The Accrington Pals (play)
The Accrington Pals is a 1982 play by Peter Whelan set in Accrington during the first few years of the World War I. The play explores a number of issues relevant both at the time and today, questioning peoples morality and attitudes to war. Some of the issues discussed is the inequality towards women 'MAY: At Paxtons they don't pay you what they pay a man do they?', and how much you are for other people with Toms idealistic viewpoint or May's conservative stance. Unlike most other War related pieces of theatre e.g. Oh, what a lovely war, The Accrington Pals not only focuses on the men fighting, but on the relationships between them and the women left behind and the women's viewpoints and struggles as they adjust to life without their fathers, husbands, brothers or sweethearts as seen in the relationship between Eva and Ralph. Also encapsulated is the changing views that the war was instrumental in e.g the start of the Feminist Movement and the beginning of women in predominantly male orientated jobs e.g Bertha working on the trams.
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- I never believed war would make a difference like this. There's money around.
- Dreaming is not making your own decisions but letting others make them for you.
- I shouldn't have killed him.
- Sam is definitely not a babe.
- Now there's conscription coming, if women take their jobs they'll have to go.
- I couldn't love a man who'd stayed at home.
- Inspectors and drivers. Drivers are the worst. Mine's forever slamming on the brakes to have me fall over. Won't speak to me hardly... and they won't have girls in the rest room except to get our tea. Then they dock our pay cos they say we have to have assistance with the poles turning the trams round at the terminus.
- They say we're taking jobs off them an that we'll want to be drivers next.
- There was nothing in the paper.
- I've got to cuddle something somehow.
- I'd be a female lumberjack if I could... in the Forestry... if I hadn't my own burdens.
- What about the munitions girls.. the girls in Gretna that got blown up that they tried to hush up? And getting canary through working with TNT so your coughing yellow cut the rest of your life?
- If there's one thing that narks the men about this war it's the way it shows them up for creating such mysteries round things.
- I shall be his very shadow.
- I will make that young man my special charge. Hand your responsibility over to me and I shall not be found wanting. I shall be with h in every present danger.. the darkest moments, you can be assured.
- Then it depends on which way you read them.
- Its a free exchange of skills... of produce or hand or brain. That's what's needed . Not money.
- One for all and one for each. (in a letter to May)
- That’s the great thing about the army. You don’t need money… It’s free exchange.
- We exchanged our skills. No money was involved
- If you look at Leonardo da Vinci's drawings... the tip of the middle finger reaches further down the thigh bone.
- They're stuck! Stuck! that's why every things cock-eyed. Stuck in their own little worlds. They can't see further than what they know. Mentally stuck. It's got so they think they'll go under for stepping beyond their own back yard.
- God has called me to the lists and if I fall let my death help cleanse the world of its weakness.
- We have failed to build Jerusalem and this is God’s answer.
- Christ said suffer the children. Suffer them!