Upstart Crow (2016) s02e06 Episode Script

Sweet Sorrow

Our new theatre be scarcely built, yet already the God-prodding purititties on the City Council petition Her Majesty for its closure.
They say it'll be nothing but a den of debauchery.
Ha! I have seen more debauchery at the Eokoto e-kule.
The Eokoto e-kule, Lucy? Mm-hmm.
The Maasai milk-drinking ceremony in which a strong and virile young warrior is allowed to drink milk by himself for the first time since his circumcision.
Oh! It is a very boring ceremony.
But not as boring as Henry VI Part 3.
You jest, of course.
Hard to see how a five-act, 47-character play written entirely in blank verse about a third of the life of a lesser-known Henry could be described as boring.
Still, I do agree it is a puzzle how the City Council justify their charge that putting on my plays will result in the use of prostitutes.
Sometimes it's just the only way to stay awake during the last act.
Point is, that is their charge.
And once more, we are in desperate need of a titled patron.
Eh-eh! I thought you were the Lord Chamberlain's man.
Sadly no longer, Lucy.
He is fearful of the purititties and has withdrawn his favour.
What about that young Henry Southampton? I mean, he hates the purititties and would love to snook their cocks.
You know him, Will.
That posh boy you used to fancy.
I did not fancy him! I merely happened to mention in passing that he was lovelier than a summer's day and that his eternal beauty would live as long as men still breathed and had eyes to see.
Entirely ambiguous lines, I think you will agree, and not remotely suggestive of a deeply personal and agonising private passion.
I really had hoped that this whole silly idea that I be part hugger-tugger might have done its dash by now.
I kind of think that one's going to hang around, mate.
Look, I see young Southey on the Dilli from time to time.
I could ask him if you like.
It won't do any good.
He hates the theatre.
Can't stand histories.
What about one of your romantic comedies? Hates them more.
He's an incorrigible romantic and resents the way the theatre only ever uses love as a source of fun.
Well, why not write a romantic tragedy? Might lure him in.
Romantic tragedy? Never been done.
That's right, Burbage.
But doing what's never been done is exactly what I do.
For instance, this morning I came up with three entirely original words -- multitudinous, newfangled and scuffle.
I don't know what the world'd do without you, mate.
And so you see, Kate, 'tis finally time to present my teen romance.
It's so exciting.
English theatre's first proper romantic tragedy, and it's all complete? Pretty much, although I'm still not entirely happy with the balcony scene.
Something tells me it's going to be a biggie.
What do you think? "Goodnight, goodnight.
"Parting is just so boring.
"That I could say goodnight till it be morning.
" I I like the intention.
She's sad because her love must leave, but she's only sad because she loves.
It's a sort of sweet sorrow.
You literally read my thoughts.
Such an honour.
"Goodnight, goodnight.
"Parting is such sweet sorrow.
"Mustn't grumble, mustn't wallow.
" Nailed it.
I'm not really sure about the second bit.
You're right, of course.
It's missing two iambic beats.
How about "Mustn't flipping wallow"? It's not really the scansion.
I just preferred your idea about looking forward to the glad morning.
Uplifting, hopeful, like a young girl's love.
Yes, but morning doesn't rhyme with sorrow.
Morrow does.
As I was about to say, Bottom.
Don't think you were! I most definitely was.
"Goodnight, goodnight.
"Parting is such sweet sorrow.
"That I could say goodnight till it be morrow.
" Brilliant.
The last word's the best bit.
I'm loving this conflicted-emotion, sweet-sorrow stuff I came up with.
I think I should use it for Juliet's actual dismissal of Romeo from the balcony.
She needs to tell him to leave but also that she wishes he could stay.
Oh, she would make him her captive.
But bound only by bonds of love.
Well, when I were a boy, and my life were very harsh and brutal Please, Bottom, I'm working.
.
.
sometimes in me pain and loneliness, I'd trap a lark or a sparrow and hold it fast with a thread of silk.
Bottom, I'm trying to concentrate.
It were, like, so beautiful and delicate and sweet of song and I knew I should release it but the only freedom I could bear to grant it were the length of the thread.
Actually, that is quite an effective and appropriate image.
Well, yes, I suppose it might work at a pinch.
I'll just bung it in for now until I can think of anything better.
What do you think? "'Tis almost morning, I would have thee gone.
"And yet no farther than a wanton's bird "that lets it hop a little from his hand, "like a poor prisoner in his twisted gyves "and with a silk thread plucks it back again, "so loving jealous of his liberty.
