst
Episode 5: Outrage
Episode 6: Sylvia Pankhurst

Bonus link: Georgia Brown: Who Are the Cockneys Now? From the documentary series One Pair of Eyes, in which she revisits her childhood home in Whitechapel and discusses how the demographics of the East End had changed by 1968. From approximately 14:55 to 16:36, Brown describes when she began to question her religion, partly due to how women were treated.

(Addendum: American audiences may recognize Georgia Brown as Madame Lazora from Cheers or Helena Rozhenko from Star Trek: TNG.)
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide (2 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
I swear, nearly everything Verity Lambert got involved with is inspiring!
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 8:09 AM on September 16, 2015 [1 favorite]

Right on, Worf's mom!
Looking forward to watching the series; I've been reading about the British Women's Suffrage Movement recently—specifically the Suffrage Atelier, founded by two younger siblings of A.E. Housman—so this is great timing. Thanks for posting!
posted by obloquy at 1:18 PM on September 16, 2015 [1 favorite]

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