Being Julia (2004) Script

I've lived in the theatre since I was a kid.

What I don't know about acting isn't worth knowing.

Now, you may be 20 years old and just beginning, but I think you're a genius.

You've got magnetism, but no idea how to use it.

You have to grab the audience by the throat and say:

"Now, you buggers, you pay attention to me!"

And remember this, when you're on the stage acting, theatre is the only reality.

Everything else, the world outside, what civilians call the real world, is nothing but fantasy.

And I bloody well won't let you forget it.

The trouble is, darling, I'm an incurable romantic.

I believe in love, I believe in happiness, I believe in us.

(Archie) no, you don't. You're just saying that.

There's someone else, isn't there?

I love you, I do.

I do, I love you... and I used to believe we'd live happily ever after.

Didn't you?

With every fiber of my being.

Only now...

[audience applauding]

[Car honking]

[Clock bell tolls]

[Door squeaking]

Good morning, miss Lambert.

Good morning, Margery, is anyone with my lord and master?

(Margery) no.

Darling, what are you doing here?

I want an answer, Michael.

What's the question?

What did I say to you before we went to sleep last night, hmm?

Uh, I give up. What did you say to me before we went to sleep last night?

I said I was tired.

It seems a perfectly natural thing to say before you go to sleep.

Christ, Michael, you can be an irritating little shit!

Julia, Julia, really, if your public could only hear your language.

I want them to hear.

I want every bloody one of them to hear.

I'm tired. I am utterly exhausted.

I need a holiday.

Just admit it, Michael.

You've never understood what it means to carry a play, to sweat it out night after night.

I'm the only one who takes it seriously, Michael, you know that.

All you do is count the money and think it's a bloody great lark.

Take the play off.

But we'll lose a fortune.

Our partner won't like it.

To hell with dolly!


I'm sorry, sweetheart.

God, I didn't mean to be so vile.

It's just I'm... I'm near to breaking point.

Everything's so tedious.


I want something to happen.


I wish I knew.

Please. Please close the play at the end of the month.


Yeah. I really do have to think about it.

We can't have the theatre dark.


I'll try and see what I can do. I promise.



I promise.

Thank you.

You were very quiet leaving the house this morning.

Well, I didn't want to wake you.

You were dead to the world.

Hmm. I did my exercises and went for a run.

Exercises, running... god, Michael, you're the vainest man in London.

Me, vain? Nonsense.


I just want to preserve my magnificent good looks for as long as possible.


Oh, yes, speaking of good looks, did you notice that young man as you came in?


He's an American.

Son of a friend of a friend of Eddie Gilbert's.

I can't see what that's got to do with me.

He admires you tremendously.

Oh, he sounds frightfully intelligent.

What's his name?

Can't remember.

Uh, unfortunately, he's as poor as a church mouse.

I thought we might give him a spot of lunch.

Well, he's awfully good-mannered, for an American.

(Julia) uh!

Rubbish mail, Margery.

Yes, Mr. Gosselyn.

Uh, I would like to introduce you to my wife, Julia Lambert.

Julia, this is... this is... this is the young man I was telling you about.

He wants to learn the business, so we're starting him off with our accountant.

It-it's an honor to meet you, miss Lambert.

I wonder if we could persuade you to come and eat a chop with us.

Michael will drive you back after lunch.

Gee, that's real kind of you.

You two take the lift, I'll take the stairs.

Last one down's a sissy.

Miss Lambert,

could I... could I ask you a favor?

I can't give you any more room, if that's what you mean.

No, no, no, it's, uh... I wonder... would you... would you let me have a photograph?

Of course.

Gee, that's swell of you.

I've seen you in farewell, my love 3 times.

You haven't. Have you really?

It's such a silly play.

Oh, it's not the play, it's you. You're just... just great.

I'm glad you liked me.

Liked you? I loved you.

[Elevator thudding]

[Door squeaking]

I won. (Julia) what?

Well done.

Come on, Mr... uh...

all an actress like Julia needs is a vehicle.

It's the actors the public go to see, not the play.

That's true in my case. I'd see you in anything, miss Lambert.

But you know what I'd really like to find out?

How did you start?

How did you get to be where you are, owning a theatre, top of the tree?

Clean living and hard work. Cigarette?

We owe it all to a rude, foul-mouthed brute called Jimmie Langton.

We were in his repertory company in Middlesbrough.

He knew all there is to know about theatre and acting.

That's where I met Michael. That's how we began.

I was a rotten actor.

Yes, but you have presence.

The audience always gasps when you come on.

It's his dazzling good looks, you see.

Gee, this is fascinating. Fascinating.

Dreadfully jealous of him?

You're very sweet, but I know perfectly well that all I can play are diplomats, lawyers and politicians.

I'm more interested in the business side. That's... yes, but you know as well as I do that we'd be nothing without Jimmie.

I always lay a place for him at the table.

Just in case he turns up.

He's been dead for 15 years.

Yes, but you never know.

He was a monster.

Uh, how do you spell your first name?



[Nib squeaking]

[Gramophone playing]

[People clapping]

[Car honking]

(dancer) hoy!





(Archie) for god's sake, don't torture yourself like this, Laura.

[Julia sobbing]

No one will ever know how much I loved him.

He was my earth, my moon,

all the stars in the firmament.

Farewell, my love.

[Audience applauding]

Bravo! Bravo!

[People laughing]

No, there's nothing left for me now but to tour Canada and Australia, god help me.

Nonsense, miss Lambert.

It's not nonsense.


I've decided to retire and let myself go.

I'll have potatoes for lunch and potatoes for dinner.

Beer. God, I love beer!

And treacle pudding and cherry tart and cream.

Cream, cream, cream, cream, cream...

[breathing deeply]

As god is my judge, I'll never eat a lettuce leaf again.

[Doorbell ringing]

Oh, god, I bet I know who that is.

Good afternoon, Evie.

Oh, Mrs. De Vries, what a surprise.

Uh, I hope this isn't inconvenient but I have to see miss Lambert on a business matter.

She isn't having one of her afternoon naps, is she?

Wait a minute.

[Door squeaking]

Guess who's here.

Show her in.

Business, she says, but isn't it funny how she always manages to time her visits when you're lying stark bollock naked.

Enough of that, you dirty-minded slut.

Show her in.

Mrs. De Vries.

(dolly) Julia, darling.

Dolly, dear. Hmm.

Oh, I'm so sorry.

I always seem to call when you're... you're otherwise engaged.


Tea? Lovely.

Ignore me. I'll... I'll just sit here quiet as a lamb until you're done.

So Evie said something about business. Hmm?

What? Oh, yes.

Um, Michael tells me you want to close the play.

My husband's a devious little runt.

Oh, that's unfair.

He was perfectly right to consult me.

We're partners. The 3 of us.

A perfect combination.

My money, his know-how, your genius.

I'm exhausted, dolly.


I feel twice my age which makes me 90.

I'm bored. Life has nothing in store for me.

You mean that or are you acting?