" Loving jealous, like sweet sorrow! Another heartbreaking confliction.
It's beautiful.
That's my line, that is.
Bottom, it is not your line.
I admit that your shameful history of cruelty to animals may have given me a vague hint, but it is definitely my line.
- Home am I! - Hello, Dad! Last trip before Romeo and Juliet rehearsals begin.
Is my play really finished, then? Pretty much, my darling.
I've just been reworking the balcony scene with Kate.
Tell me what do you think.
I can't believe you wrote this for me.
I know I used to think it was all crappage but if you really read it and give it a chance and come back to it quite a few times and slowly familiarise yourself with the language and the imagery, weirdly, you can start to sort of enjoy it.
Yes, I rather think that's the way it's going to be with my stuff.
I still think it's all crappage.
- But you don't mind spending the money he makes.
- Course not.
If people want to sit for hours busting for a wee and wishing they were dead so's I can have plenty of ale and pie, good luck to 'em.
Anyway, did you have a good journey, love? Astonishingly, no.
Didn't get to sit down till Leamington Spa.
You've got to get there early if you want a good seat.
I know that, Dad, and I did -- three hours early, and I got a lovely seat, at the back, by a window, and mark this, there sat none beside me.
I put my cloak and pork pasty upon the adjoining place, avoided all eye contact as others boarded, and my ruse worked.
Despite the coach being passing full, I myself had room to spare.
A double seat! Aye, ma'am, a double seat is indeed such stuff as dreams are made on.
But soon did it become a very nightmare as the hour of our departure comes and yet we do not move.
We sit and we sit.
Now come travellers who would have missed this coach had it left upon its hour.
"Coachman, bar the door", I shouted.
"These travellers have missed this coach.
"The fact that it is still here is a technicality.
" Quite right.
You have to make a fuss in this world.
But I fussed in vain, Mum.
The shabby grotling just grinned at me through toothless, rotting gums as first one, then another tardy traveller crowded in upon us.
My coat and pasty were soon challenged, of course.
"Is anybody sitting there?" Why do people ask that? Yes, actually, there is, but he's invisible! Of course nobody's sitting there, that's the whole futtocking point.
And so you had to shift your pasty.
Yes, while a girthsome yeoman who appeared to have eaten a turd omelette for breakfast thrust himself against me and began to scratch inside his codpiece.
And still the coach doth not depart.
Now we are jammed together like two boobies in a bodice.
The stinksome bumshank of an unwashed peasant be in my face, my pasty knocked to the floor, which the dangle-scratcher picks up for me, using his dangle-scratching hand.
So now I cannot eat it but must still thank Itchy-Dangle for his kindness through clenched teeth.
And I don't suppose any explanation was given.
Why would there be, when imposing arbitrary inconvenience on the travelling public is the sworn duty of all who would minister Albion's transport infrastructure? But it moved in the end, son.
I mean, you're here, aren't you? No, Dad.
It did not move.
For finally, there comes a voice -- "This coach has developed a fault "and we must needs abandon it.
"Another awaits behind.
" So now you see the Satanic conclusion to my tale.
Suddenly, having been first on Oh, my God, you're last off.
Yes! A perfect storm of transport horror.
I waited three hours to get a good seat and now the mooching hooligans who should have missed it are first in the new queue.
- You should have said something.
- I did say something! "Coachman, ho", I shouted.
"Those who boarded last must do so again.
"Lock the new coach until I, who was first, can enter.
" - And did he? - Yes, yes, he did.
Except NO, HE DIDN'T! He just laughed and all made merry at my expense as I struggled on last and the door was forced closed behind me with my arsing cheeks caught in the gap.
God, I hate this sceptred bloody isle! Sue! What's wrong? Don't cry.
Honestly, it wasn't that bad a journey.
No, Dad, it isn't that.
It's my play.
It's so beautiful and so sad.
It's like Jules says, it's sweet sorrow.
Sue, I think that might be the nicest thing anyone's ever said about my plays.
Well, I don't imagine there's a lot of competition.
Do you know, I think this Romeo and Juliet could be as big as Richard III was.
Bigger, even.
Finally, another proper hit, and I owe it to two wonderful women.
- Susanna - Aye, Sweet Sue, and also - Me.
- .
.
Kate.
Kate? I thought you were going to say me.
Because of the sweet sorrow and loving jealousy of our own courting days.
Well yes, obviously, absolutely.
That's a given.
Although our courting days weren't exactly days, where they? I mean, more like hours, really.
