Upstairs, Downstairs (2010) s01e02 Episode Script

The Ladybird

'The house is in Eaton Place, number 165.
' My good Lord! This house is going to see such life.
Are you here with regard to the housekeeper's position? Agnes, I would like you to meet my mother, Maud.
Agnes thinks she's rescued me but I don't want to be rescued.
My sister says you should call me Lady Persie if that's what I want - and I do.
I won't call you Lady anything if you don't act like one.
We have experience, you and I.
We are what that house requires.
The paper's late again! There'll be no time to iron it.
Those hot dishes should be upstairs by now! What's holding you back? Lady Agnes's grapefruit.
This gives me no pleasure.
There's nothing to it, even with a maraschino garnish.
He's doing it again.
He's caressing that cherry with his eyes.
Excuse me but is this 165 Eaton Place? It is.
I am very glad.
My name is Rachel Perlmutter.
I am expected by Miss Buck.
Ah, I see.
You must go through the gate and down the steps to the staff entrance.
Good morning, Persie.
Oh, darling, I told you not to squeeze that pimple! It's the Londonderry Ball tonight.
We need you to look your best.
Do open it.
Oh, Sis! I had it sent from Paris.
Thank you.
I told you to move your things along, Ivy.
Half the mantelpiece for you, the other half for our new house parlour maid.
Half the bed for her an'all.
That's enough.
You've carried on for weeks about your workload.
Now Rachel's here to share it.
You're just going to have to share your room as well.
How do you know she don't snore? How do you know you don't snore? We'll practise the processional now, as you will perform it in the ballroom at Buckingham Palace! There are extra ostrich feathers in the box.
- We're going to be late for Monsieur Gaston.
- No, we're not.
That tiara takes at least two hours to pin properly in place.
I should know.
Lady Persephone's curtsey is just bliss! She has remarkable knees and a splendid sense of timing.
Lady Agnes, perhaps you would deputise for his Majesty.
Yes, of course.
All you have to do is smile impassively and nod in response to particular charm.
Better, Antonia.
Still a little too insouciante.
Dignity.
Dignity! Remember, the French for "curtsey" is "reverence".
I'm going to have to lean on you for some bicarb, Mrs Thack! Don't you go putting bicarb on my leather seats.
And I'll have an egg-cup full of Jeyes fluid in that water, Ivy! All in a day's work when I was on the liners.
The stewardesses used to ply the mops non-stop.
I think Lady Agnes would be very embarrassed if I cleaned up her sick.
I think someone more senior should do it.
Go out and get swabbing.
You look very neat, dear, but it's Dutch pink for the mornings.
Black for afternoons.
Sit down and catch your breath.
Miss Buck says you sailed from Hamburg overnight.
That's not a voyage, it's an ordeal.
I am ready to start work.
I'm sure Mrs Thackeray can knock you up a sandwich.
I saw some tongue on your third shelf down.
You keep out of my third shelf down.
I spoke to Lady Londonderry.
She completely understood about poor Agnes and immediately invited me to go instead.
In fact, she said that since Lord Hardinge was attending, she should have thought to invite me in my own right.
What did you say, Mother? I was entirely gracious and said I'd be delighted to attend so, I shall be with you tonight.
Tongue.
In my dustbin.
Is that what went into Rachel's sandwich? She'd better not be a vegetarian.
She's a Yid, ain't she? Can't you tell? Only got to look at her.
They won't eat our meat.
They reckon it's unclean.
I'll not have aspersions cast upon my cold cuts.
No.
No.
Master bedroom! M'lady? Miss Buck, the tiara has gone.
I put it there yesterday! Agnes, dear.
Now, I know I look like a horse in a beaded browband I almost sent for the police.
Well, I didn't like to disturb you.
You were being ill.
Hallam needs me to accompany him this evening.
The ball will be full of people he must talk to.
My dear, you were too unwell even have your hair done.
And you can't go without a tiara and I can't take this off now.
Monsieur Gaston had to weave a piece in.
I'd happily vomit my head off if I could stay at home.
Oh! That's been in mothballs, that has! Lady Holland said it just needs airing.
