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Shakespeare in Love (1998)

by Marc Norman and Tom Stoppard.

More info about this movie on IMDb.com


FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY


INT. THE ROSE THEATRE. DAY.

SKY. Over which a title "LONDON--SUMMER 1593" appears.
Title card: In the glory days of the Elizabethan theatre
two playhouses were fighting it out for writers and
audiences. North of the city was the Curtain Theatre,
home to England's most famous actor, Richard Burbage.
Across the river was the competition, built by Philip
Henslowe, a business with a cash flow problem...

...The Rose...

Gradually a building is revealed, The Rose Theatre, three-
tiered, open to the elements and empty. On the floor,
roughly printed, a poster--torn, soiled, out of date. It
says:

SEPT. 7TH & 8TH AT NOON

MR. EDWARD ALLEYN AND THE ADMIRAL'S MEN AT THE ROSE
THEATRE, BANKSIDE

THE LAMENTABLE TRAGEDIE OF THE MONEYLENDER REVENG'D

OVER THIS the screams of a man under torture. The screams
are coming from the curtained stage.

			VOICE (O.S.)
	You Mongrel! Why do you howl When it
	is I who am bitten?

INT. THE ROSE THEATRE. STAGE. DAY.

The theatre owner, PHILLIP HENSLOWE, is the man
screaming. HENSLOWE'S boots are on fire. He is pinioned
in a chair, with his feet stuck out over the hot colas of
a fire burning in a brazier. He is being held in that
position by LAMBERT, who is a thug employed by FENNYMAN,
who is the owner of the VOICE. The fourth man, FREES, is
FENNYMAN'S bookkeeper.

			FENNYMAN
	What am I, Mr. Lambert?

			LAMBERT
	Bitten, Mr. Fennyman.

			FENNYMAN
	How badly bitten, Mr. Frees?

			FREES
	Twelve pounds, one shilling and four
	pence, Mr. Fennyman, including
	interest.

			HENSLOWE
	Aaagh! I can pay you!

			FENNYMAN
	When?

			HENSLOWE
	Two weeks, three at the most, Aaaagh!
	For pity's sake.

			FENNYMAN
	Take his feet out. Where will you get

			FREES
		(the mathematical genius with
		a notebook)
	Sixteen pounds, five shillings and
	nine pence

			FENNYMAN
	including interest in three weeks?

			HENSLOWE
	I have a wonderful new play!

			FENNYMAN
	Put his feet in.

			HENSLOWE
	It's a comedy.

			FENNYMAN
	Cut his nose off.

			HENSLOWE
	A new comedy. By Will Shakespeare!

			FENNYMAN
	And his ears.

			HENSLOWE
	And a share. We will be partners, Mr.
	Fennyman!

			FENNYMAN
		(hesitating)
	Partners!

			HENSLOWE
	It's a crowd-tickler--mistaken
	identities, a shipwreck, a pirate
	king, a bit with a dog, and love
	triumphant.

			LAMBERT
	I think I've seen it. I didn't like
	it.

			HENSLOWE
	This time it is by Shakespeare.

			FENNYMAN
	What's the title?

			HENSLOWE
	Romeo and Ethel the Pirate's Daughter.

			FENNYMAN
	Good title.

FENNYMAN snaps his fingers at FREES and LAMBERT. LAMBERT
unties HENSLOWE, FREES starts writing a contract.

			FENNYMAN (CONT'D)
	A play takes time. Find actors
	rehearsalslet's say open in three
	weeks. That's--what--five hundred
	groundlings at tuppence each, in
	addition four hundred groundlings
	tuppence each, in addition four
	hundred backsides at three pence--a
	penny extra for a cushion, call it two
	hundred cushions, say two performance
	for safety how much is that Mr. Frees?

			FREES
	Twenty pounds to the penny, Mr.
	Fennyman.

			FENNYMAN
	Correct!

			HENSLOWE
	But I have to pay the actors and the
	authors.

			FENNYMAN
	A share of the profits.

			HENSLOWE
	There's never any

			FENNYMAN
	Of course not!

			HENSLOWE
		(impressed)
	Mr. Fennyman, I think you may have hit
	on something.

FENNYMAN slaps a contract down on the table next to n ink-
pot and quill.

			FENNYMAN
	Sign here.

HENSLOWE takes the quill and signs.

			FENNYMAN (CONT'D)
	Romeo and Ethel The Pirate's
	DaughterAlmost finished?

			HENSLOWE
	Without doubt he is completing it at
	this very moment.

INT. WILL'S ROOM. DAY

A small cramped space in the eaves of a building. A
cluttered shelf containing various objects, wedged
between crumpled pieces of paper. Among those we have
time to observe: a skull, a mug that says A PRESENT FROM
STRATFORD-UPON-AVON.

At infrequent intervals further pieces of crumpled paper
are tossed towards the shelf. The man who is throwing
them, WILL SHAKESPEARE, is bent over a table, writing
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			HENSLOWE
	You see? Comedy.

QUEEN ELIZABETH'S idiosyncratic laugh rises above the
others.

			QUEEN
	Well played, Master Crab, I commend
	you.

She throws a sweetheart on the stage and the dog wolfs it
down. Everyone applauds.

			HENSLOWE
	Love and a bit with a dog, that's what
	they like.

Now we meet VIOLA. VIOLA DE LESSEPS is twenty-five and
beautiful, and she is laughing with great natural
enjoyment. She sits slightly apart from her small family
group--her parents, SIR ROBERT DE LESSEPS and LADY
MARGARET DE LESSEPS. Part of the group but seated behind
as befits her lower status is VIOLA'S NURSE.