Minutes, to be fair.
I came round to buy a chicken, knocked you up in the barn and the next thing we knew, we were walking up the aisle with your dad's pitchfork prodding me in the arsington.
Well, we found love, didn't we? Oh, of course we did, and of course you are the inspiration for my Juliet in a very abstract sense.
I only mention young Kate because her sensitive readings of the text have inspired me.
Here, you're not going all diddly-doo-dah on her, are you? Anne, please.
'Tis simply that I appreciate her faultless oral work.
She has a fine chest and I particularly admire her assonance.
Juliet! Me? Oh, my godly Godlingtons! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! This be so unexpected! And yet, by my troth, it be not unexpected at all.
For first did I revive his interest in the play by invoking the image of his sweet Susanna, then did I ensure that every word he writ I spoke until he could hear his Juliet in no other voice but mine.
Well, let's face it, Kate, 'twas you that revived my interest in the play by invoking the image of my sweet Susanna, and then every word I writ, you have spoke till I could hear my Juliet in no other voice but thine.
God, I'm good.
You better not futtercut my line about the captured bird.
It is not your line, Bottom.
You can tell yourself what you want, master, but you know the truth! But the main thing is, how are we going to sneak me into Burbage's company? Girlie acting being illegal.
And we must also deal with Mr Condell, who, as you know, is as anxious to play Juliet as you are.
He's even had his nostrils waxed.
But methought that last year when you first considered the casting of the role, you deemed Mr Condell too old to play the ingenue.
Ah, but that was before he became an investor in our new theatre.
As a stockholder, he has a casting veto, or in this case, a casting ego.
He'll insist on playing the female lead.
But he'll be a dreadful Juliet.
Exactly, and likewise, Mr Burbage as Romeo.
For of course he will expect the title role and, much though I do admire him, he be very old and fully 27 stone.
So you're saying that while Mr Condell and Mr Burbage be wrong for the teenage lovers, being middle-aged and most hairy, they'll still want the roles? Yes.
I'm beginning to think that actors might be a tiny bit vain and self-obsessed.
Oh, no, I simply can't agree.
Actors are very, very special people.
So they will tell you at exhausting length.
Vanity, thy name is actor.
And 'tis their vanity that will undo them.
Oh, Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo? Ah, Mr Burbage, Mr Condell.
I see that you are already in rehearsal.
Indeed, Mr Shakespeare, and I have good news.
Kit Marlowe sends word that the Earl of Southampton, for whom you have writ and dedicated many poems Platonically, yes.
I certainly never fancied him.
.
.
will attend our opening night, and, if he approves of your play, will be our new patron.
How can he not approve, with you and Mr Condell in the title roles? For above all, Condell and Burbage must play the title roles.
- Oh, obviously.
- Obviously.
Which is why I wonder that you be all bedecked as the minor juvenile love interest.
Be you working out the blocking for the two unknown beginners who'll play the kids? Kids, Will? Romeo and Juliet be the title roles.
What? Oh, I see! Oh, you're working off THAT draft.
- Oh, that's all changed.
- What's changed? - The title.
It's not called Romeo and Juliet any more.
It's called Prince Escalus and The Nurse.
Prince Escalus? Is he in it? Is he in it? Is he in it?! He's only the voice of stability and authority who restores the natural hierarchical order at the end of the play after the chaos caused by forbidden love! Oh.
Oh.
Well, I must say, that does sound rather important.
And it is the title role? Oh, absolutely.
For sure.
Probably.
And the Nurse does have some fine lines.
The title role, you say? Totally.
Good as.
Now, we need to audition for the juveniles.
Well, I know who we'll want for the girl.
There's a new lad wowing them across the river at the Curtain.
Augustine Snootyloin gave a superb Isabella in Tommy Kyd's Spanish Tragedy.
Superb? I thought he WAS the tragedy.
Too showy.
No depth.
Well, we'll see him, of course, but I think we need to keep an open mind, and of course, also, for Romeo There, I must draw the line.
He may no longer be the title role, but Romeo remains pivotal.
We'll need an established company member, a genuine draw card.
Ah Someone who's big in Italy, maybe? "Huh! Who said that?" I did, so Mm! The upstart crow flies ever higher.
Lord Southampton himself will attend the curiously titled Prince Escalus and The Nurse, and 'tis whispered that if he approves, he will stand patron to the company.
Hmm.
With so powerful a protector, the crow will be beyond my clutches.
I must sabotage this show.