I never know when you're acting.

I'm not acting.

I'm near to having a breakdown.

I feel as though my life's come to an end.

All right. All right.

All done.

Oh, thank you, you're a dear.


Are you really near a breakdown, Julia?

Oh, I don't know. I don't know.

I'm in such an odd state at the moment.


It's as if... it's as if the curtain's come down on act 1, but I have no idea what happens in act 2.

[Inaudible mimicking]

I-I'm in a sort of limbo.

Waiting for something to happen. But what?


Oh, please, dolly, be my friend.


Make Michael take the play off.

I need a holiday.

I could visit... visit my mother in Jersey, and then visit you in France.

Oh. I could swim in your pool. In the nuddy.


(woman) lovely flowers for someone.

(Evie) oh, hello, a blooming florist's shop.

Who sent them? Mrs. De Vries?

Very likely. Or lord Tamerley.

Here, don't forget, you've got dinner with him after the show tonight.

Yes, I know.

Expect you'll have to turn on the waterworks for him again as per usual.

I wish you'd teach me to cry real tears.

The times I've needed them.

Oh, here's a card.


From Mr. Thomas fennel, Tavistock square.

What a place to live.

Who the hell do you suppose he is, Evie?

Oh, some feller knocked all of a heap by your fatal beauty, I expect.

Probably cost a fortune.

Went without dinner for a week.

Oh, pull the other one.

[Man singing]

Beginners, please, miss Lambert.


Well, whoever Mr. Thomas fennel is, I think it's all right having a young man send me flowers at my time of life.

I mean, it just shows you... how do you know he's a young man?

He's probably over 80.

Go to hell.

[Band playing]

[People talking and laughing]

I'm on my way I'm on my way I'm busy 'cause I'm on my way

[people applauding]

Thank you.

Thank you.

Julia Lambert.

The champagne now, my lord?

Thank you, Antoine.

And for you, madame Lambert?

I'd prefer beer but I mustn't, so I'll make do with bubbly.

Thank you.

[Giggling] it's for you. Open it.

[Woman singing]


It's a portrait of Clairon.

She was a great actress, and I believe you have many of her gifts.

Charles, you are sweet.

I thought you might like it.

It's by way of being a parting present.

You're going away?

No. But I shan't be seeing you anymore.

Oh, Charles, not again.


No. This is becoming a ritual. Why?

We have such a beautiful friendship, Julia.

It's unique in my experience, but people talk.

They don't understand.

And even though we know the truth, if we go on seeing one another, there will be a terrible scandal.

No, there won't.

Michael and I lead separate lives.

That's why we're so happily married.

More or less.

Jumped-up little tart, that's what she is.

Never stops acting, on-stage or off.

She's just one big pose.

Dashed pretty.

Shut up, Rupert, don't show your ignorance.

I know all about her.

We were both born in the channel islands, Jersey.

Her father was our doctor. A Jersey doctor!

You can't get more common than that.

It's only common sense, darling.

I don't want to lose you.

I... I have few friends. Real friends.

You're the only person in my life with whom I can be entirely myself.

I'm terribly low at the moment.

I... I need you.

Let's go on seeing each other. Please.

Uh, please forgive us intruding like this, miss Lambert.

My friend and I are such very great admirers.

And I wonder... do you remember me?

Florence Coltraine, isn't it?

[Whispers] correct.

Rupert and I want you to settle an argument.

I think I used to know your father in Jersey.

He was a doctor, wasn't he?

He used to come to our house quite often.

Actually, he was a vet.

He used to go to your house to deliver the bitches.

The house was full of them.

Life is just a bowl of cherries don't take it serious life's too mysterious

you work, you save you worry so

but you can't take your dough when you go


I'm sorry, I didn't mean to frighten you.


You remember.

Did you like the... the flowers?

Oh, Mr. Thomas fennel, Tavistock square.

Yes, of course, thank you.

Well, uh, I couldn't decide between a single rose and every flower in the store.

Is that why you're here at this time of night?

To find out if I received the flowers?

No. You see, I don't have a phone yet.

[Door opening] and I...

[Wilson clearing throat]

Um... you wouldn't come to tea with me one day, would you?

I don't see why not.

Will you really?

How about next Friday?

138 Tavistock square, 4:30?


All right. I'll be there.

Gee, that's swell. See you then.

The sweet things in life to you were just loaned so how gonna you lose what you've never owned?

Life is just a bowl of cherries

[tom and Julia laughing]

So live and laugh at it all

(chorus) life is just a bowl of cherries don't make it serious life's too mysterious you work, you save you worry so but you can't take your dough when you go go keep on repeating "it's the berries" the strongest oak must fall


I saw you drive up.

I'm afraid I'm on the 3rd floor.

I hope you don't mind.

And if I do?

[Both chuckle]

We're there.

Thank god for that.

[Door squeaking]

[Julia panting]


The gas ring's in the bathroom.


It isn't the Ritz, but it's home.

No, it's... it's charming. It's so London.

It reminds me of my early days.


I have to put coins in the gas meter.

Oh, yes, so did I.

[Both laughing]

Have some cake. I bought it specially.


I shouldn't, but I will.



You know something? You ought to be in movies.

Real actresses don't make films.

But beautiful actresses do.


Well, I saw you in nobody's perfect on Broadway.

I was 14 at the time.

I wish you hadn't told me that.

[Both laughing]

I stood outside the stage door and, uh, I got your autograph.

You asked me my name. I told you.

You knew how to spell it then.

[Both laughing]

What's so funny?

You remind me of something.

What is it?

My husband. In a scene we had to play.

He didn't know how to sit down.

[Both laughing]

Jimmie made him do it over and over again.

Uh, I can't stay long.

I must have a nap before my performance.

But you've only just arrived.

And you... you can't go without, uh, without, well, seeing the view.

It's really great.

If you just come over to the window...

isn't it terrific?

(tom) I just love London.

It's so big, but it's also kind of friendly.

And all those people, each with their own lives.

I can't explain it.

When I first came to London, I stood in Piccadilly circus

looking at the lights and the people and the taxis, and I said out loud:

"One day I'm going to conquer you."

And you have.

Have I? I wonder...


Look at my hair.

[Julia panting]

Uh, here.


Thank you.

And I thought you were such a shy young man.

When am I... when am I gonna see you again?

You want to see me again?

What do you think?

I'll ring you up one of these days.

Uh, my hat... oh, uh...

good. Well, uh, I have a phone now.

And the number's museum-4516.

So promise you'll call soon.

On my honor.

[Laughs] you know, don't come down.

I can see myself out.

[Birds twittering]

For Christ's sake, Julia, what do you think you're doing?

You're supposed to be playing a whore, not a schoolgirl with a crush on her gym mistress.

You kissed him as if you were frightened of catching his cold.

When you kiss, you should feel as if your bones are melting inside your body.

Tongues, darling, that's what it's about, tongues.

Now, I know you're a virgin.

Don't give me the waterworks, Julia, I'm too old for that.

