All Together Now

Scene 4


The Canteen has been decorated for the occasion; there are two floral centerpieces on the long staff table, and a banner has been hung over the doorway reading "Congratulations Third Floor," but "Third" has been crossed out, and "Fourth" has been printed above it.   Starr and McCartney, who is rather snugly seated between Slocombe and Brahms, are having tea with the ladies, Peacock, Lucas and Humphries. The Canteen Manageress — in a clean pinny — is looking after the table.  Off to one side, Seymour is taking his time setting up The Egg Men's equipment.

Peacock:     It was very nice of you gentlemen to drop into our little gathering.
                  We're quite honored to have such distinguished guests.

Slocombe:   And such handsome ones!

McCartney:  Thanks for havin' us, Captain.  It's been a topsy-turvy day so far.

Starr:           Aye, we're happy for the breather.  (to CM) Diana, are there any
                  more pilchards?

CM:            The caterer brought a whole crate, Ringo.  I'll be right back with
                   some. (she exits)

McCartney:  Ach! You've finished a whole plate already.

Starr:          Well, I fancy ‘em, don't I?

Brahms:       You must ‘ave been rushed off your feet today, and skipped lunch.

McCartney:  Well, not really.  I mean, we all met at George's house, and he served
                    us lunch.

Starr:            Aye, but it was that Indian food he fancies so much.

Humphries:    Doesn't Indian food agree with you?

McCartney:   Ha!  (to Humphries) Remember when we went to see the maharishi?
                    Guess which one of us packed two suitcases — one with his clothes,
                    and another with tins of baked beans.

Starr:            It's me delicate constitution.

Peacock:      It must have been wonderful, reuniting with your old friends today.

McCartney:  Oh yeh.  I was a bit nervous.  So much has happened, you know.

Starr:           It's just business, though.  I always knew we'd sort it all out.

McCartney:  Yeh, but it's good to have John back in England.  He's wanted to
                   come back for years, but he's had that problem with US Immigration.

Peacock:      Oh yes, I read that President Nixon wasn't too keen on our Mr.
                   Lennon, and may have had a hand in holding up his visa.

Slocombe:    Yeh, but Mr. Ford likes him better, I suppose, ‘cos all that's cleared
                    up now.

McCartney:   Yes, everybody's happy.

Starr:            I wouldn't say Nixon is happy.

Humphries:   Well, apropos of nothing, I've just got to ask: Will you be playing any
                    music now you're together again?

McCartney:    Who knows?  It's hard to say, you know.  John's just here for a bit.

Starr:             And George is about to go out on tour.

McCartney:   Yeh.  We haven't really talked about it yet.  Just takin' it a step at a

Lennon and Tebbs enter.

Tebbs:         Ah.  Here you are. I see your friends have found the place, as well.
                   Thank you for shopping Grace Brothers.  Your Aunt Minnie should
                   receive her comforter quite soon indeed.

Lennon:       That's Mimi.

Tebbs:         Ah.  And I thank you, as well, for your part in helping me secure the
                   Cosy Comforter Award of Merit.

Lennon:       Ah.  Well, I couldn't live with meself, knowin' I was standin' between
                   Mrs. Tebbs and a good pluckin'.  Have we redeemed ourselves, then?

Tebbs:         Yes.  I have already obliterated that incident in Marylebone Station
                   from my mind, (frowns) however permanent the blot on my
                   attendance record may be.

Peacock:      Mr. Tebbs, won't you join us, as long as you're here?

Tebbs:         Thank you, but I wouldn't think of imposing on your affair.

Lennon:       Come along, Percy.  If they'll let us in, they'll let in anybody.

CM enters with a loaded tray.

Tebbs:         Well . . .   Are those pilchards?

As Lennon and Tebbs take seats,  Peacock introduces himself and then the excited staff.

Lennon:       (looking at the Egg Men's equipment) What's all this, then?

McCartney:  Just some duffelbangers, John.  (winks at Slocombe)

Peacock:      Yes, heh-heh.  A Beatles impersonator group, I'm afraid, who were
                   booked to play for our award dinner this evening.  They won't be
                   along until five- thirty.