But bits of it are matted! What am I supposed to do? I think perhaps a scattering of bran.
Worked into the fur and then the cape dried in the oven.
Excuse me.
I'm not having hair on my Jubilee buns! And then brushed briskly to restore the lustre.
I bet you've worked in a fur shop.
No.
Londonderry House, Sir? Yes.
Bit of a smell.
I did tell Agnes to vomit in her handbag but she refused because it was suede lined.
It's not vomit.
It's Jeyes fluid.
No.
I think it's mothballs.
I can't smell it.
I wish I had a silk nightie.
I've only got winceyette cos I left the orphanage in the winter.
They get you all kitted out but only for the weather they can see out of the window.
Which was sleet, in my case.
I'm going to be in trouble when it gets hot.
I didn't have silk when I was your age.
Only cotton.
I bought this when I was married.
Miss Buck said you was a widow.
Is your husband dead? Yes.
We ought to make a rule.
Last one into bed turns it out.
Only I'll do it tonight because you're new.
I don't snore.
I promise.
Are you awake? How are you feeling? I rallied.
I had a beefsteak for my supper.
What happened at the ball? It all went rather smoothly, actually.
Persie behaved and Mother was in her element.
One forgets sometimes how significant she was.
Hallam.
I remembered when I felt like this before.
In Washington.
Are you certain? I daren't be.
I daren't believe it's true.
We were so happy then and everything was dashed.
Darling, you must see a doctor.
We must take the best advice.
It's such a cruel thing, to lose a baby.
Nothing is ever untainted again.
Not even hope.
It's the middle of the night.
I left my cigarettes in the car.
They have cigarettes in the drawing room.
They're Marlborough.
I don't smoke those.
Go to bed, Lady Persie.
There was no-one to undress me.
Miss Buck told that German girl to have an early night.
Go to bed.
Oh! He was at the ball tonight! Sir Oswald was? He's a friend of the Londonderrys.
Did you meet him? No, I'm a debutante.
I only meet young men.
And dance, of course.
Dance, and eat water-ice, in the supper room.
Agnes says a lady must contribute.
But a few foxtrots and a quickstep hardly seem to pay one's way.
Did he dance? Not with me.
Have you ever been to hear him speak? Twice.
Now when I read his other speeches, I can hear his voice in my head.
Lady Holland says he isn't really en vogue any more.
What do you mean, en vogue? Fashionable.
He went up in my opinion, when she said that.
I've been en vogue for months now.
All it does is hurt my feet.
And keep me up late.
You must leaf through every single one! My husband had a habit of tucking things in books.
Oh, there it is! No, that's not the one.
It's a picture of me, arriving on an elephant.
Oh, but my dear, you're unwell.
Mr Amanjit, help her down.
Try putting your head between your knees.
A kettle I need a kettle.
Books breed dust.
You should have wiped each one, with a wrung-out shammy.
It was perhaps not the dust.
It was perhaps the exertion.
Both those things have caused me asthma in the past.
I'm not convinced you ought to be in service.
Three-quarter's of it's donkey work.
I was a university lecturer in Frankfurt, until Jews were barred from the professions.
I did not know what housework was until my maid resigned.
She said she could not clean for someone such as I.
You had a maid of your own? A maid.
A mink coat.
A marriage.
I had many things, Miss Buck.
But I have freedom here.
I have friends in this house.
And this is a most efficient kettle.
I knew all the signs, even though it's only happened once before.
I suppose one files these things away.
But I was waiting for it all to fade.
Or worse.
I advise you to do your Christmas shopping early.
You'll be a family of three by the first week of December.
Well, my dear, I couldn't be more delighted.
I always thought there was something wrong with you.
There was nothing wrong with her at all, until she was in pig! "In pig?" Persie! If the condition must be mentioned, one should do so plainly.
It's neither a triumph nor an ailment.
Agnes and I have waited many years for this.
She must rest and it will be my pleasure to indulge her.
Why not ring for Pritchard and arrange for some champagne? We've got champagne! We have it every night.
Yes, dear, I know WE do.