You're a virgin, so what you have to do is find a handsome young man, like your juvenile man, Michael Gosselyn.

Go back to your rooms, take your clothes off, lie on the bed, open your legs and ask him to give it to you hot, sweet and strong.

If that doesn't improve your acting, then nothing will.

Right, let's do it again.

[Julia laughing]

What's so funny?


I feel as though I'm a 2-year-old.

That's 88 years you've lost in a week.


Tell us the secret, we'll bottle it and make a fortune.


[Door closing]

Damn it all, miss Lambert, you don't look so bad.

You can go on playing 25-year-olds, 30-year-olds for a good long time yet.

And then what?


Mothers, grandmothers and old maids.


Bugger playwrights. Can't write for women.

They're all men, that's the trouble.

[Telephone ringing]



Good morning.

[Julia laughing]


You promised to call me.

(Julia) give a girl a chance.

(tom) when am I going to see you again?

As soon as I have a moment to spare.

Come to tea after the matinee.

Oh, I'm not falling for that one again.

How about dinner after the show then?

If you insist.

I do.

[Piano playing]

On the silver screen he melts her foolish heart in every single scene although she's quite aware that here and there

are traces of the cad about the boy


Lord knows she's not a fool girl

she really shouldn't care lord knows she's not a school girl in the flurry of her first affair

will it ever cloy this odd diversity

of misery and joy I told them

look, there's lord Crumley over there.

And I think that's lady Laweston.

What have you been reading, Debrett's?

Debrett's? No, the tatler.


Oh, you have to know who's who to get on in this town.

Oh, you want to get on, do you?

I want to get on you, Julia.

Don't be disgusting.

But I want you.

I do.

[Glasses clinking]

You're the loveliest girl that one

I want you.


Your conversation's frightfully limited, tom.

Dance with me.

What time is it?

Oh, well, uh, I... I forgot to put on my watch.

Have you pawned it?

No, no, I just, uh, I... I dressed in rather a hurry tonight.

They'll never believe me

they'll never believe me

that from this great big world you've chosen


[Julia screaming]

[Continues laughing]

He treated you like a tart.

Which of course is what you are.

(Julia) he was my earth, my moon,

and all the stars in the firmament.

[Whispering] the photo's in the wrong place!

Farewell, my love.

You were wonderful tonight, my darling.


Bloody marvelous.

You almost made me cry.

Only almost?

I'll kill whoever set the photo.

Thanks, Archie.

And what've you done to your eyes?

Hmm? Some new makeup?

I've never seen them shine like that before.

Your call, Mr. Dexter.


[Archie laughing]

Sorry about the photo, it won't happen again.


Your call, miss Lambert.

You're forgiven.

[Audience applauding]

What's the matter with her?

[Julia exclaiming]

Darling, Julia.

You were quite wonderful tonight.

I'll say. Absolutely first-rate.

Thank you.

Yes, I believe I was firing on all cylinders.

And I'm starving, absolutely ravenous.

Evie, what have we got for supper tonight?

Tripe and onions.

Oh, how divine. I adore tripe and onions.

Michael, Michael, if you love me, if you've got any spark of tenderness in that hard heart of yours, let me have a bottle of beer.

Beer? Yes.

Julia. Just this once.

Oh, Evie, that's for you.

Uh, please?

Julia, I think it's a damn shame.

(Julia) what is?

Well, that you're taking the play off.

The good news is, I've found an Italian company who wants the theatre for 3 months, so I said they could have it. Hmm. Mmm.

I'm sure your mother's as excited as I am at the thought of being with you.

We'll have such fun at my place, Julia.

You could do anything you like.

Rest. Anything.

I've changed my mind. I don't know why, but I'm beginning to enjoy myself again. Oh, but... let's run through the summer and then find something new for the autumn.

But I've... I-I've... I've told the Italians.

Then un-tell them.

And I was so looking forward to France.

Stars will be stars.

I forgot.




Oh, my god. A cartier.

Well spotted. When's your birthday?

November 20.


Happy birthday.

Uh, but it's not November 20.

Don't be so pedantic. Open it.

Oh, that's the one thing I've wanted my whole life.

Thank you.


Uh, geez, it's lousy I can't give you anything in return.

Give me that watch you pawned to buy me supper.

Have you redeemed it yet? Ah! Thanks.

It'll amuse me to wear it.

I love you, Julia.


This is total insanity. I'm old enough to be...


God, I'm a fool, I'm such a bloody fool.

Good morning, Evie. Where's my wife?

In your study.

My study? Mmm-hmm.

What's she doing there?




What are you doing?

Swimming the channel, what do you think I'm doing?

Yeah, but why?


Miss Phillips said my tummy needed tightening, so I'm tightening it.




Oh, yes, I had a thought.

We should take a country house for the summer.

What do you think?

[Julia grunting]

I'll talk to you later.

[Continues grunting]

(Michael) so do you think a house for the summer's a good idea?


Golf, swimming, tennis.

It'll be especially good for Roger. He loves golf.

Then he'll have to decide what's he gonna do with his life.

I think he should go to university.

He doesn't want to, and we shouldn't insist.

It's his life.

Oh, yes, I had another idea.

You remember that young chap I introduced you to?

Which young chap?

That American. Good-looking fellow.


[Clearing throat] no.

He wants to learn the business.

Tom fennel's his name.

American, you must remember.


Well, he's frightfully good at his job.

He's a wizard with money.

Lots of American ideas for avoiding tax.

What about him?

Well, I thought we might invite him down for a couple of weeks to spend his holiday with us.

Why would we want to do that?

He'll be company for Roger.

He's only a bit older.

Roger will like him, I'm sure of it.

Shall I ask him?



(Julia) remind me to keep exercising.

So, will you come and stay?

Michael says the house is frightfully comfortable.

Probably not.

I'm going abroad for a couple of months.

(Julia) what fun.

Well, you'll be busy, won't you?

Looking for a new play, reading scripts.

So, what do you think?

He hasn't done justice to your eyes.

As a matter of fact, there is a play that interests me.

It's about an older woman who has an affair with a younger man.

Oh, a farce.

Why do you say that?

Well, because everyone laughs at the older woman.

No, not in this play. It's all serious.

The act 1 curtain's good.

It comes as a shock to her.

What does?

That she's fallen in love with the boy.

And it happens just when everything seemed to her so dull and unpromising, as if her life was over.

She finds the affair exhilarating.

And everyone keeps telling her she looks 10 years younger.

I trust she doesn't confess to the boy that she loves him. That's always fatal.

Does it sound like something for me?

Oh, don't be ridiculous, Julia.

No, your public would never stand for it.

If such a woman asked me, I know what advice I'd give her.

What? Break it off at once.

It will only end in tears.

But, Charles, she can't do that.

Why ever not?

Because she's fallen in love with him, that's why. She's helpless.


The character in the play.

[Door opens]

Dolly, old thing, how are you?

I haven't seen you for ages.

Sit down and make yourself, uh,


So, come to see that the old firm's raking in the dividends for you?