Slocombe:    Ooh, won't they get a surprise if they show up early!

Lennon:       Huh.  They've got the instruments right.  There's the jumbo acoustic
                   like I had.

McCartney:  And that Gretsch is just like George's.

Starr:           They've got me old Ludwig kit right.  And there's your Hofner, Paul.

McCartney:  Right, and it's a lefty, as well.

CM pours Tebbs and Lennon tea

Lennon:       Thanks, love.  (to McCartney) Did we ever find Mal, then?

McCartney:  Yeh, I rang up Apple, and he was there.  He was just terrified.

Lennon:        Not trampled?

McCartney:  Well, that, too, but he never saw us gettin' into the lorry.  He'll be
                    ‘round to collect us.  Mr. Warwick's watchin' for him at the side

Lennon:        Not Warwick from Liverpool?  "Horsy, Keep Your Tail Up"?

McCartney:   (laughs) Yeh, he works here.  We had a nice chat down in the
                     Packin' Department.

Humphries:    Yes, we heard you dropped in one Christmas, Paul.

McCartney:   Yeh, we like to stop in now and again.  Our manager used to shop
                    here, as well.

Humphries:   Oh, yes.  I served Mr. Epstein once.

Lennon:      (peering at Humphries) Only once?

Starr:          Now, John.  Have some pilchards.

Lennon:      Are there any left, then?

Brahms:      We're all so happy that you lot settled your legal business, and all.

Starr:           Well, it was mainly our solicitors doin' battle.

McCartney:  Yeh, it was just legal stuff. But that's what you get when you're
                   famous.  Everything gets blown up or drawn out.

Slocombe:    Isn't it true.  I mean, everything's so public.  You couldn't even be
                   allowed to break up like other bands do without a big to-do.

Peacock:      Of course, there are still those who blame your womenfolk for the
                    splitup.  Cherchez la femme, as they say, heh-heh.

Starr:            Ha!

McCartney:   I think we'd just grown up, is all.

Lennon:        Right.  And if you're goin' to blame the women for the breakup,
                    then can they be given credit for all the good music that's come out
                    of us since?

McCartney:   Right!  John's Walls and Bridges is goin' right up the charts, with a
                    No. 1 single.  And everybody loved Ringo — it sold a zillion,
                    (to Starr) and you got a hit single out of that, as well.

Starr:           (munching pilchards) Hmmph.

Lennon:       And Paul's sold a few with Band on the Run.  And look at George.
                   He could never get a song in edgewise with me and Paul fillin' up the
                   albums, and he's never played better, or made more money!

McCartney:  And started his own record label, as well.  Oh, speak of the devil.

Harrison and Grainger enter.  Harrison is wearing the houndstooth jacket, plus dark grey trousers, a black turtleneck and black suede boots.  He's carrying a Grace Brothers shopping bag.

Grainger:      Ah.  Here are your friends, er, Harry.  I'll join you in a moment —
                    I've got to go to  the gents'.  (looks at table) I hope they haven't
                    eaten all the pilchards.

Harrison takes seat

Lennon:      (to Harrison) Look at you!

McCartney:  It's Bobby Dazzler! We thought you were dressin' down, George!

Harrison:      Don't mock a man tryin' to get ahead, lads.

Peacock:     (rising) Ah.  Mr. Harrison, I'm Cpt. Peacock, the floorwalker (they
                  shake hands) and this is Mr. Tebbs of Bedding (he rises and "moves"
                  to Harrison, who also "moves"), and our Mrs. Slocombe.

Slocombe:   Oh, I'm so ‘appy to meet you!  This is such a wonderful day! (they
                  shake hands)

Peacock:     And our Miss Brahms, who is also in Ladies' Intimate Apparel.

Harrison:     Yes, I've been picturin' that! (she shakes hands gleefully)

Lennon:       George, you dog.

Peacock:      And I understand you've met our Mr. Lucas and Mr. Humphries.

Harrison:      Yes, Mr. Humphries.  Are you feeling better?