You are Augustine Snootyloin, currently the most fashionable young actor in London? Whatever.
The fame thing is such a joke.
I'm a jobbing actor, a craftsman plying his trade.
My body is my tool.
Basically, I'm a tool.
I think that much is clear.
And can we please get over the fact that I'm posh and I went to Eton? Yes.
Now, 'tis said you are hotly tipped to be cast as the ingenue in Mr Shakespeare's new romantic tragedy.
I've met the director.
We've talked.
You will make sure that you are cast, sirrah.
And on opening night, if somebody sets fire to the theatre during the balcony scene for a generous fee Shouldn't be a problem.
I'll be on fire anyway.
What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
Thank you.
Thank you.
Most impressive.
He has exactly what it takes to be a star these days.
- There's no doubting that.
- Are you mad? He's just a weird-looking Eton boy with a rather pretentious name.
As I said, he has exactly what it takes to be a star these days.
I disagree, Burbage.
Like all these young boys, he has no substance, no depth.
No pubic hair on his eyebrows.
I am decided Gussie Snootyloin be our Juliet.
Stay your hand, Burbage.
There be one audition remaining.
Not as pretty as the other boy.
Let's at least listen to him.
Come, gentle night, come, loving, black-browed night.
Give me my Romeo and, when he shall die, take him and cut him out in little stars, and he will make the face of heaven so fine that all the world will be in love with night.
By heavens, 'twas brilliant.
The young boy maketh a very window into the heart of a young woman and through its prism do inspire the very essence of the female soul.
How came he by such talent? What is the secret of his acting craft? He didn't go to Eton.
Hasn't got a pretentious name.
Doesn't even look all that weird.
She's a girl, Burbage.
I swear the lying, cheating little bitchington is a girl! Oh, yeah? I'll show you who's a girl, you poxed-up old hugger-tugger.
Cop a load of this bad boy when he's at home.
Wahey! Wurrgh! So, you failed.
I have no more use for you.
Be gone from my sight! I didn't fail, Mr Greene.
There was reason I didn't get the role, and I think it's worth as much to you as me sabotaging the production.
Really? Well, if you have information that I can use against Mr Shakespeare, I will pay handsomely for it.
They've cast a real girl.
How can you be sure? Because I saw her sausage and it was a sausage.
O happy day! The crow is in my clutches.
If they disport a girl upon the stage, all those involved will be arrested.
Lord Southampton will flee in fear of association and without a patron, Burbage and the crow will be at the mercy of the purititties.
Exactly.
My monies, please, Mr Greene.
My dear Gussie, the thing about making a transaction is always to demand payment before delivering the goods.
You, I'm afraid, gave your valuable information gratis, and now have naught to sell.
You're giving me nothing? On the contrary, I'm giving you a valuable lesson.
Good day.
So, the Capulet ball.
Tybalt has departed in disgust.
Romeo, fearless in his enemy's house, spies the exquisite Juliet across the room.
Instantly is smitten.
The gadsome youth has found true love.
Their eyes meet.
He approaches her.
He takes her hand.
The world stand still.
He speaks.
Congratulations, you've been pulled.
The line, Kempe, is, "If I profane with my unworthiest hand "this holy shrine, the gentle sin is this.
"My lips, two blushing pilgrims, "ready stand to smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.
" Yeah, and my line's better.
Kempe's line was rather more succinct.
Yours is a tad obscure.
- Very obscure.
- Like, mad obscure.
It's not obscure at all.
It's as clear as faerie snot.
Romeo sees Juliet's hand as sacred, like a shrine.
He says if she's offended by his touch, she should imagine his lips are two visiting pilgrims and let him kiss it better.
You're joking.
That's what it means? - That's amazing.
I had no idea.
- Nor me.
Juliet coquettishly replies Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much, for saints have hands that pilgrims' hands do touch, and palm to palm is holy palmers' kiss.
Oh, their hands kiss.
Palm to palm.
Oh, I like that, that's sweet.
And, of course, there's also the highly amusing internal pun.
There's a pun? Oh, God.
Obviously there's a pun.
People love my puns.
They love how obscure they are.
Palmer is archaic slang for pilgrim, so Romeo, having called himself a pilgrim, is now offering a palmer's palm! So funny.
It'll stop the show.
Maybe you could afford to lose that one, Mr Shakespeare.
Bit weak.
It is not weak.
It's a bolted-on pant-wetter.
And in my view it will get even funnier as the meaning of the pun fades ever further into history.
Now, proceed.