Elsewhere is LORD WESSEX, our villain. WESSEX is in his
forties, dark cruel, self-important. He has noticed
VIOLA. The nurse notices him.

INT. WHITEHALL PALACE. BANQUETING HALL. FRONT OF
HOUSE/STAGE. DAY.

LATER. "VALENTINE" is on stage alone. He is speaking the
speech rather more coarsely than the version we hear
later.

			CONDELL AS VALENTINE
	"What light is light if Silvia be not
	seen?
	What joy is joy, if Silvia be not by?
	Unless it be to think that she is by
	And feed upon the shadow of
	perfection"

Now we see that VIOLA knows the speech by heart, and is
silently mouthing it with the actor.

			HENSLOWE
	There's a lady knows your play by
	heart.

But when he turns to WILL he finds that WILL has gone.

INT. WILL'S ROOM. DAY.

WILL comes into his room, goes straight to his table in
the window, and arranges pen, ink, and paper. Now he has
his ritual: he spins round once in a circle, rubs his
hands together and spits on the floor. Then he sits down,
picks up his pen, and stares in front of him. PAUSE. Then
he begins to write.

INT. DE LESSEPSES' HOUSE. VIOLA'S BEDROOM. NIGHT.

The NURSE is undressing her, though VIOLA tries
intermittently to push her away. She is still bright with
excitement.

			VIOLA
	Did you like Proteus or Valentine
	best? Proteus for speaking, Valentine
	for looks.

			NURSE
	I liked the dog, for laughs.

			VIOLA
	But Silvia I did not care for much.
	His fingers were red from fighting and
	he spoke like a schoolboy at lessons.
	Stage love will never be true love
	while the law of the land has our
	heroines played by pipsqueak boys in
	petticoats! Oh, when can we see
	another?

			NURSE
	When the Queen commands it.

			VIOLA
	But at the playhouse. Nurse?

			NURSE
	Be still.

Now the NURSE is cleaning VIOLA'S ears, one by one, of
course. She has an ear-cleaning implement for this. VIOLA
submits.

			NURSE (CONT'D)
	Playhouses are not for well-born
	ladies.

			VIOLA
	I am not so well-born.

			NURSE
	Well-monied is the same as well-born
	and well-married is more so. Lord
	Wessex was looking at you tonight.

			VIOLA
	All the men at court are without
	poetry. If they look at me they see my
	father's fortune. I will have poetry
	in my life. And adventure. And love.
	Love above all.

			NURSE
	Like Valentine and Silvia?

			VIOLA
	No . . . not the artful postures of
	love, but love that over- throws life.
	Unbiddable, ungovernable, like a riot
	in the heart, and nothing to be done,
	come ruin or rapture. Love like there
	has never been in a play.
		(beat)
	I will have love or I will end my days
	as a . . .

			NURSE
	As a nurse.

			VIOLA
		(kissing her)
	But I would be Valentine and Silvia
	too. Good Nurse, God save you and good
	night. I would stay asleep my whole
	life if I could dream myself into a
	company of players.

VIOLA goes over to the window.

INT. DE LESSEPSES' HOUSE. VIOLA'S BEDROOM. NIGHT.

The NURSE thrusts a twig to her face.

			NURSE
	Clean your teeth while you dream,
	then.

Automatically, VIOLA takes the twig and begins brushing
her teeth, all the while looking downriver towards the
Rose. The NURSE attends her with a beaker of water, and a
bowl.

			NURSE (CONT'D)
	Now spit

VIOLA gazes longingly towards the Rose And, there and
then, she makes a plan.

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hand and sword in the other. By this time WILL is on top
of the garden wall and he drops safely out of sight. He
could have written it better.

INT. WILL'S ROOM. DAWN.

WILL is burning the midnight oil--literally and
metaphorically. His quill has already covered a dozen
sheets. He is inspired.

INT. THE ROSE THEATRE. STAGE/AUDITORIUM. DAY.

It is day one. THE COMPANY is on stage. PETER is passing
pages around a bunch of actors. JOHN, JAMES, and NOL are
looking through their pages.

			JOHN
	"Draw if you be men!
		(to JAMES)
	Gregory, remember thy washing blow."

			NOL
	"Part, fools, put up your swords."

WILL is going around pumping hands and slapping
shoulders, flushed with excitement. HENSLOWE is reading
his pages, worried. RALPH BASHFORD is next to him.

			HENSLOWE
	It starts well, and then it's all long-
	faced about some Rosaline. Where's the
	comedy, Will. Where's the dog?
		(to RALPH)
	Do you think it is funny?

			RALPH
	I was a Pirate King, now I'm a Nurse.
	That's funny

WILL pulls HENSLOWE aside.

			WILL
	We are at least six men short, and
	those we have will be overparted,
	ranters and stutterers who should be
	sent back to the stews. My Romeo has
	let me down. I see disaster.

			HENSLOWE
	We are at least four acts short, Will,
	if you are looking for disaster.

WILL as notices a young scruffy thirteen-year-old actor,
the URCHIN we met before.

			WILL
	Who are you, master?

			URCHIN
	I am Ethel, sir, the Pirate's
	daughter.

			WILL
		(furiously)
	I'll be damned if you are!

And he helps the URCHIN off with a kick. The URCHIN
glowers with resentment. HENSLOWE finds himself face to
face with FENNYMAN.