Michael, I'll come straight to the point.

You know I'm not one to gossip, but... but I'm upset about Julia.


I think you ought to know that people are beginning to talk.

What the devil do you mean?

Well, it's absurd that at her age, she should make herself so conspicuous with a young boy.

Oh, you mean tom fennel? Don't be such a fool, dolly.

I'm not a fool.

When someone is as well-known as Julia and they're always seen with the same man, naturally people talk.

Tom fennel is a very good type of American.

He's clean, honest and by way of being a gentleman.

He's boring, dull, common and a snob.

He's just using Julia. He's a little gold digger.

Can you look me in the eyes, dolly, and tell me you really think Julia's having an affair with him?



The truth is, Michael, I've hardly seen her.

She never telephones anymore, and...


I understand, dolly, believe me.


She's very fond of you, you know that, but she's bound to have other friends.

I don't think chaps should talk about their wives to others.

I think it's frightfully bad form but let me explain something to you about Julia.

Sex doesn't mean a thing to her.

It was different in the beginning.

Then she could be somewhat tiresome sometimes.

But after she had Roger, she changed.

Having a baby seemed to settle her.

All those instincts went into her acting, you see.

Gossip isn't good for business, Michael.

I mean, if Julia had one flagrant affair after another, nobody would notice but... but this boy, he's half her age.

The public has always looked up to you as such a devoted and loyal couple.

And so we are, damn it. In our way.

Devoted, united, but not...

how shall I put it? Not possessive.

We're a very modern couple.

[Lighter clicking]

(Michael) hello, Roger, my boy.

Hello, daddy.

Glad to be finished at Eton?

No mummy?

No, it's Saturday. She's got 2 shows.

3 and 4 pence, sir.

She'll be down first thing in the morning.

Thank you so much.

Thank you, sir.

Here, let me give you a hand.

She's bringing a young chap down with her, your age more or less.

A yank. I think you'll like him.

[Birds chirping]

[I get a kick out of you by Frank Sinatra playing]

I get no kick from champagne mere alcohol doesn't thrill me at all

so tell me why should it be true

that I get a kick out of you

[sighing] what's the matter?


Tell me.

It's... I... I... I just don't...

I'm worried sick, that's all.

What about?

Tell me, tom. What?

It's money, I owe money.


Is that all?

I thought it was something serious.

Well, it's ok for you, Julia, but I just can't afford all the things we do.

Nightclubs, restaurants.


How can you let a trifle like that upset you?

Don't worry about it. I'll give you the money.

No, I... I couldn't take any money from you.

What nonsense.

Why grudge me the happiness it gives me to get you out of a hole?

I get a kick out of you

[ducks quacking]

(Julia) I thought tonight we might play mahjong.

Do you play mahjong, tom? No, I... sorry, um, no can do. We're going down to the pub to assess the local talent.

(Michael) oh, I might come with you.

The barmaid is an absolute stunner.

God, you're all so vulgar.

Well, mummy, you have an early night.

It'll do you good.

You're looking awfully fagged.

[Michael humming]

More wine?

[All clamoring]

(woman) first word.

(Archie) first word.

(all) film. Cinema.

3 words. The first word... she'll never get this one. Never get this.

(Archie) small.

(woman) very small.

Oh, um, wee. Wee, wee, wee.

(man) wee.

(Archie) 2nd word.

There you go.

(Archie) 2nd word, fly.

Very nice, Julia.

Wee, wee. Wee, wee. Wee, wee, wee, wee.

Julia, Julia, Julia, we're in mixed company.


(woman) oh, let's do the 3rd word.

(Archie) 3rd word. 3rd word.

Winking! Winking!

Oh, oh, oh.

Wee willie winkie! Yes.

[People cheering]

Yes. Yes, you idiots. Wee willie winkie.

Shirley Temple, god, you're stupid.

I don't get "willie."

I don't get "willie."

Oh, well, they did.

It-it's an English thing.



[All chattering]

(Avice) hello, you.

(tom) hey.

[Avice squealing]

(Roger) more water.

(Avice) no, stop it!

[Boys laughing]

(Roger) I told you.

Oh, no. I just dried off, tom, I hate you.

[Tom laughing]

I'm going to get you back.

(Roger) you're an uncivilized oaf.

And you're running away.

(girl) come on, Michael, you promised me a dance.

So I did, sorry.

I might be out of practice.

(grace) answer my question, Julia.

(Julia) what question?

Would you?

Would I what?

Tour in the second Mrs. Tanqueray for 17 pounds a week.

And it's a 6-month tour, darling.

6 months.

No, I can't be away from home for 6 months.

What would Archie do without me?

Oh, he'll think of something.


They're so bloody mean, these managements.

I said, "give me 18 pounds and I'll do it."

And he said, "18 pounds? 18 pounds!" cheeky little sod.

What are you doing tonight?

I don't know.

Do you know that girl's name?

Which girl?

Oh, that's Avice Crichton.

"You couldn't have her for 80 pounds, never mind 18 pounds."

I thought that was witty.

Don't you think that was witty?


Well, they're not number-one dates, darling.

Oh, not at all.

Lowestoft, bournemouth and chesterfield and Christ knows where else.

6 months... mummy, we're going to London to have supper and do the clubs, all right?

No. No, really not, you've all had too much to drink.

Tom hasn't. He's driving, and one of the girls has a car.


[Brakes squealing]

[Crickets chirping]

(tom) yeah. Yeah, we had a great time

[Roger groaning]

[Roger chuckling]

[Car doors closing]

(Roger) good night, old man.

Good night, pal.

[Door squeaking]

[Door closing]

Are you... are you crazy, what do you think you're you doing?

I was about to ask you the same thing.

Go back to your room.

I've hardly seen you since you've been here.

You've seen Roger more than me.

We haven't been alone.

What's wrong with you? You haven't held me, you haven't kissed me.


[Sobbing] can't you see the state I'm in?

And... and tonight... tonight, going off like that, not a word to me, with that little tart.

Oh, Avice Crichton is not a tart.

Avice Crichton certainly looks like one.

I'm going back to London tomorrow.

Good. I hope you remember to tip the servants or do you want me to give you the money, hmm?

These are yours, take them back.

Don't be such a bloody little fool.

You think I like being a kept boy?

You think I like being humiliated like this, huh?

I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I didn't mean it.

That makes it even worse.

I should never have let you give me these presents.

I should never have let you lend me that money.

By the end of the month I'll pay you back.

I've apologized.

Don't go to London tomorrow, please.


I love you, tom.


I'm tired. I want to go to bed now.


(Jimmie) now, that's the real thing, Julia, or my name's not Jimmie Langton.

But I've got some notes.

You're still going over the top.

You've got to learn restraint.

And for Christ's sake, stop crying, will you?

We all know you can turn your tears on and off like a tap, so turn them off, will you?


Well, bugger me, you really are crying this time, aren't you?

I can't say I wasn't moved, but you've got to learn to do it so that it seems real.