Her Ladyship! This is exceptionally kind of Sir Hallam.
It's only Moet.
Is the Indian man not to have some also? Mr Amanjit doesn't take his meals downstairs.
Champagne is not a meal.
His food is served in the morning room on a tray, as ordered by Lady Holland.
And lugged up all them stairs by muggins.
I don't know what the King is thinking of! We always knew he'd be a moderniser.
But to abolish Court Presentation and replace it with a garden party? Darling, put that in the middle.
I still have to curtsey to his Majesty! It's still a celebration of hereditary privilege.
Well, thank God some things are still sacred.
Oswald Mosley doesn't believe in hereditary privilege.
Hereditary privilege without service.
Persephone, you must learn to digest the small print of an argument! Why are you giving her Mosley to read? Because at the Londonderry ball, when he was pointed out, all she could say was, "What a handsome man!" Oh, Persie.
That's just vulgar! True, though.
I could get quite keen on politics.
People like us don't "get keen" on politics.
We take an interest, we have an informed view.
Governments alter, we remain constant.
But you must read the works by all the party leaders.
Persie's really rather busy at the moment.
Persie needs exposure to the issues of the day! After all, she spent her early years in Wales.
I spent my early years in Wales! And if she doesn't keep abreast, one of two things will occur.
The girl will either marry an idiot farmer, with whom she can keep pace, or a gentleman of worth and spend her life out of her depth.
Mother, please! Mr Eden's office.
Thank you, Pritchard.
Selassie's boat is en route to Southampton.
As expected, sir.
The police report public enthusiasm.
Also as expected.
There are banners and the King's been on the telephone.
Mr Baldwin's dealt with him.
We must deal with the exiled Emperor.
Naturally, sir.
Of course, having appealed to the League of Nations for support and been denied it, he considers himself betrayed.
He was betrayed.
The Italian and German and British governments don't think so.
But I think so.
Last year, the League vowed Mussolini would not be allowed to annexe Abyssinia.
One war later, it's part of his Roman Empire.
With respect, sir, in his address to the League, Selassie was a touch theatrical.
He said "It is us today.
"It will be you tomorrow.
" I don't see anything theatrical in that.
We shall return to policy.
Sir.
The ex-Emperor will be at Waterloo by morning.
He must be met and welcomed.
Someone's an early bird.
Yes.
I've been awake since dawn.
I came down in search of a glass of milk.
There's milk in the refrigerator, Sir, unless you'd like a cup of tea.
Actually, I would.
Thank you.
We both have our work cut out this morning.
I have a meeting with Haile Selassie.
And you have to drive into Waterloo station.
There'll be crowds and no police protection.
They should give you an escort.
You're an official.
Not today! I'm being despatched in my private capacity, whilst the King and Mr Eden remain immured indoors.
Bit of a feather in your cap.
I'm just following orders, really.
This really is heavenly! I think this one.
Any nursemaid would feel privileged to wheel this in the park.
No.
If we're to have a crest, it would look better on this model.
Oh, darling, look! They've sent these round from Harrod's for approval! I told them I was too delicate to shop.
What do you think? I think they all look marvellous.
Your father used to come in like that.
There would have been insurrection somewhere or a famine.
Did you always notice? I was his wife.
It was my job to notice.
This morning, I spent 40 minutes face to face with a deposed East African emperor and came away feeling an absolute heel.
That's not like you.
It caught me unawares.
His country has been ransacked, he wanted help, and all I could give him was a meaningless "address".
Is that what was asked of you? Yes.
And I did it to the letter.
Then you played your part.
There are times when diplomacy is no more than a pageant.
Agnes might appreciate a sherry.
No, dear.
Agnes is appreciating prams.
It is haddock tonight.
I do not know if that is cause for joy or pain.
Ivy does not usually knock.
Ivy has been chastised by Miss Buck, who found some dried potato on a fork.
Ivy is now crying in the scullery.
Loudly? I grew up in Calcutta in a servants' compound.
There was always some juvenile wailing their distress.
It was eternal, like the sound of birds.
Why do you not come down? In the evening, if the family are out, Miss Buck puts sweets on a plate and we sit and listen to the wireless.