			FENNYMAN
	Is it going well?

			HENSLOWE
	Very well.

			FENNYMAN
	But nothing is happening.

			HENSLOWE
	Yes, but very well.

			WILL
		(shouts)
	Gentlemen! Thank you! You are welcome.

			FENNYMAN
	Who is that?

			HENSLOWE
	Nobody. The author.

			WILL
	We are about to embark on a great
	voyage.

			HENSLOWE
	It is customary to make a little
	speech on the first day. It does no
	harm and authors like it.

			WILL
	You want to know what parts you are to
	receive. All will be settled as we go

That's as far as he gets before there is a dramatic
interruption--the public entrance door is flung open and
SIX MEN make a loud entrance, headed by NED ALLEYN, the
actor, who is a handsome piratical figure with a big
voice and a big sword.

			ALLEYN
	Huzzah! The Admiral's Men are returned
	to the house!

He gets various reactions. HENSLOWE and WILL shout his
name joyfully, some of the actors are friends with the
new group and behave accordingly, others know they are
out of a job. FENNYMAN recovers, or tries to.

			FENNYMAN
	Who is this?

ALLEYN slaps him aside with his sword.

			ALLEYN
		(roars)
	Silence, you god! I am Hieronimo! I am
	Tamburlaine! I am Faustus! I am
	Barrabas, the Jew of Malta--of yes,
	Master Will, and I am Henry VI. What
	is the play, and what is my part?

FENNYMAN is impressed.

			FENNYMAN
	A moment, sir!

			ALLEYN
		(roars)
	Who are you?

			FENNYMAN
		(bleating)
	I am the money!

			ALLEYN
	Then you may remain so long as you
	remain silent. Pay attention and you
	will see how genius creates a legend.

			FENNYMAN
		(respectfully)
	Thank you, sir.

			WILL
	We are in desperate want of a
	Mercutio, Ned, a young nobleman of
	Verona

			ALLEYN
	And the title of this piece?

			WILL
	Mercutio

			HENSLOWE
	Is it?

			ALLEYN
	I will play him!

Half a dozen of the ADMIRAL'S MEN will be given roles in
our play and we meet them and identify them as WILL
enthusiastically shakes hands.

			WILL
	Mr. Pope! Mr. Phillips! Welcome,
	George Bryan! James Armitage!
		(and now greeting SAM GOSSE,
		the female star of the
		Admiral's Men)
	Sam! My pretty one! Are you ready to
	fall in love again?

			SAM
		(hoarsely)
	I am, Master Shakespeare.

			WILL
		(concerned)
	But your voice
		(he thrust a hand between
		SAM'S legs)
	Have they dropped?

			SAM
		(a girlie voice now)
	No, no, a touch of cold only. We
	suspect he is lying but WILL has
	turned away.

			WILL
	Master Henslowe, you have your actors.

He leaves, passing by the humbled FENNYMAN.

			FENNYMAN
	I saw his Tamburlaine, you know.
	Wonderful.

			WILL
	Yes, I saw it.

			FENNYMAN
	Of course, it was mighty writing.
	There is no one like Marlowe

WILL is used to it. He goes.

EXT. RIVERBANK. DAY.

WILL arrives in a hurry at the wharfside, and looks
vainly in the direction of the DE LESSEPSES' house: no
THOMAS.

EXT. THE ROSE THEATRE. STAGE DOOR. DAY.

WILL looks down the alley:--no THOMAS. He turns away. The
URCHIN, the short-lived Ethel, is sitting in the alley.

			WILL
	Better fortune, boy.

			URCHIN
		(shrugs)
	I was in a play. They cut my head off
	in Titus Andronicus. When I write
	plays, they will be like Titus.

			WILL
		(pleased)
	You admire it?

The URCHIN nods grimly.

			URCHIN
	I like it when they cut heads off. And
	the daughter mutilated with knives.

			WILL
	Oh. What is your name?

			URCHIN.
	John Webster. Here, kitty, kitty.

Because a stray cat is nearby. The cat show an interest.
The URCHIN passes a white mouse to the cat and watches
the result with sober interest.

			URCHIN (CONT'D)
	Plenty of blood. That is the only
	writing.

WILL backs away, unnerved by the boy.

			URCHIN (CONT'D)
	Wait, you'll see the cat bites his
	head off.

			WILL
	I have to get back.

INT. THE ROSE THEATRE. STAGE/AUDITORIUM. DAY.

On stage . . . the actors carry their parts.

NOL AS BENVOLIO

"See where he comes. So please you step aside; I'll know
his grievance or be much denied."

			MONTAGUE
	"I would thou wert so happy by thy
	stay To hear true shrift. Come, madam,
	let's away."

Onstage "MONTAGUE" and "LADY MONTAGUE" make their exit.
Offstage, WILL appears next to HENSLOWE.

			WILL
	Cut round him for now.

			HENSLOWE
		(not understanding)
	What? Who?

			WILL
	Romeo.

			HENSLOWE
	The one who came with your letter?

			WILL
	What?

			NOL AS BENVOLIO (O.S.)
	"Good morrow, cousin."

			VIOLA AS ROMEO (O.S.)
	"Is the day so young?"

The voice is THOMAS'S. WILL turns back to the stage and
sees him. Today THOMAS has a wig as well as his small
mustache.

			NOL AS BENVOLIO
	"But new struck nine."

			VIOLA AS ROMEO
	"Ay me, sad hours seem long. Was that
	my father that went hence so fast?"