Humphries:   Oh, much!  I think the shock did me in.  When me knees start goin',
                    it's all over!  It's not every day you see a Beatle headin' into the
                    changin' room, although it didn't seem to faze Mr. Grainger.

Lucas:          That's ‘cause he still doesn't know who he is!

Humphries:   And all this time I thought he was bein' casual about it.

CM pours tea for Harrison

Peacock:      Oh, and this is Miss Diana Yardswick, the Canteen manageress

CM:             ‘ello, George. Ooh, back in Peckham, I'm goin' to make everyone
                     green with envy.

Lucas:          As opposed to here, where she makes everyone green with

Harrison:       (looks at Starr) Are you peckish, then, Ritch?

Starr:            Ah, I was just havin' a few pilchards for good luck, George.

Harrison:       Yeh, you didn't fancy my Tandoori Chicken.

Starr:            Well, nothin' personal.

Harrison:       (chuckles) I thought you'd bring some beans, comin' to my house.

Starr:             I'll never hear the end of that.

YMG enters, pushed in his wheelchair by Miss Bakewell.

YMG:           Good afternoon, everybody.

The staff rise, then the Beatles.

Staff:            Good afternoon, Mr. Grace.

YMG:           I, er, hope you don't mind if I stop by a moment.

Peacock:      Of course not, sir.  We were expecting you for the award presentation.

YMG:          Oh, good.  Miss Bakewell was most insistent.

Peacock makes introductions, and the CM brings more tea.

CM:           Some tea for you as well, Mr. Grace?

YMG:        Haven't you opened the Japanese tinned champagne yet?

CM:           Comin' up, sir.  (she exits)

Starr:          You never told us there was Japanese tinned champagne!

YMG:         Do you fancy it?

Starr:          It's me favorite.

Humphries:  Hmmm.  Likes the pilchards, likes the tinned champagne.  You've
                   quite a future here at Grace Brothers, Ringo!

Grainger enters and sits; CM returns with tin and a few glasses, and pours a glass for YMG and Starr, and Grainger requests one too.

Peacock:      May I be permitted a toast, Mr. Grace?

YMG:         Please do, Cpt. Peacock.

Peacock.      Ahem.  This is a very special day here at Grace Brothers.

Grainger:      Yes, indeed!  Most Improved Floor!

All look at Grainger.

Peacock:      Yes, Mr. Grainger, and beyond that, we are priveleged today to enjoy
                    the brief company of four of our most treasured national assets.
                    (Grainger looks around)  You've brought us much happiness over
                    the years, those of us in our department, and in Great Britain, and,
                    indeed, all over the world.  (raises his cup) To our own lads from

All:               Our lads from Liverpool!

They drink.

Grainger:     (to Harrison) Are you all from Liverpool?  We have a branch there,
                   you know.

Warwick and Mash enter with Mal Evans

Warwick:      Here's your lads, Mal, that you lost.

McCartney:   Here he is.

Harrison:       Ever-Smiling.

Lennon:        Were you trampled, then, Mal?

Mal:             Yeh, it was like old times.

YMG:          Would you care to join us?

Mal:            Thanks, no. I've got my orders to get this lot into the Finsbury.

Mash:           Ha! There's a squadron of bobbies waitin' by the side door.  That
                    should do it, eh?

Harrison:      Ready to sign papers, lads?

Lennon:        Well, I've come all this way.

Slocombe:     Oh, I wish you could stay just a bit.

Starr:            Well, we don't want to spoil the party . . .

McCartney:   Ah.  Heard that one.

The four get up to go.

Lennon:       Thanks for takin' us in.

McCartney:   Right, and thanks for the tea.

Starr:            And for the pilchards.

Mash:           Well, nothin' to lose by askin' — ‘ow's about a tune before you go,
                    lads?  I mean, we did pull your, er, chestnuts out of the fire, din' we?

Peacock:       Mr. Mash!  As much as we'd all like that, it's quite out of line —

Lennon:       No, that's all right, Captain.  Can we can sing for our supper, lads?
                   What about it?