I am not asked.
You are made separate, Mr Amanjit, by these trays.
You are seen to make work with these trays.
I know it.
And they grieve me.
We are not forced to accept the things that grieve us.
I can see the collar of your shirt.
It's blue, not white.
You're going to change out of your chauffeur's jacket and slink off somewhere whilst I'm watching La Boheme.
Although I rather think you're going to be late.
Because it starts at 7.
30pm and you've quite a way to drive.
You're going to go to Shoreditch, Spargo.
To hear Oswald Mosley speak at the Town Hall.
You ought to take me with you, for the ride.
You're going to the opera, Lady Persie.
And I have a private life, just the same as you.
Some day, when I'm awfully low When the world is cold I will feel a glow just thinking of you Ivy! You're missing the Palm Court Orchestra! They definitely serve refreshments while the music plays.
Sometimes you hear the tea-cups chink.
Ooh.
Nut brittle.
I don't reckon it's tea-cups.
I reckon it's glassware.
Bone china makes a very fine sound.
And it would be bone at an establishment like that.
Wedgwood, very possibly, or even Spode.
.
.
To love you Just the way you look tonight Please, no.
I will wash these myself.
I have no desire to disturb.
Your dishes will be seen to, in due course.
Ivy, move onto the pouffe, so Mr Amanjit may join us.
Thank you.
Oh, but you're lovely Are you fond of music, Mr Amanjit? Yes.
Very much so.
All them violins are boring.
I only listen for the frocks.
.
.
But to love you 'The Fascist movement represents leadership, not tyranny.
It offers 'to the people a leadership and national revival which they will accept of their own free will.
'A dictatorship is a dictatorship' You were late, then! Um It's standing room only.
I don't mind.
Excuse me.
Sorry, excuse me.
Sorry.
'.
.
It will come in a great wave, in a great awakening of the European soul, 'in a sudden demand to end the nonsense, to come together, 'and at last, to do great things in a great way!' Yes! I felt it in my whole body.
Like the first time I ever went hunting.
I shook for days afterwards, even after they'd washed the blood off.
Mosley's going to break down barriers of class.
I'm glad.
I despise the rich.
You are rich.
I'm poor, Harry.
Everything I have has been bought for me by someone.
That's not poor.
That's lucky.
It isn't freedom.
I haven't got any more freedom than you.
For now.
You have had a pleasant evening? I had an evening I'll remember all my life.
Can we just lie on top tonight? Of course.
It is stifling.
"Stifling".
Your English is getting good.
Where do you go on your days off? I visit friends.
Where do you go? Back to the Cottage Homes sometimes.
The girls in my house mostly left, but the Matron stays the same.
Matron is like a mother, is she not? Except she's got a moustache and she can't sing.
I always thought that's why I'd like a mother.
So I could be sung to.
My mother sang to me.
Marienwurmchen, setze dich Auf meine Hand Auf meine Hand Ich tu dir nichts zu Leide Es soll dir nichts zu Leid geschehn Will nur deine bunte Flugel sehn Bunte Flugel Bunte Flugel, meine Freude! What's it about? A ladybird.
A red and black insect whose house has burnt and whose children must escape.
We sing that in English, but it don't sound so nice.
It is a melody by Brahms.
We don't have him over here.
Lady Agnes asked me to move the hooks and eyes on her foundation garment.
I've been waiting for Mr Pritchard to go out.
She's definitely starting to show.
Look at her at Henley in her powder blue.
That's not her powder blue, it's her eau de nil.
She always wears that with her lace coatee.
More ladders in Lady Persie's stockings.
Mend the ones that sit above her hem.
You are supposed to be free this afternoon.
You should not be washing Lady Persie's things.
I want the sun to bleach them.
London water is so harsh, it turns the linen grey.
My mother was a laundress and she used a pinch of indigo to brighten all her whites.
Our memsahib let her take in other ladies' washing.
It was how she paid for me to go to school.
I have heard Mrs Thackeray wonder about that.
We live so close together, And yet, we know so little.
It is as though if we keep our secrets, we keep our dignity.