			NOL AS BENVOLIO
	It was. What sadness lengthens Romeo's
	hours?"

			VIOLA AS ROMEO
	"Not having that which, having, makes
	them short."

			WILL
	Good

			NOL AS BENVOLIO
	"In love?"

			VIOLA AS ROMEO
	"Out."

			NOL AS BENVOLIO
	"Of love?"

			VIOLA AS ROMEO
	"Out of her favour where I am in
	love."

			WILL
		(interrupting)
	No, no, noDon't spend it all at once!

The rehearsal stops.

			VIOLA AS THOMAS
	Yes, sir.

			WILL
	Do you understand me?

			VIOLA AS THOMAS
	No, sir.

			WILL
	He is speaking about a baggage we
	never even meet! What will be left in
	your purse when he meets his Juliet?

			HENSLOWE
	Juliet? You mean Ethel.

			WILL
		(rounding on him)
	God's teeth, am I to suffer this
	constant stream of interruption?!
		(to THOMAS)
	What will you do in Act Two when he
	meets the love of his life?

			VIOLA AS THOMAS
		(timidly--looking through his
		few sheets of paper)
	I am very sorry, sir, I have not seen
	Act Two.

			WILL
	Of course you have not! I have not
	written it!

Alone in the auditorium, FENNYMAN looks and listens,
fascinated. So this is theatre!

			WILL (CONT'D)
	Go once more!

NED ALLEYN comes out of the wings, frowning over his
manuscript.

			ALLEYN
	WillWhere is Mercutio?

			WILL
		(tapping his forehead)
	Locked safe in here. I leave the scene
	in your safe keeping, Ned, I have a
	sonnet to write.

WILL moves back into the wings where HENSLOWE is looking
anxious.

			HENSLOWE
	A sonnet? You mean a play.

WILL moves on, ignoring him. As he goes, we see that
VIOLA is love-struck by him, a riot in the heart.

INT. DE LESSEPSES' HOUSE. STAIRCASE. DAY.

VIOLA still dressed as THOMAS, sonnet in hand, runs up
the stairs to her room. From the other end of the house
WESSEX can be heard ranting.

INT. DE LESSEPSES' HOUSE. HALL. NIGHT.

LORD WESSEX is being kept waiting. The NURSE is bearing
the brunt of his impatience.

			WESSEX
	Two hours at prayer!

			NURSE
	Lady Viola is pious, my lord.

			WESSEX
	Piety is for Sunday! And two hours at
	prayer is not piety, it is self-
	importance!

			NURSE
	It would be better that you return
	tomorrow, my lord.

			WESSEX
	It would be better that you tell her
	to get off her knees and show some
	civility to her six-day lord and
	master.

VIOLA opens the door. She has changed hurriedly--too
hurriedly: the effect of her glorious hair falling to her
bare shoulders is spoiled by her mustache. Fortunately,
the NURSE spots her before WESSEX does and by coming
forward to greet her, the NURSE manages to shield Viola
from view, communicate the problem, and announce WESSEX'S
presence, so that by the time the NURSE has passed by
VIOLA and let herself out of the room, the moustache has
disappeared.

			WESSEX (CONT'D)
	My lady VIOLA.

			VIOLA
	Lord Wessex. You have been waiting.

			WESSEX
	I am aware of it, but it is beauty's
	privilege.

			VIOLA
	You flatter, my lord.

			WESSEX
	No. I have spoken to the Queen.
		(pause)
	Her majesty's consent is requisite
	when a Wessex takes a wife, and once
	gained, her consent is her command.

			VIOLA
	Do you intend to marry, my lord?

			WESSEX
	Your father should keep you better
	informed. He has bought me for you. He
	returns from his estates to see us
	married two weeks from Saturday.
		(pause)
	You are allowed to show your pleasure.

			VIOLA
	I do not love you, my lord.

			WESSEX
	How your mind hops about! Your father
	was a shopkeeper, your children will
	bear arms, and I will recover my
	fortune. That is the only matter under
	discussion today. You will like
	Virginia.

			VIOLA
	Virginia?!

			WESSEX
	Why, yes! My fortune lies in my
	plantations. The tobacco weed. I need
	four thousand pounds to fit out a ship
	and put my investments to work--I fancy
	tobacco has a future. We will not stay
	there long, three or four years . . .

			VIOLA
	But why me?

			WESSEX
	It was your eyes. No, your lips.

He kisses her with more passion than ceremony. VIOLA
recoils, and slaps him.

			WESSEX (CONT'D)
	Will you defy your father and your
	Queen?

			VIOLA
	The Queen has consented?

			WESSEX
	She wants to inspect you. At
	Greenwich, come Sunday. Be submissive,
	modest, grateful and brief.

			VIOLA
		(forced to submit)
	I will do my duty, my lord.

INT. DE LESSEPSES' HOUSE. VIOLA'S BEDROOM. NIGHT.

She is writing to WILL. His letter-poem is on her table.
We can read part of it. "Shall I compare thee to a
summer's day"

Now we see what VIOLA is writing.

INSERT: "Master Will, poet dearest to my heart, I beseech
you, banish me from yours--I am to marry Lord Wessex-- a
daughter's duty "

She sheds a romantic, unhappy tear.

INT. THE ROSE THEATRE. STAGE. DAY.

SAM is now "JULIET." The play has evidently reached Act I
Scene 5. We are witnessing the meeting of "ROMEO" and
"JULIET" in a simplified version of the changing-partners
dance we saw at VIOLA'S house. NED ALLEYN is in charge.

