THE timing of my departure for London was not ideal, coming as it did barely 12 hours after Nicola Sturgeon’s big announcement. But sometimes taking a step away from a situation (or in this case, a 500-mile bus journey) helps with seeing the bigger picture.

It’s understandable that when a politician resigns, questions about their legacy are instantly asked. But it can be years, even decades, before the full consequences of their time in office become clear. What might seem like a defining moment can eventually become a footnote.

Robust exchanges between rivals can ultimately result in compromise. Splits that seem potentially catastrophic can be overcome.

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I spent Thursday thinking about another woman who fought for what she believed in, during very different times. The suffragette musical Sylvia has undergone a gruelling development process to become the cracker of a show that’s currently on at the Old Vic. It’s a roof-raising gallop through 30 years of history with a brilliantly witty soundtrack of soul, funk and hip hop.

If you’ve ever fancied seeing Hamilton but are deterred by the fact that ultimately it’s about something as boring as the establishment of the US Treasury, this may be more your cup of tea.

Such a show could easily have been a sanitised tale of strong, united women triumphing over sexist, dinosaur-minded men, but the decision to tell the story from the perspective of the middle Pankhurst daughter gives it far more honesty and complexity than that. Although the family initially worked together for a common cause, disagreements became divisions and matriarch Emmeline ultimately disowned Sylvia for refusing to marry the father of her child. That wasn’t very feminist of her, any modern observer would quite rightly think.

The National: Keir Hardie

I confess to my ignorance about the extent of Sylvia’s relationship with Keir Hardie (above), who was a friend of her father and subsequently a political mentor and secret lover.

The show’s creator Kate Prince and co-writer Priya Parmer do not shy away from pointing out the uncomfortable fact that the pair had been acquainted since Sylvia was a young child, but stop short of casting a wizened older man to play him.

The aim here is not visual historical accuracy – after all, most of the Pankhursts are played by black women – and having Keir look more like Che Guevara ensures modern audience see him as Sylvia did, rather than being distracted by viewing their relationship through a modern lens.

Any modern single-issue movement can take heart from the fact that the suffragettes had plenty of disagreements among themselves (including the kind of no-going-back ding-dongs that happen to lend themselves to incredible duets for a cast that happens to include British soul queen Beverley Knight).

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And of course, the suffragettes were themselves a sub-group of the women’s suffrage movement, with the show giving credit to Clementine Churchill for writing a blisteringly sarcastic suffragist letter to The Times under a pseudonym.

It’s not difficult to see parallels in modern political disagreements when considering what drove a wedge between Sylvia and her mother, who were united by a common aim but disagreed on the best way to achieve it.

And indeed perhaps why they wanted it, given Emmeline’s subsequent bid to become a Conservative MP. Sylvia sought to establish a working-class suffrage movement while her mother was content with middle-class women leading the change. A material change of circumstances – the outbreak of the First World War – cemented their rift.

The Representation of the People Act of 1918 is finally passed very near the end of Sylvia, and when it happened I looked at my watch. Surely we weren’t going to end here, leaving voteless the young working-class woman whose cause Sylvia had championed so passionately?

Of course not. A calendar projected onto the stage swiftly ticks through a decade in time for jubilant scenes that take us to the curtain call. Just like that, a fast-forward to the happy ending we were all awaiting.

Afterwards, I pondered: Will 10 years of Scottish history ever be zipped through on stage in such a fashion? Will we ever see Nicola: The Musical, and if so what would be the end date for her story?

BBC Scotland’s three-part documentary series The Women Who Changed Modern Scotland, which begins tonight, covers even more ground even more quickly than Sylvia, from the early 1970s right up to the campaign for buffer zones around abortion clinics and the Kenmure Street protest of 2021.

It’s an engaging and inspiring watch, with the first episode in particular highlighting just how hard women had to fight for rights, services and opportunities that these days are too often taken for granted and viewed as irrevocable.

It’s a treat to spend an hour listening to older women reflecting so humbly on what they achieved.

It’s probably safe to assume none of them disowned any daughters in the process.

But if they did, I’d love to watch a film about that too.