Please come out and have some tea with me, Rachel.
We could go to a hotel.
We could pretend we're taking part in Palm Court Orchestra.
Why do you ask me every week? When you know I always say I cannot come? Because we are not forced to accept the things that grieve us.
I have a secret, Mr Amanjit.
I have kept it so long it is like a pain.
And there is no dignity at all in that.
Lotte! Lotte! Mamma! Mamma! Mamma! She is fed well by the Zimmermans.
Each week, she grows.
If I saw her every day, I would not notice it.
You like it here, I think.
Well, we have McVitie's Chocolate Homewheat, which I don't imagine they serve at the Palm Court.
There is one left.
Shall I shout to Lotte? Let her play, she is laughing.
Do you have children, Mr Amanjit? My wife died and my son with her.
I am alone, like you.
Not like me.
My husband is in prison.
For political crimes.
When Miss Buck replied to my advertisement, she said there must be no ties.
Lotte is a tie.
Avram was a tie.
Do you write to him? Sometimes.
Marriage makes a woman holy to her husband.
But the distance between us is so very great I don't always feel as holy as I did.
'The mass of the people have no freedom.
Under fascism, for the first time, they will have freedom! 'Real freedom means good wages, short hours, security and employment, 'good houses, opportunity for leisure and recreation with family and friends.
'We have to choose between the freedom of a few professional 'politicians to talk and the freedom of the people to live!' Ivy, where's Harry? Did you tell him it was oxtail? He's partial to his offal.
Go and shout him, Mr Amanjit.
He might listen to a man.
I don't know what sort of monkey suit you call that.
It's a British Union of Fascists uniform.
I've got drill after tea.
There's a rally tomorrow and I m marching in it.
If that's the Whitechapel rally, it's been on the wireless.
The powers that be were trying to get it stopped.
Well, they failed, didn't they? You can't ban political marches in England.
It's not democratic.
Is this oxtail, Mrs Thack? I won't eat with him when he is dressed like that! You won't eat oxtail anyway.
That's enough, Harry! Your outfit has upset Rachel, and I don't think that's very nice! Go and exchange it for acceptable attire.
Then come back and get on with your dinner.
I'm entitled to publicly wear any garment or insignia that demonstrates my personal beliefs.
It's the law.
It is not the law at 165, Eaton Place! Sir Hallam and Lady Agnes make the law upstairs.
And Miss Buck makes the law down here.
Thank you, Mr Pritchard.
I'm wearing in my own time.
This is my evening off.
Oh, everyone ignore him.
It's quenelles of bream upstairs tonight and I can't have my timings thrown.
Mrs Thackeray sent you out some semolina pudding.
She meant well.
She let Harry eat at her table! Mrs Thackeray puts food first.
She's set in her ways.
Getting on.
Getting on? Getting old.
Is that what becomes of the young? Do they live so long they just become accepting? I think they get tired.
I am not tired.
I am a Jew.
I must oppose the march.
They think I'm going to tea at Claridge's.
You can drive me in the car.
'This afternoon, police reinforcements have been sent to Whitechapel where attempts have been 'made to disrupt a rally by the British Union of Fascists' I was listening to that.
The reception was ghastly.
And it's Home Office business, not Foreign Office, surely? We are going to have a nice, domestic afternoon.
They shall not pass! They shall not pass! They shall not pass! They shall not pass! They shall not pass! They shall not pass! They shall not pass! They shall not pass! They shall not pass! The Blackshirts are outnumbered.
It is they who are not accepted.
Here, my daughter will not live upon her knees.
They shall not pass! They shall not pass! They shall not pass! They shall not pass! They shall not pass! I'm going to have to park up.
No! We're nowhere near our mustering points! I'm supposed to be somewhere called Gardiner's Corner, which isn't even on this map! Spargo! I don't want you to park here! If you're going to call me Spargo, you can get back in the back.
Fascists out! Fascists out! Give me the key.
You're nothing but scum! Shame on you! I'm late, terribly sorry.