			ALLEYN
	Gentlemen upstage, ladies downstage!

The dance goes wrong. it is THOMAS'S fault.

			ALLEYN (CONT'D)
		(furious)
	Gentlemen upstage! Ladies downstage!
	Are you a lady, Mr. Kent?

THOMAS mutters a blushing apology. WILL arrives the
bystanders, clutching fresh pages. He gives these to
PETER. NED ALLEYN sees him and comes over to start an
argument.

			WILL
		(preempting)
	You did not like the speech?

			ALLEYN
	The speech is excellent.
		(he does the first line
		impressively)
	"Oh, then I see Queen Mab hath been
	with you!" Excellent and a good
	length. But then he disappears for the
	length of a bible.

WILL points significantly at the pages he has given
PETER.

			WILL
	There you have his duel, a skirmish of
	words and swords such as I never
	wrote, nor anyone. He dies with such
	passion and poetry as your ever heard:
	"a plague on both your houses!"

NED nods satisfied and turns back to work. Then he turns
back.

			ALLEYN
	He dies?

But the author has escaped.

INT. THE ROSE THEATRE. WRITER'S CORNER. DAY.

Up aloft, WILL has a Writer's Corner where he settle down
to work. We see his private superstition: he spins round
in a circle, rubs his hands together, and spits on the
floor. That done, he picks up his pen.

EXT. STREET. NIGHT.

WILL is charging down a narrow alley, and bumps into
BURBAGE who is emerging from the door of a tavern.

			BURBAGE
	Will!

WILL is in too much of a hurry to stop. BURBAGE calls
after him.

			BURBAGE (CONT'D)
	And where are my pages . . .

WILL hurries on.

EXT. RIVERBANK. DUSK.

VIOLA as THOMAS is being rowed across the river. From
behind, in the direction of Bankside, "he" hears
shouting.

			WILL
		(O.S. shouting)
	Did you give her my letter?

VIOLA as THOMAS turns to see WILL some way behind,
following in another boat. She takes a letter from her
coat and holds it aloft.

			VIOLA AS THOMAS
		(calling)
	And this for you.

EXT. THE RIVER. VIOLA'S BOAT. NIGHT.

WILL has climbed aboard VIOLA'S boat and is tearing open
the letter. What he reads causes him great pain. He
collapses into the stern seat next to VIOLA.

			WILL
	Oh, Thomas! She has cut my strings! I
	am unmanned, unmended, and unmade,
	like a puppet in a box.

			BOATMAN
	Writer, is he?

WILL turns on him savagely

			WILL
	Row your boat.

EXT. THE RIVER. VIOLA'S BOAT. NIGHT.

WILL turns back to VIOLA. They have their conversation
intimately, disregarding the lack of intimacy. The
BOATMAN is hardly an arm's length away, but they ignore
him.

			WILL
	She tells me to keep away. She is to
	marry Lord Wessex. What should I do?

			VIOLA AS THOMAS
	If you love her, you must do what she
	asks.

			WILL
	And break her heart and mine?

			VIOLA AS THOMAS
	It is only ours you can know.

			WILL
	She loves me, Thomas!

			VIOLA AS THOMAS
	Does she say so?

			WILL
	No. And yet she does where the ink has
	run with tears. Was she weeping when
	she gave you this?

			VIOLA AS THOMAS
	I  Her letter came to me by the
	nurse.

			WILL
	Your aunt?

			VIOLA AS THOMAS
		(catching up)
	Yes, my aunt. But perhaps she wept a
	little. Tell me how you love her,
	Will.

			WILL
	Like a sickness and its cure together.

			VIOLA AS THOMAS
	Yes, like rain and sun, like cold and
	heat.
		(collecting herself)
	Is your lady beautiful? Since I came
	to visit from the country, I have not
	seen her close. Tell me, is she
	beautiful?

			WILL
	Oh, if I could write the beauty of her
	eyes! I was born to look in them and
	know myself.

He is looking into VIOLA'S eyes. She holds his look, but
WILL belies his words.

			VIOLA AS THOMAS
	And her lips?

			WILL
	Oh, Thomas, her lips! The early
	morning rose would wither on the
	branch, if it could feel envy!

			VIOLA AS THOMAS
	And her voice? Like lark song?

			WILL
	Deeper. Softer. None of your
	twittering larks! I would banish
	nightingales from her garden before
	they interrupt her song.

			VIOLA AS THOMAS
	She sings too?

			WILL
	Constantly. Without doubt. And plays
	the lute, she has a natural ear. And
	her bosom--did I mention her bosom?

			VIOLA AS THOMAS
		(glinting)
	What of her bosom?

			WILL
	Oh Thomas, a pair of pippins! As round
	and rare as golden apples!

			VIOLA AS THOMAS
	I think the lady is wise to keep your
	love at a distance. For what lady
	could live up to it close to, when her
	eyes and lips and voice may be no more
	beautiful than mine? Besides, can a
	lady born to wealth and noble marriage
	love happily with a Bankside poet and
	player?

			WILL
		(fervently)
	Yes, by God! Love knows nothing of
	rank or riverbank! It will spark
	between a queen and the poor vagabond
	who plays the king, and their love
	should be minded by each, for love
	denied blights the soul we owe to God!
	So tell my lady, William Shakespeare
	waits for her in the garden!

			VIOLA AS THOMAS
	But what of Lord Wessex?

