Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

Hynes' hopes for suffragette sitcom

Jessica Hynes was shocked by how much the Suffragettes really did suffer
Jessica Hynes was shocked by how much the Suffragettes really did suffer

Jessica Hynes has said she hopes her new sitcom about Suffragettes will inform viewers about their history.

The Twenty Twelve actress has written and is starring in Up The Women, a BBC Four comedy set in 1910.

She told the Radio Times: "It's our history and it's empowering, and yet we're detached from it, and that's wrong.

"You get young girls saying, 'Didn't Parliament want to talk to them, and then they started doing all that militant stuff, and it was bad, and they didn't behave themselves, did they?' No. That's not what happened."

The sitcom, which also stars The Thick Of It's Rebecca Front, started out as a comedy film Jessica was going to write for the BBC about a suffragette plot to kill Prime Minister Asquith.

Jessica, who wrote and starred in Spaced with Simon Pegg, said she changed her mind after researching the subject more.

She said: "I started to realise how dark it was, reading all these lists of women who were beaten up and killed.

"You think of Emily Davison as the only martyr, but it was all quite serious. It was no longer Carry On Up The Suffrage. I was crying into my tea."

Up The Women begins on BBC Four on Thursday May 30.

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