Lady Persie Fascists out! Fascists out! Fascists out! Fascists out! Fascists out! Fascists out! Boo! Boo! I've got you! They shall not pass! They shall not pass! Can't you just buy clothes for the baby? We waited so long, Hallam.
I used to dream of this.
Penny for them? I used to do this with my sister.
Winding wool was her favourite game.
Maud won't be drawn when I ask her about Pamela.
She was frail and then she died.
I loved her.
There's little more to say.
In which case, why must you mention her at all? I can't bear to hear about things going wrong with children.
Nothing will go wrong.
Our life is blessed.
Down with the Fascists! Rachel, look.
Children threw them under the hooves of horses.
See? God is in the small things.
There is some remaining! We can have our say! Persie? Stop! Lady Persie! Ssh! Pay it no attention.
All the others have gone out.
Ssh.
You have been made ill and you must rest.
Why is no-one answering the bell? Take the kettle to your room.
I will see what is required upstairs.
I have to deal with an emergency.
Tell me how I may help, sir.
I didn't know you couldn't drive.
Mr Amanjit has been the hero of the hour.
Although Maud won't be pleased when she hears you sent him to the cells to fetch me.
I was in a back room with a police inspector! Doing what was necessary to get you out! I'm giving you the chance to explain yourself! Take it or be dismissed without a reference.
I had to report Lady Persie to the police! She's never passed the driving test, she was a danger to God knows who! Not to mention a menace to the car.
The only way she could be stopped was if I said she'd robbed it.
Why the hell did you take her to the East End in the first place? I'm staff, sir.
I have to follow orders! Just like you did at Waterloo.
Go downstairs, Spargo.
I couldn't put things right, but I stopped them getting worse.
Better that, than doing nothing, sir.
I'll take it up and see how she is.
We could perhaps send out for a bottle of Friar's Balsam.
Somebody come to our bedroom! I don't want any mention, or evidence, of that vile party in my home again! You can burn my card.
You can't burn my beliefs.
You don't believe in Oswald Mosley.
You are obsessed with him.
You told me to think, Maud! You didn't say I had to think like you! Persie, you've embraced an ideology you do not comprehend! How do you know I don't comprehend it? Because if you did, you would've walked away! Rachel came here to escape people like you.
That doesn't mean I didn't like her! Oh, this is absurd! Send the foolish girl to bed! I'll send my sister to bed when I am good and ready! Agnes! Maud is my mother.
There's no need to intervene.
I'm relieved to see her taking charge of something.
If I might have a word, Sir Hallam.
Lady Agnes.
Why didn't Rachel's friends take her with them? They were not Rachel's friends.
Just people she had paid.
But they are good human beings, surely? Begging your pardon, my Lady.
But she didn't seem to want to go with them.
We can write to her relatives in Germany.
Arrange to put her on the train.
Lotte will be looked after here for as long as necessary.
That way, this house can start to make amends.
Have you absorbed nothing whatever from all of this? Can you not conceive of what will happen if we send a Jewish child to Germany? I've spent my entire married life absorbing and conceiving! I've spent dinner after dinner, party after party, straining to keep pace because my role as your wife required it! So you must forgive me if, just this once, I failed to make the leap you require and realise that the state of play in Europe means we must take on the welfare of a stranger's child! I should have thought it was obvious.
There will be new laws, Harry.
They'll ban our uniforms.
Then they'll ban us being seen in public.
It will all go underground.
It will be like this.
It's your mum's, ain't it? Come on.
Marienwurmchen, setze dich Auf meine Hand, auf meine Hand Ich tu dir nichts zu Leide Es soll dir nichts zu Leid geschehn Will nur deine bunten Flugel sehn Bunte Flugel Bunte Flugel, meine Freude.
You should creep into the house, sneak up to my room.
Lotte makes me feel something is circling my house.
I wish it was a less disturbing feeling.
Tell me about Germany.
Mosley thinks the world of you.
I took Lotte on.
I should be the one who resolves this situation.
Lotte has no family, Ivy.
She's got us! Maud, I don't know what to do.
I've arranged for the child to have treatment.
I cant believe you didn't ask more questions, that you allowed her to run the entire show.
She's running everything else.