Seems to be real, that's the art of acting.

Hold the mirror up to nature, ducky, otherwise you'll become a nervous wreck, take to drink and end up a piss artist playing gin-sodden whores all over Scotland on number-3 tours.

Technique, that's what I want you to learn.


[Knocking on door]

I saw the light on. Can I come in?

Yes, of course. Is something wrong?

No. You've been crying.

No, no, just a bad dream.

What is it, sweetheart?

We picked up a couple of girls tonight.

Who did?

Tom and me.


Tom made me promise I wouldn't tell you.

He said you'd be furious.

Were they tarts?

No, they're on the stage.

Joan asked me if I could get her an understudy in your next play.

Yes, tarts.

I just had to tell you.

Tell me what?

I thought it was about time I found out what it was all about.

Roger, what do you mean?



It's not that great, really.

I don't know why everybody makes such a fuss about it.

Mummy, what's the matter?

You are upset.

Why are you crying?

Oh, because you're such a little boy.

Don't cry.


I needed to tell you.

It had to happen sooner or later.

It makes me feel so old.

"Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety" if I'd been Cleopatra, I'd have put whoever said that to death.


To tell you the truth, I didn't enjoy it much.

Oh, you're so very, very young.

I'll grow out of it.



I may go abroad for a while.

Oh, where?

I don't know. Italy, France. Abroad.

I say, about... about that under study, is there any chance for Joan?

Tell her to write to me.

Thanks. Good night.

Good night, darling.

An understudy, my foot.


[Footsteps approaching]

Wait. Hold it.

[Door creaking]

It's from you know who.

I don't want to be disturbed.

Good matinee?

All right, but I'm not feeling very well.

Draw up a chair. Sit down.

What's the matter?

Nothing. I haven't been sleeping.

I had a post card from Roger.

He's in Naples.

Says he's having a great time.

Yes, but you haven't come here just to tell me that, have you?

No, it's something else. I, uh...

I can't pay you back the money that I owe you.

I know I said at the end of last month.

But I just don't have it.

I could pay it off.

I hate having to ask for more time. But... don't be such a bloody little idiot, tom.

It's so humiliating, Julia.

Geez, when you said you'd pay my tips for me, how do you think that made me feel?

I said I'm sorry, I didn't mean it.

I was jealous of you spending so much time with Roger.

I was jealous.

I was jealous of you going out and having a good time without me.

Is that so horrible?

I should never have accepted anything from you.

You're everything in the world to me.

You know that.

I love being with you. I don't want to lose you.

I have few friends. Real friends.

And you're the only person in my life with whom I can be entirely myself.


Let's... let's go...


Let's go on seeing each other. Please.

Oh, Julia.


(Evie) well, I've always said, you're lucky you can cry without your eyelids swelling.

Go to hell.

Well, you're looking a lot happier, I'll say that for you.

I hope with good reason.

If you're thinking what I think you're thinking, then stop thinking.

All the same, Evie, you know what I think?

No, what do you think?

What mugs men are.

Well, they can't keep it in their trousers, [Julia laughs] that's for sure.

You're a revolting hag.

[Julia giggling]

Yes, I am happier.

Everything will be all right now.

[Sighs] I can't help feeling...

I wish I didn't.

Deep down, I can't help feeling... what?

A certain contempt for that boy.

He's so transparent.

Life is just a bowl of cherries don't make it serious life's too mysterious you work, you save, you worry so but you can't take your dough when you go, go, go so keep repeating are you dancing with me or with someone else?

I'm sorry, I... I... I, uh, I can't get over what her royal highness just said to me.

What? What did she say?

She said I ought to come and see them in the country.

And I was just thinking, you think it's ok if I asked her to dance?

Oh, you're such a dreadful snob, tom.

I know. That's why England's the best place for me.

I'm glad we quarreled.

We're closer now than we've ever been.

[Julia giggles]

[Avice moaning]

[Avice panting]

[Tom moaning]

[Both moaning]

[Tom grunts]

[Bell tolling]



Can I ask you a favor?

Anything in the world.

You know Julia Lambert well, don't you?

No, not well, slightly.


Have you been to bed with her?

Are you crazy?

She's old enough to be my mother.

What about her?

I heard on the grapevine that she's doing a new play called nowadays, and there's a part for me in it.

So I wondered if you... if I'd talk to her?

Yes. Please, tom, I'm doing a Sunday night performance week after next.

Terrible play. Lovely part. Good shop window.

If you could get her to see me in it... is that all? Consider it done.

I can get Julia Lambert to do anything I want.

She eats out of my hand. The part's yours.

Don't be daft, I'd be lucky to get an audition, never mind the part.

You'll be in that play or I'll never kiss you again.

Must say, never thought you'd keep this up.

Nor did I. But tummies will be tummies.

Saw the preliminary budget for nowadays.

Hmm. Looks promising.

Must start auditioning. By the way, have you ever heard of a girl called Avice Crichton?

The name rings a bell.

I'm told she's rather good.

I was wondering if she might play Sybil.

Guess how I heard about her.


Through tom.

[Pedal clanking]

He says she's clever.

She's playing in a Sunday night show.

Tom thinks it might be worthwhile to go and have a look-see.

Well, why don't you? Can't.

Going down to sandwich to play golf.

Staying the night.

Would it bore you awfully to go?

Tom'll take you.

I'll think about it.

Hmm, am I late or were you early?

The curtain goes up sharp at 8:00.

I hate getting to a play after it's begun.

Remind me, uh, what's the name of the actress we're going to see tonight?

Avice Crichton. You met her.

She came to lunch at Taplow.

We even fought over her. Did we?

Mmm. I don't remember.

I can't wait to hear what you think of her.

She's so nervous knowing you're gonna be out front.

You know, these performances are like rehearsals, but I said you'd understand.

Bottoms up.

I had a letter from Roger.

He's having a fine old time. He's in Rome now.

Oh, yeah? She's awfully pretty.

Who are we talking about now?

Avice Crichton.


Yeah, she's got a great figure. And she's very fair.

What with platinum and peroxide, there's no lack of blondes these days.

Hers is natural.

I wonder how you know that.

Keep the pace, Julia, don't rush it.

Nice and easy.


God, this is undrinkable.

He'll have to make a fresh pot.

Julia, please don't.

[Bell tinkling] we'll be late.

The first few minutes don't matter.

But I said we'd be there on the dot.

She's got a very good scene right at the beginning.

I'm sorry, but I can't go without my coffee.

Wilson, can you make a fresh pot?

[Sighing] this tastes of bitter aloes.



[Audience applauding]


[Piano playing]

(Avice) what time did the doctor say he was coming?

Any moment now.

Which one's Avice?

The pretty one.

(Avice) oh, Cynthia, I do hope he will be able to help me.

(prompter) "he's meant to be a miracle worker."

He's meant to be a miracle worker.


I do so want to see again, Cynthia.


[Piano continues playing]



[Knocking on door]

Miss Lambert, this is such an honor.