			WILL
	For one kiss, I would defy a thousand
	Wessexes!

The boat scrapes on the jetty of the DE LESSEPSES' house.
The bump throws THOMAS into WILL'S arms. He holds her
round the shoulders. His words have almost unmasked her.
The closeness does the rest. She kisses him on the mouth
and jumps out of the boat.

			VIOLA
	Oh, Will!

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	that within my breast. O wilt thou
	leave me so unsatisfied?"

			VIOLA
	That's my line!

			WILL
	Oh, but it is mine too!

INT. THE ROSE THEATRE. STAGE. NIGHT.

			VIOLA AS ROMEO
	"O wilt thou leave me so unsatisfied?"

			SAM AS JULIET
	"What satisfaction can'st thou have
	tonight?"

			VIOLA AS ROMEO
	"The exchange of thy love's faithful
	vow for mine."

INT. DE LESSEPSES' HOUSE. VIOLA'S BEDROOM. NIGHT.

WILL and VIOLA are back on the bed, kissing and making
love.

			WILL
	"My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
	My love as deep:

			VIOLA AND WILL
		(continuing the speech with
		him)
	the more I give to thee The more I
	have, for both are infinite."

Outside the NURSE is knocking on the door and calling.

INT. THE ROSE THEATRE. STAGE. DAY.

			SAM AS JULIET
	"I hear some noise within. Dear love,
	adieu."

RALPH, the Nurse, call's "JULIET!" off stage.

INT. DE LESSEPSES' HOUSE. VIOLA'S BEDROOM. NIGHT

			VIOLA
		(calling to the NURSE who is
		outside)
	Anon, good Nurse

INT. DE LESSEPSES' HOUSE. OUTSIDE VIOLA'S BEDROOM. NIGHT.

The NURSE listens at the door.

INT. THE ROSE THEATRE. STAGE. DAY.

			SAM AS JULIET
	"Anon, good Nurse--Sweet Montague be
	true."

INT. DE LESSEPSES' HOUSE. VIOLA'S BEDROOM. NIGHT.

			WILL
	"Stay but a little, I will come
	again."

VIOLA slaps him playfully for his vulgarity, and then
kisses him.

INT. THE ROSE THEATRE. STAGE. DAY.

			SAM AS JULIET
	"Stay but a little, I will come
	again."

SAM leaves the balcony through the curtain.

			VIOLA AS ROMEO
	"Oh blessed blessed night."

INT. DE LESSEPSES' HOUSE. VIOLA'S BEDROOM. NIGHT.

It is night. They have just made love. Suddenly it is
very still.

			VIOLA
		(almost to herself)
	"I am feared,

Being in night, all this but a dream, Too flattering-
sweet to be substantial."

INT. THE ROSE THEATRE. BACKSTAGE. DAY.

Onstage, the scene continues. Backstage NED ALLEYN is
working his way upstairs. He passes by RALPH (the Nurse)
who has a couple of words "of," as it were, in "JULIET'S"
chamber.

			SAM AS JULIET (O.S.)
	"All my fortunes at thy foot I'll
	lay, And follow thee my lord
	throughout the world."

			RALPH AS NURSE
	"Madam!"

			SAM AS JULIET (O.S.)
	"I come, anon--But if thou meanest not
	well, I do beseech thee--"

			RALPH AS NURSE
	"Madam!"

			SAM AS JULIET (O.S.)
	By and by I come to cease thy strife
	and leave me to my grief. A thousand
	times good night!"

SAM exits (i.e. enters to us) through the curtain.

			SAM
		(to NED)
	I cannot move in this dress! and it
	makes me look like a pig! I have no
	neck in this pig dress!
		(and then hearing his cue
		from "ROMEO")
	Oh, she's off again! She says she's
	going and then she doesn't

INT. THE ROSE THEATRE. WRITER'S CORNER. DAY.

NED is arriving. WILL is busy writing. PETER is there,
holding the pages WILL has completed, and waiting for
WILL to finish his page. PETER is reading his pages. WILL
sees NED arrive. He gives his page to PETER.

			WILL
		(to PETER)
	How is it?

			PETER
		(shrugs)
	It's all right.

Typical!, says WILL'S face. Peter departs, leaving the
field to NED. WILL braces himself.

			WILL
	NedI knowI know

			ALLEYN
	It's good.

			WILL
	Oh

			ALLEYN
	The title won't do.

			WILL
	Ah

			ALLEYN
	Romeo and Juliet--just a suggestion.

			WILL
	Thank you, Ned.

The whole exchange is in ironic code, between old
soldiers. NED nods curtly and turns to descend.

			WILL (CONT'D)
	You are a gentleman.

			ALLEYN
	And you are a Warwickshire shit-house.

INT. THE ROSE THEATRE. STAGE/AUDITORIUM. DAY.

PETER is just handing the pages HENSLOWE in the
auditorium. HENSLOWE has acquired a performing dog. The
dog does somersaults tirelessly. As PETER hands over the
pages, he shakes his head.

			HENSLOWE
		(in disbelief)
	You mean, no dog of any kind?

FENNYMAN, the born-again theatre groupie shushes HENSLOWE
and looks daggers at him.

			PETER
		(to HENSLOWE)
	The Friar married them in secret, then
	Ned gets into a fight with one of the
	Capulets, Romeo tries to stop them, he
	gets in Ned's way, I mean in
	Mercutio's way, so Tybalt kills
	Mercutio and then Romeo kilx! oClSHɳ4ɀ	i@LI]QCꘋ:\rbZ7Fksbͩ!th
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hRf/J)ZnhxC It was the nightingale and not
	the lark That pierced the fearful
	hollow of thine ear. Nightly she sings
	on yon pomegranate tree. Believe me,
	love, it was the nightingale."