Romeo asks, Kempe Have not saints lips? And Juliet teases back Aye, pilgrim, lips that they must use in prayer.
She's flirting! Saying, "Naughty boy, you should use your lips for prayer, not kissing.
" Yes, I think I got that one.
Then Romeo says "O, then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do.
"They pray, grant thou, lest faith turn to despair.
" No, you've lost me again now.
I must confess I did start to glaze over.
Oh, for God's sake! Romeo is praying for a kiss and if Juliet doesn't grant it, he'll lose his faith.
So, Juliet teases Saints do not move, though grant for prayer's sake.
A holy saint isn't going to be giving out kisses even to answer a prayer.
Then naughty Romeo, who by this time be as hornsome as the newly discovered African rhinoceros, which has, as you know, a very large horn, says "Then move not, while my prayer's effect I take.
" "Pucker up, babes.
" And Romeo kisses Juliet.
Oh, now, that is a cracking good scene.
Yes, it's pretty good, Will.
I must say, congratulations.
Now I understand it, I consider it destined to become one of the most celebrated lovey-kissy moments in all English theatre.
One of? One of?! Oh, thanks very much, Condell.
Talk about damning with faint praise.
It's a good start, yeah.
Two teens hook up at a party.
Like it, but to make it brilliant, and edgy, they should get totally lathered and go get tattoos.
Eh? And Juliet passes out in the kitchen.
"Oh!" Romeo cops off with her best mate.
"Uh-oh!" Juliet wakes up "Wha?" Stuck with his name tattooed on her bum.
Mr Kempe Let us hope that the day never dawns in Albion when tales of young love will be reduced to mere celebrations of drunkenness and copulation.
Keep wishing, mate.
History's on my side.
I want a drink and some sweets.
And make sure nobody with big hair sits in front of me.
Of course, my lord.
Oh, and make sure you have an extra hanky or two because I'm a terrible sopling pup and bound to cry in the sad bits.
Oh, you will cry, my Lord! When the crow is arrested and you disgraced for attending such a show with an actor with a tufting muffle where her cod-dangle should be.
You said the title had changed! A genuine oversight, Burbage.
I really meant to tell the printer.
Well, it's too late now.
We'll just have to go with Romeo and Juliet! Just Romeo, I think, Mr Burbage, because this little bitchington has no right to be an actor.
He's a girl.
Juliet, a girl? Ha! Impossible! Oh! She is a girl.
She's using real boobingtons instead of coconuts, which is just cheating.
- We're ruined.
- Kate, I'm so sorry.
Don't worry, Mr Shakespeare.
You tried and I love you for that.
I tried because you deserved it.
If anyone had a right to play a star-crossed lover, it was you.
If only there was a way.
Oh, my God! He's going to try to pull her! I love it! Stop the performance! A heinous offence is being committed.
The disgusting personage playing Juliet is a girl! How dare you, Sir! I shall sue! Valuable lesson in life, ducky -- Eton boys always win.
Shame on you for interrupting this beautiful play with such foul slander.
Guards, arrest him! My My Lord! My Lord Southampton! Now, can we please get to the kissy bit? If I profane with my unworthiest hand this holy shrine, the gentle sin is this.
My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand to smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.
Still can't see how I locked myself in the privy.
Yes, funny, that.
Lucky Kate knew the lines.
She is rather excellent.
It's a very good thing there's a law against her.
Oh! Beautiful! Well, you got yourself a new patron.
Southampton absolutely loved it.
Did he? Did he really? What was his favourite bit? Oh, without question, it was that amazingly moving image of the captive bird on the silken thread.
- Yeah, that was mine - Some more ale, please, Bottom.
You're showing a very unpleasant side, if you don't mind me saying, master.
So, Kate, you didn't get to play Juliet but you got the next best thing.
Oh, the best thing, if I'm honest, Mr Shakespeare, because not surprisingly, Romeo, being the male protagonist, is informed by a complex set of personal and social issues whereas Juliet, being the girl, is informed exclusively by her attitude to the male protagonist.
Ah.
You spotted that, did you? And Romeo has 74 more lines.
I, for one, hope that one day, lady acting will be made legal.
Except that if it ever were, I expect most of the girls' parts would be hackneyed cliches and, like as not, they'd be expected to show their boobingtons.
I fear you may be right.
And also, 'tis certain they'd earn less, too.
For doing the same job as a man? Surely not! Well, that would be just ridiculous.
Perhaps you're right, my love.
Only time will tell.