Starr:          Well, there is a kit all set up.

Harrison:      Yes, and I am dressed for success.

Lennon:        Paul?

McCartney:  (looking at Warwick) For a penny or a pint, er, Mr. Warwick?

Warwick:     There's a lad.

The four go to their respective instruments as the staff applaud with glee.

Lennon:       Right, then.  Well, I've got that tune in me head, we may as well do
                   it.  It's in G, isn't it?

Starr:           Well, I've always done it in G.

Lennon:       Thanks, Bingo.  One, two, three, four --

The band launches into "I Don't Want to Spoil the Party." Lennon and McCartney harmonize flawlessly; Harrison, who shares McCartney's microphone, adds a very tasty solo, and Starr plays happily.  All assembled watch in rapture, except Grainger and Tebbs, who alternately listen and share a plate of pilchards.  As the song ends, the musicians look at each other a moment, then, with a smile, bow from the waist in unison.  All assembled applaud vigourously.

Harrison:      There now, that didn't hurt.

Mal:           (snapping to) Come along, now, or it's my head.

The four put the instruments down again.

YMG:        Thank you, boys.  You've all done very well!

All four:      Thank you, Mr. Grace.

As the four move toward the exit, Humphries spots Harrison's shopping bag.

Humphries:  Oh, Mr. Harrison, your bag.

Harrison:     Oh, it's just me denims.  You can have ‘em, Mr. Humphries.

Humphries:  Oh!  You can't see it, but me knees are goin' again!

McCartney:  Bye, everybody!

Starr:           Thanks ever so much.

Lennon:       See you at Wimbledon.

The four exit with Warwick, Seymour and Mash.

Grainger:      Ah! They sounded very much indeed like the Beatles.

Humphries:   They were the Beatles, Mr. Grainger.

Grainger's jaw drops.

Peacock:       I think we have been priveleged to witness a most extraordinary little
                    performance here today.

Slocombe:     Oh, fancy the Beatles playin' at our dinner!

Lucas:           No one will believe it!

Grainger:       I still can't believe it.

A young man enters, wearing a Beatles haircut and the sort of collarless suit they made famous.

Man:           Ah, here's the kit, then.  I'm the drummer from the band.  The
                   Egg Men, heh-heh.

Lucas:         It's one of your duffelbangers, Mrs. Slocombe.

Humphries:  (to man) Didn't you see anybody you knew in the lift just now?

Man:            Oh, the lift was engaged.  I took the stairs.

Humphries:   Ah, the pity.

Peacock:      Where are the other, er, Egg Men?

Man:            Oh, the other blokes will be here in a minute.  They ‘ad to find a
                    place to park their cars.  The ‘ole street is fair packed!

Brahms:        (still on Cloud Nine) Oh, take your time.

Man:            (picks up drumsticks, sits behind drums)  Say, who's been messin' about with me drum

Slocombe:    (with a wink to her tablemates) Oh, what makes you ask?

Man:            (puts drumsticks down, smells hands, frowns) I've got pilchards on me fingers!


You Have Been Watching

 (Over the regular theme music we see the staff enjoying the Beatles' performance)

Frank Thornton         drinking champagne, nodding to the beat
Mollie Sugden            singing along
Arthur Brough            munching a pilchard, passing plate
James Hayter             accepting pilchard from plate
John Inman                watching, steadying his knees
Trevor Bannister        smiling, singing along
Wendy Richard          singing along
Harold Bennett           nodding
Larry Martyn             winks, moves a centerpiece aside to reveal a tape recorder
Jimmy Mac               (Warwick) singing along
Keith Hodiak             (Seymour) singing along
Penny Irving              singing along
Doremy Vernon         singing along
Malcolm Evans          looking at watch
Gordon Kaye             (Egg Men drummer) shrugs shoulders
John Lennon              with Tebbs, snuggling a Cosy Comforter
Paul McCartney         in Packing, raising his teacup in toast
George Harrison         with Grainger, admiring his new suit in mirror
Ringo Starr                wipes fingers, gives peace sign

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(c) 1999 John F. Crowley