			VIOLA
		(reading)
	"It was the lark, the herald of the
	morn, No nightingale. Look, love, what
	envious streaks Do lace the severing
	clouds in yonder east. Night's candles
	are burnt out, and jocund day Stands
	tiptoe on the misty mountain tops. I
	must be gone and live, or stay and
	die."

The words of the scene become WILL'S and VIOLA'S, their
way of saying the farewells they cannot utter.

			WILL
	"Yon light is not daylight, I know it,
	I. It is some meteor that the sun
	exhales To be to thee this night a
	torchbearer"

INT. THE ROSE THEATRE. BACKSTAGE. DAY.

But the scene is continuing with VIOLA dressed as
"THOMAS." Somewhere behind and up above the stage, in a
deserted corner among rigging, bits of scenery, etc.,
they speak the lines and we hardly know ourselves whether
it is rehearsal or lovemaking. But after a few moments it
is definitely lovemaking. Their clothes start coming
away, their words interrupted by kisses.

			WILL
	"thou need'st not to be gone."

			VIOLA
	"I have more care to stay than will to
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CRM&tQ.&:CNSKJ2P$@}BZCIbj#j:i!.i!Y"$! mBcISIRl, Burbage--you never did know when
	your scene was over.

			BURBAGE
	That can wait. The Master of the
	Revels despises us for vagrants,
	tinkers, and peddlers of bombast. But
	my father, James Burbage, had the
	first licence to make a company of
	players from Her Majesty, and he drew
	from poets the literature of the age.
	Their fame will be our fame. So let
	them all know, we are men of parts. We
	are a brotherhood, and we will be a
	profession. Will Shakespeare has a
	play. I have a theatre. The Curtain is
	yours.

EXT. THE CURTAIN THEATRE. DAY.

A strong wind is blowing through the trees. A BOY with a
paste-pot and a bundle of flyers, is having trouble
pasting a flyer on the wall of the building. A gust of
wind scatters the bundle and sends a couple of dozen
flyers flying into the sky. The BOY with the paste-pot
runs around, trying to recover those he can. We look at
the poster. It says

			BY PERMISSION OF
	MR. BURBAGE
	A
	HUGH FENNYMAN PRODUCTION
	OF
	MR. HENSLOWE'S PRESENTATION
	OF
	THE ADMIRAL'S MEN IN PERFORMANCE
	OF
	THE EXCELLENT AND LAMENTABLE TRAGEDY
	OF
	ROMEO AND JULIET
	with Mr. Fennyman as the Apothecary

WILL comes out of the theatre, and passes the poster. He
walks on without looking at it. A voice calls after him:

			HENSLOWE
	Will!

WILL does not turn to look at him.

			HENSLOWE (CONT'D)
	We'll be needing a Romeo

WILL carries on walking.

EXT. STREETS. DAY.

WILL is pushing through the crowds on his way to the
river.

INT. DE LESSEPSES' HOUSE. VIOLA'S BEDROOM. DAY.

The NURSE is helping VIOLA to dress--in a wedding dress.
The NURSE is in tears. VIOLA submits to the task
impassively.

EXT. THE RIVER. DAY.

WILL is climbing down the ladder to the waiting boats.

INT. DE LESSEPSES' HOUSE. HALL. DAY.

WESSEX, dressed to be a bridegroom is concluding his
negotiations with DE LESSEPS, while LADY DE LESSEPS
weeps. DE LESSEPS is signing papers. There is a money
chest, too.

			WESSEX
	My ship is moored at Bankside, bound
	for Virginia on the afternoon
	tide--please do not weep, Lady De
	Lesseps, you are gaining a colony.

			DE LESSEPS
	And you are gaining five thousand
	pounds, my lordby these drafts in my
	hand.

			WESSEX
	Would you oblige me with fifty or so
	in gold?--just to settle my accounts at
	the dockside?

DE LESSEPS sighs and unlocks his money chest. WESSEX
places his empty purse on the desk.

			WESSEX (CONT'D)
	Ah!--Look, she comes!

VIOLA has appeared at the top of the stairs with the
NURSE.

			VIOLA
	Good morning, my lord. I see you are
	open for business so let's to church.

EXT. DE LESSEPSES' HOUSE. DAY.

WILL is running across the grass towards the house. As he
crosses the bridge over the moat, a carriage bears down
on him, and he has to flatten himself against the wall of
the gatehouse as the carriage passes, taking WESSEX and
his bride to church. WILL'S face, as he watches the
carriage disappear. Distant bells begin to peal

EXT. CHURCH DOOR. DAY.

The bells announce the completion of the marriage--as
WESSEX and the new LADY WESSEX leave the church. VIOLA'S
veil is flying in the wind, and beneath it we can just
see VIOLA'S unhappy face. The DE LESSEPS FAMILY entourage
is applauding. WESSEX beams with satisfaction.

Suddenly the sky and the wind deliver a message--a flyer
from the Curtain slaps against WESSEX'S face. He claws at
it and tries to throw it away. The wind delivers it to
VIOLA'S bosom. She takes it up and reads it. And passes
it to the NURSE.

WESSEX descends the steps to where the curtained carriage
awaits the bride and groom. He gallantly holds the door
for VIOLA to enter. She climbs aboard. WESSEX makes to
follow her.