You were great.

I'm so glad to meet you again.

And it's awfully good of you to come round.

I-I'm afraid it's not much of a play but I took a fancy to the part.

Oh, my dear, please don't weep. You're nervous.

And nerves are the respect we pay our audience.

It was only the first few moments.

After that, you were splendid, quite splendid.

Thank you, miss Lambert. Of course.

Thank you so much.

Good night, miss Crichton, and thank you.

You're so good at being blind.

Oh, thank you.

Ask her.

Miss Lambert, is it true you're putting on a new play soon?


If there's a part for me in it, could I audition for you?

I'll tell Mr. Gosselyn about you.

If you were to put in a good word for me, that would help so much.

I take my husband's advice more often than he does mine.

Oh, and good night. Please, cheer up.

You should go a long way.




You didn't think much of her, did you?

On the contrary, I think a great deal of her.

She's so energetic.

I don't feel like going to a restaurant.

Bolton, straight home, please.

Michael's away. We can talk.

Tell me, have you been to bed with Avice Crichton?

Of course not.

Why not? She's pretty.

She's not that sort of girl. I respect her.

Hmm, do you know what I think?

I think you're madly in love with her.

Are you?

There's no need to break up the happy home.

Yeah, I'm sorry. I don't know why I did that.

You did it because you haven't the guts to tell me the truth.

You're in love with that girl, aren't you?

Why not admit it?

Is it because you think it would harm her chances of playing Sybil in the new play?

You ought to know me well enough by now that I would never let sentiment interfere with business.

What do you mean?

I think she's rather a find.

I'll tell Michael.

I'll insist she plays the part.

Oh, Julia, you're wonderful.

Hell, I'm so fond of you.


I'm fond of you.

I've liked going to bed with you.

And it pleases me to think that you liked going to bed with me.


But let's face it.

I've never been in love with you and you, you've never been in love with me.

We both knew it couldn't last.


You're in love with that girl, aren't you?

You might as well admit it.


Go now. Please.

[Door closing]

For Christ's sake, Julia, what do you think you're doing?

You disappoint me.

Oh, dear, oh, dear, you really do.

After all I've taught you?

You can't just stand there like a spare prick at a wedding.

For Christ's sake, Julia, assert yourself.

It's you that matters. You. Only you.

All's fair with love and the theatre, ducky.

[Julia sobbing]

No one will ever know how much I loved him.

He was my earth, my moon, and all the stars in the firmament.

Farewell, my love.

[Audience applauding]

Oh, evening, Mr. Gosselyn.

I didn't expect you back tonight.

How was the golf?


How was the girl?


Brilliant. Really?

Very talented.

Yes, but can she act?

Oh, she has to play Sybil.

She's very pretty. Audition her.

You'll see what I mean.

(Michael) I saw the play tonight.

(Julia) hmm. We took 5 calls.

[Toothbrush clattering]

Julia, I've got something to say to you.

Don't fly into temper, just listen.

What is it?

Why did you give such a lousy performance?

A lousy performance? Mmm-hmm.

That just shows how little you know.

I've never acted better in my life.

Balls. You were awful.

They adored me tonight.

The public are jackasses.

You were barnstorming.

False from beginning to end.

How dare you speak to me like that, you little shit?

Get out of my room! What do you know?

You can strike me, you can swear at me, you can yell the roof off.

The fact remains that your acting has gone all to hell.

And I'm not going to start rehearsing nowadays with you playing up like a drama queen suffering from asthma.

Get someone else to play the part!

Don't be stupid, Julia!

I'm taking the play off on Saturday.

And then I want you to go abroad.

Have a break.

Go and see your mother in Jersey.

We'll start rehearsing nowadays when you... when you get back.

Am I really that bad?

(Michael) yes.

Don't let the world outside cheapen your gifts.

And what Jimmie Langton used to say:

"Your only reality is the theatre."

I hate myself. I'm a slut.

I'm just a rotten bitch. Rotten through and through.

Nevertheless, you're a great actress.

Not tonight.

No. Not tonight.

Oh, darling, I'm... I'm tired out. I... so stupid of me. I should...


You're right. You're right.


The only thing is to go away.

Thank you.

[Seagulls cawing]

(Mrs. Lambert) it's so good to see you.

And no drafts, that's very important, Julia, dear.

Aunt Carrie and I will be very careful to see that you never sit in a draft.

And you must wear socks and woolen vests.

I would sooner wear a shroud.

Oh, well, we will discuss it in the morning.

[Seagulls cawing]

(turnbull) miss Avice Crichton.

Good afternoon.

Good afternoon.

I'm Michael Gosselyn.

Good afternoon, Mr. Gosselyn.

What are you going to do for us?

I thought I'd do something from twelfth night.


Good. In your own time.

"Make me a willow cabin at your gate and call upon my soul within the house" now do it as if you've got a cold.

I beg your pardon?

Can you do it again, but this time as if you've got a bad cold in the nose.

[Nasalized] "make me a willow cabin at your gate

[dolly snickering]

"And call upon my soul within the house


"Write loyal cantons of contemned love

"and sing them loud even in the dead of night


Halloo your name..." thank you. Can you do a sneeze?

A what?

Can you do a good, big sneeze?

I think so.

[Avice inhaling]

I've got it. Tom, I've got it!

I've got it! (tom) you got it!


[Bee buzzing]

She's coming.

Don't over-dramatize, dear.

Just say, "here's a telegram," as if it's the most natural thing in the world.

Yes, but I hate telegrams.

Um, Julia, dear, sit down and, uh, don't be alarmed.

What's happened?

Well, I'm afraid there's a telegram for you.



Oh, how lovely.

[Seagulls cawing]

I only realize now how terribly I've missed you all these months.

And I you. God, I've missed you.

Come on, tell me all the gossip.

Oh, let's see.

Johnny Gore-Barker has run off with Bunty Robinson.

No. Yeah.

He can't have.

She looks like the back of a bus.

Oh, I don't think Johnny Gore-Barker knows what a bus is, front or back.

Everyone's talking about this new girl, but of course you know that. What new girl?

The one who's to be in your next play.

Her name's Avice Crichton, something like that.

Michael says she's to be the new Julia Lambert.

Yes, yes, he wrote to me.

It was my idea. I'm delighted.

She's very pretty.

How madly generous of you.

(Charles) and London was full of your mischief, Julia.

(Julia) was it?

It sounds as if you needed a hand to hold.

Are you through the worst?

I think my vanity was more wounded than my heart.

I'm so sorry, Julia, sorry that you've suffered.

I love you. I always have. Always will.

Charles, we're miles from home.

There's no one here who knows us.

Just... honey... what?

Don't let your vanity be wounded again, um.

I'm not worth it.

There'd be no reason.

I love you in... in my own way.

Julia, we've always known what that means.

You can't be in the theatre and that naive.

I love you more than you can imagine.

But... but what?

I play for the other side.

[Laughing] Charles.

Oh, darling.

[Seagulls cawing]

[Car honking]

[People chattering]


(Julia) oh, grace.

I'm so happy you're with us!

Well, it's not much of a part, but it is the west end.

Hello, dear.

[All chattering]

Hello, Michael,

I'd like to introduce our distinguished author, Mr. Walter Gibbs.

Oh, I can't tell you how proud I am that you're on nowadays.

How sweet of you.

But you've given me a monstrous speech at the end of the play.

I hope I can learn it.

You remember miss Crichton.

Miss Lambert. Oh, how could I forget.

She's playing Sybil.

Miss Lambert, I just want you to know... have you seen tom recently?

Uh, once or twice.

Miss Lambert, I just want you to know I'm going to give my all in this part.

I'll give it my absolute all.

Now, now, you mustn't be a little spendthrift.

All right, everybody, we'll start.

(woman) yeah.

So, if you'll find a chair.

"Oh, Millicent, "then I asked if he could help me.

"I asked if he would give me a letter to the bank.

"He lifted the towel.

"His nose was bright red and his eyes were streaming.

"He looked awful. He said:

[Nasalized] 'I'm afraid I have a nasty cold in my nose.'"

[All laughing]


"I hope you didn't catch it from him.

You can't afford a cold with so much to do."

Go on.

"Then he sneezed.

"I don't think I've ever heard such a sneeze, Millicent.

[Inaudible miming]

(Avice) "it began with a monstrous intake of breath.

"Wait, wait. I'll show you.

[Avice inhaling]

[Avice gasping]


[All laughing]

"I said, 'bless you.'

"And he said, 'I won't say thank you

[mimicking] 'as it's meant to bring misfortune.'"

"We should have seen through him.

"Then it would never have happened.

"But nowadays

"we're only interested in appearances.

And he did have the most beautiful appearance."

Uh, mumbo-jumbo. Bad luck to say the last line.

[All clapping]

(Michael) right, well, I think we should call it a morning.

All right?

Couldn't be better.

Good reading. Pleased with the company?

You've cast it splendidly.

The girl's clever, isn't she?

Yes, isn't she?

Well, give my love to Roger. Ta.

[Door closing]

I wouldn't say this to your face, so I'll say it to your back. [mirror squeaking]

I've missed you.

And I've missed you, Evie.

I did the usual things.

I saw the sights. Worked hard at my Italian.

And went to the opera a good deal.

Have you made up your mind what you're going to do yet?

I want to stop living in an atmosphere of make-believe.

That's your world, not mine.

And it stifles me.

What do you mean?

Once, when I was a kid, I was standing in the wings watching you on-stage.

It must've been a pretty moving scene because I couldn't stop blubbing.

You moved to the side of the stage near where I was standing and you turned your back on the audience, and you said, in your ordinary voice:

"What the bloody hell the electrician thought he was doing with the bright lights."

And then in the same breath, with a great cry of anguish you just went on with the scene.

That was acting.

If I... if I truly felt all the emotions I was representing, I'd be a wreck.

You have a performance for everyone.

For the servants, for daddy, for everybody.

And I don't think you really exist.


Once you told me something. I don't remember exactly what, but the exact same night you said the same line on the stage.

Even the things you say are second hand.

All I want is for you to be happy.

You should talk this over with your father.

Mmm, daddy's worse than you are.

But he only acts one part, thank god, and that's the handsomest man in England.

Then talk it over with someone of your own age, then.

Tom, for instance.


I thought you liked him.

No, I didn't like him at all.

You've dropped him, haven't you?


I suppose I have, more or less.

Good. He wasn't worthy of you.

Roger, do you think I'm getting old?

No, not you.

Mmm, tom's little tart's in your play, I hear.

By the way, she's having a fling with daddy.

[Nasalized] "how's your cousin Millicent?"

And I said you were well.

He wanted to know... Michael, I'm not happy sitting beside her on the bench.

After all, it's miss Crichton's scene, I think I'm too dominant here.

Well, move if you want to, but where?

There, on the stool, with my back to the audience.

All I am is a feed in this scene and it... it feels wrong to be on equal footing with miss Crichton.

I don't mind, really, miss Lambert.

No, no, no, no, I'm uncomfortable. It feels ungenerous.

Michael, what if I'm discovered there when the scene starts?

(Julia) I could sit facing the swing.

Then I don't have to move.

I can stay here right until miss Crichton's exit.

(Julia) to thunderous applause, I've no doubt. Hmm?

Well, I'm... I'm quite happy to try it.

Go from the top.


(Julia) how was your interview with sir Philip?



It was like a scene out of dickens.

[Gasps] he had the most dread... you see? It's much better with me here, isn't it?

Well, yes, it is, as long as you don't mind being stuck down there for 10 minutes.

Mind? Why should I mind? I suggested it.

(stagehand) lower. Lower.

That's right.



It was like a scene out of dickens.


He had the most dreadful cold.

(Avice) so I said, "should I come back another time?

And he said:


[Nasalized] "no, no, no, no, no, no."

[All chattering]

(Michael) thank you, and then give me all the light you've got.

Can't do comedy in the dark.

Dolly, darling.

(dolly) how's it all going?

Splendid. How was... how was France?

Splendid. How's Julia?

Splendid. And the new girl?

We're ready, Mr. Gosselyn. Thank you, Mr. Turnbull.

Dolly, have a seat.

(turnbull) thank you, uh, miss Lambert, Mr. Dexter, miss Crichton on the stage.

(turnbull) hold the banging.

(Julia) Michael.

I say, that's awfully plain, Julia.

Precisely. But I want it for 2 reasons.

Firstly, it's awfully good for the quick change, just hooks up the back.

Second, I simply don't want in any way to distract from miss Crichton.

(Michael) all right. Happy, Archie?

Trousers need shortening a bit, but that's all.

And miss Crichton?

I don't think it fits her properly.

Especially at the waist.

And she's got such a pretty figure, I think it needs to come in at least half an inch.

I don't like it.

Julia's being far too angelic.

[Bei mir bist du schon by Andrews sisters playing]

Of all the boys I've known, and I've known some until I first met you I was lonesome and when you came in sight, dear my heart grew light and this old world seemed new to me you're really swell I have to admit you deserve expressions that really fit you

"nowadays from J.I." And the date. Very nice.

Here's the list. Can you wrap each separately and have them sent round to the theatre no later than 5:00 this evening?

Of course, miss Lambert.

I'm so looking forward to seeing the play.

(salesman) it will make a beautiful gift.




Are you getting engaged to Avice?

Oh, this. Oh, no. No, it's a first-night gift.

She doesn't want to get engaged.

Wants her freedom.

Doesn't want anything to interfere with her career.

Her what?

Oh, yes, I... I see what you mean.

I'm going to be there tonight. Michael's given me a box.

(salesman) will that be all, sir?


Tom, how about giving me tea?

At your place. For old times' sake.

Why not?

Give Avice this. Hmm?

It may bring her luck.