			NURSE
	My lord!

The NURSE grasps him in a moving embrace, to WESSEX'S
discomfort.

			NURSE (CONT'D)
	Be good to her, my lord!

			WESSEX
	I will.

He tries to disengage. She won't have it.

			NURSE
	God bless you!

			WESSEX
	Thank you. Let go, there's a good
	nurse.

After a couple of further attempts, WESSEX extricates
himself.

			WESSEX (CONT'D)
	The tide will not wait. Farewell!

WESSEX pulls aside the curtain and gets in.

INT. CARRIAGE. DAY.

It takes a moment for WESSEX to realise he is alone in
there. He looks around but VIOLA has fled.

EXT. THE CURTAIN THEATRE. DAY.

Hundreds of people are converging on the theatre. Among
them is the Puritan MAKEPEACE, vainly exhorting the
crowds to run away from sin

			MAKEPEACE
	Licentiousness is made a show, vice is
	made a show, vanity and pride likewise
	made a show! This is the very business
	of show

But MAKEPEACE is being carried inexorably through the
main doors of the theatre.

INT. THE CURTAIN THEATRE. BACKSTAGE. DAY.

The ADMIRAL'S MEN are all in costume, and are in a buzz
of nervous excitement. ALLEYN, dressed for "MERCUTIO," is
giving last minute instructions to PETER. JAMES and JOHN
HEMMINGS are arguing about the timing of their entrance.
FENNYMAN in his apothecary's cap is agonising over his
lines. WABASH is stuttering over his. Alone in his
dejection in the midst of all this, is WILL, dressed for

			"ROMEO."
	FENNYMAN approaches him, apothecary's
	cap in hand.

			FENNYMAN
	Is this all right?

WILL nods, miserable. SAM has found a private corner. He
is gargling into a basin. He looks worried and furtive.

INT. THE CURTAIN THEATRE. AUDITORIUM. DAY.

The audience is gathering.

EXT. THE CURTAIN THEATRE. DAY.

Word has got around. Even rich people are coming. They
arrive by carriage and by palanquin.
Some of them are cloaked and hooded, slumming incognito.
A cannon booms from the Curtain. The flag of the
ADMIRAL'S MEN flutters above.

EXT. THE CURTAIN THEATRE. ENTRANCE. DAY.

LAMBERT and FREES are taking the entrance money.

INT. THE CURTAIN THEATRE. AUDITORIUM. DAY.

The auditorium is now packed. Among them, sheepish, is
MAKEPEACE.

INT. THE CURTAIN THEATRE. BACKSTAGE. DAY.

Everything is ready. NED signals the musicians. Trumpets
and drums sound. The house falls silent.

INT. THE CURTAIN THEATRE. THE WINGS. DAY.

WABASH seems to be important at the beginning. We have
never been told what part he plays. He is still muttering
lines and stuttering them.

			WABASH
		(mutter)
	T-t-t-two h-h-households b-both alike
	in d-d-d-dignity.

WILL listens to him in agony. He finds HENSLOWE next to
him.

			WILL
		(to HENSLOWE)
	We are lost.

			HENSLOWE
	No, it will turn out well.

			WILL
	How will it?

			HENSLOWE
	I don't know, it's a mystery.

And off we go. HENSLOWE claps WABASH on the shoulder and
sends him through the curtain.

ANGLE on WABASH

INT. THE CURTAIN THEATRE. STAGE. DAY.

The audience waits expectantly. WABASH gathers himself.

			WABASH AS THE CHORUS
	T-t-t-t-two

INT. THE CURTAIN THEATRE. BACKSTAGE. DAY.

WILL shuts his eyes and prays.

INT. THE CURTAIN THEATRE. STAGE/AUDITORIUM. DAY.

WABASH launches himself into a perfect audacious delivery
like a star.

			WABASH AS THE CHORUS
	"Household both alike in dignity (in
	fair Verona where we lay our scene)
	From ancient grudge break to new
	mutiny, Where civil blood makes civil
	hands unclean. From forth the fatal
	loins of these two foes A pair of star-
	cross'd lovers take their life, Whose
	misadventured piteous overthrows Doth
	with their death bury their parents'
	strife"

EXT. STREET. DAY.

VIOLA and the NURSE, hurrying toward the Curtain.

INT. THE CURTAIN THEATRE. BACKSTAGE. DAY.

HEMMINGS BROTHERS are ready to go on as "SAMPSON" and
"GROCERY," Act I Scene I. They shake hands. Beyond the
curtain, the audience applauds the Prologue as WABASH
comes through the curtain backstage.

			WILL
		(to WABASH)
	Wonderful!

			WABASH
	W-w-w-was it g-g-g-good?

The HEMMINGS BROTHERS enter the arena and the play
begins.

POV: from THE WINGS:

			JOHN HEMMINGS AS SAMPSON
	"Gregory, on my word we'll not carry
	coals."

			JAMES HEMMINGS AS GREGORY
	"No, for then we should be colliers."
	WILL looks as if he would rather be
	dead. SAM GOSSE approaches WILL,
	nervously.

			SAM
		(nervously--in a deep bass
		guttural hoarse voice)
	Master Shakespeare

			WILL
		(absently)
	Luck be with you, Sam.
		(as the awful truth gets
		through to him)
	Sam?

			SAM
		(in the same voice)
	It is not my fault, Master
	Shakespeare. I could do it yesterday.

			WILL
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