[Door closing]

[People chattering]

[Car honking]

(chamberlain) I have in my hand, this piece of paper signed by me, herr Hitler, and Benito Macaroni in Munich.

It is for peace in our time.

However, if there is a war, then their majesties, the king and queen and their 2 lovely daughters, Elizabeth and Margaret rose and me and the entire cabinet will set sail immediately for Canada!

You will stay here!


Break a leg.

(Michael) you're going to be a sensation.

Terribly sorry.


[All laughing]

Same from me, Julia.

And you're coming to the party tonight, aren't you?

Of course, wouldn't miss it. Thank you both.

Yes, thank you. Thank you.


You don't have a whisky handy?

No, no, no, not here. I've got all that set up in the bar.

Darling, we'll see you later.

Dolly, I'll do the other dressing rooms and I'll see you in the foyer.

Uh, bring our distinguished author with you, will you?

(dolly) yes, of course.

(Gibbs) are... are we leaving?

Half an hour, miss Lambert.

[Both exclaiming]

So... so... so sorry.


(call boy) hello, Mr. Dexter.

[Knocking on door]

(Michael) it's me.

[Door closes]


(call boy) half an hour please, miss Crichton.

Oh, Michael.

Thank you for everything, Michael.

Here's your first-night present.

I'm putting you under contract.


Michael. Here it is.

Sign on the front.

Here you are.

Oh, thank you.

[People chattering]

Good evening, Mrs. De Vries.

[All chattering]

Good evening, Roger.


Aunt dolly.

Sweetheart, don't call me aunty.

Um, we should be going in.

Oh, yes.

I'm nervous. I'm going to get a drink.

It's that way. It's that way.

Join us upstairs. Got your ticket?

[Audience chattering]

(Michael) the first stage, come on.

(usher) sir.

(Michael) thank you.

No, no, no, no, no, no.

[Door thudding]

(Julia) he did have the most beautiful appearance.

[Audience applauding]

No, no, no, no, no, no. No, no, no.

No, that one, you silly cow. Quickly.

What are you up to?

[Objects thudding]

Well, give it.

[Audience applauding]

[Applause stops]

[Avice singing]

How was your interview with sir Philip?


It was like a scene out of dickens.


He had the most dreadful cold.

He was in... in bed, inhaling.

So I... so I said, "should I come back another time?"

And he said:

[Julia laughing] (Avice) "no, no."

[Audience laughing]

(Julia) I used to do that as a child.

I was very prone to colds.

In my nose. I sneezed a good deal.



[Audience laughing]

I was always inhaling over steaming water and camphorated oil.

Oh, Millicent.

Then I asked if he could help me.

[Julia sneezes] (Avice) I asked if he would give me a letter to the bank.

He lifted the towel.

His nose was bright red and his eyes were streaming.

He looked awful. He said:

[Nasalized] "I'm afraid I have a nasty cold in my nose."

You're lying to me, Sybil.

You're not putting on that cold because you've caught it from sir Philip, haven't you?

Who wrote this balls?

(Julia) was it because you snuggled up beside him?

Was it because he made a pass at you?

[Avice exclaims]

Tell me the truth, Sybil.

[Audience laughing]


He sneezed.


I don't think I've ever heard such a sneeze, Millicent.

It began with a monstrous intake of breath.

Wait, wait. I'll show you.

[Deep inhaling]


I said...

[clears throat]

Oh, my god.

(prompter) "bless you."

[Audience giggling] "bless you."

I said, "bless you."

And he said, "I won't say thank you as it's meant to bring misfortune."

[Julia mimicking Avice] Misfortune, indeed.

[Audience laughing]

(Julia) no, now I get it!

Now I understand!

You're dilly-dallying with sir Philip and young ben.

[Laughs] no wonder you caught a cold.

Shame on you, Sybil.

Which is it to be?

The old man or the young boy?


(Julia) silly question, I suppose. I know which one I'd choose.

[Audience laughing]

No, no, no, no, don't you go.

Stay exactly where you are. I haven't finished with you.

Not remotely.

I want to know.

Did he make a pass at you or did you make a pass at him?

I'm talking about the old man now, not the young boy.

My god, this is complicated!


[Audience laughing]

[All applauding]


God, god.

(Julia) oh, no, no, don't cry.

[Nasalized] it'll only make you more miserable!

[Audience laughs]

I'll tell you what I think happened. Huh?

Sir Philip got a little fresh with you, didn't he?

And you, you, you, you couldn't resist.

It's rather difficult to get fresh when you have a cold.

What did he say?

[Quavering] "please, please, make an old man happy."

[All laughing]

Naughty, Sybil, very naughty.

Trying to have sir Philip on the side.

And I've always found it very uncomfortable on the side.

(Julia) I think we should punish him, don't you?

Or you.


Perhaps we should punish you.

But how? That's the question: How?


I know. We'll tell ben.


Oh, don't pretend you've forgotten him. Ben.


(Julia) oh, dear, have I upset you?

Never mind, Sybil.

Just remember all's fair in war and...


War and... oh, hell, the word escapes me.

[Audience applauding]

(audience) bravo! Bravo!

(man) bravo!

You're a monster.

A wonderful, glorious monster.

It was great! You were superb!


A real tour de force. Yes.

[Julia laughing]

Don't change a word. Keep it just like that.

God, I hope... I hope I can remember what I said.

[Julia laughing]

[Michael exclaims]

You're so naughty.

That's why you love me.



That cow!

She is vile, disgusting, cruel.

She is a double-dyed bitch!

We have a hit, tom. A palpable hit, my boy.

I want to leave.

I never want to act again.

Don't be so silly, you were wonderful.

Absolutely superb.

And now you're under contract.

It's clear the play's going to run and run.

So you'll have the opportunity to hone your performance.

Just think, 8 shows a week for a year, playing opposite Julia Lambert.

It'll be an experience you'll never forget.

Just have a great time, have fun.


[Shrieking] no! No!

[All chattering]

You're still the greatest actress in England.

I'm going now. See you at the party.

And try not to be late.

It's going to be simply heavenly.

I'll be there.

Splendid. Oh, darling.

Magnificent. Absolutely wonderful.

They asked me how I knew

my true love was true

(Antoine) champagne, mademoiselle Lambert?

No. Beer. A pint.

Everyone here is talking about how wonderful you were tonight.

Ah, thank you.

Cannot be denied

they said someday you'll find

all who love are blind your only reality is the theatre.

Anything else, the outside world, what civilians call the real world, is nothing but fantasy.

And I bloody well won't let you forget it.


Are you expecting a guest?

Shall I place another plate?

No, thank you, Antoine.

I've decided not to go to the first-night party.

I want to dine alone tonight.

Quite alone.

Yet today my love has flown away I am without my love

now laughing friends deride

tears I cannot hide

so I smile and say when a lovely flame dies smoke gets in your eyes

so I chaffed them and I gaily laughed to think they could doubt my love

yet today my love has flown away I am without my love

now laughing friends deride

tears I cannot hide

so I smile and say when a lovely flame dies smoke gets in your eyes