Upstart Crow (2016–…): Season 2, Episode 7 - Christmas Special: A Christmas Crow - full transcript

As Christmas approaches Will is in London rehearsing his new play 'Eighth Night' for the queen and is surprised that the usually hostile Greene is giving out presents, claiming it is ...

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Such excitement. Christmas is upon us, a smile on every face
and a gladsome glow in every heart.
Don't get me started!
Do not get me started because I will not stop. Father's home!
Do not get me started. Home for Christmas!
Anne, I said don't get me started and now you've gone and started me!
You said you was home for Christmas. Yes, Christmas. That special time
when the coach companies of England make their annual contribution
to the festive spirit by running their deceptively titled
"holiday service".
I mean why? Just why?!
"The entire country's on the move so here's an idea -
"let's re-route or cancel every single coach in England!"
By St Thomas's toasted teacakes 'tis lucky the three Wise Men
didn't travel to the manger by public coach.
Jesus would have been crucified
and risen again by the time they got there!
"Bethlehem? We usually follow a star
"but it's been taken out of service due to essential engineering works."
Well, you're home now.
Home for Christmas. And all must be merry.
Once the advent fast be passed on Christmas Eve,
we shall feast most royalty.
I hate the advent fast. I'm like, why?!
You're lucky, girl.
In my day under Queen Mary the advent fast lasted
until Christmas morning. Which in my view is the proper way.
Starting Christmas as early as Christmas Eve is just wrong.
It's all wrong. The true meaning of Christmas is forgotten.
A surprisingly spiritual observation, Dad.
It's all about Baby flippin' Jesus these days.
What's he gotta do with it?
What's Baby Jesus got to do with Christmas? Hmm, tough one.
Well, the first syllable is his surname - could be a clue there -
and the second does mean to worship. Anything in that? Hard to tell.
It shouldn't be called Christ-mass at all, it's supposed to be
a pagan festival celebrating the winter solstice,
a nonstop pissling uppity
dedicated to spending too much money on presents and parties.
The whole gluttonous debauch has been completely
corrupted by religion.
At least the habit of giving presents hasn't changed.
I hope you've bought me a lovely present, Will. Not yet, Anne,
but I know what it is, I'm thinking of something really personal
and special. Ooh, hark at him, Mum. Dad's gone all soppy doodah.
I haven't gone all soppy doodah, daughter, I am all soppy doodah.
And if you can't be soppy doodah at Christmas, when can you be?
Oh, such a joyful season!
Grandad be already voted our Lord of Misrule.
Well, there's a surprise.
I shall quaff and gorge, play tricks and mark mischief.
And in what respect will this differ from the rest of the year?
The Lord of Misrule is a disgusting, common tradition.
You love it when I get a bit cheeky! I do not love it.
And we shall have the wassailers in on Christmas Eve. No, wife,
I'm afraid there I draw the line. I know you love wassailing
but if any pisslinged village idiot turns up at our door
with a silly hat and a comedy codpiece claiming to be
the wicked Turk or bold St George and demanding ale,
I shall point the back end of Mrs Moo-Moo at him.
Here I come, bold St George, to kill the wicked Turk.
Ha-ha-ha! I definitely have THE most embarrassing grandad in Stratford.
Oh, it's Christmas, let him have a bit of fun.
I can't believe you're home this early, Will.
We're all set for a cosy, family holiday - just us,
like you promised me.
Absolutely, and we will definitely have a cosy Christmas with
just us like I promised,
but it isn't going to start quite yet cos I must return to London.
Back to London before Christmas? Why would you do that?
Probably got a fancy woman in town.
That's what blokes usually do at this time of year -
sneak off to buy a secret present for the mistress.
Why are you rushing back, Will?
Well, astonishingly, Dad is sort of right.
It is a woman and she's about as fancy as you can get.
I've had such success this year that the Queen has commissioned me
to produce a play for her Christmas feasting. And I have
just the thing - I'm going to use that new cross-dressing comedy
I was telling you all about.
Another cross-dressing comedy?!
I think you've gotta ask yourself, why?!
Doesn't sound very Christmassy to me, Will.
No, it's got nothing to do with Christmas at all,
but mark my cleverness I'm going to give it a Christmassy title.
There be of course 12 days of Christmas
and so I have called it Eighth Night.
Which is the night on which it is to be performed.
I did suggest Tenth Night to the royal chamberlain
but it seems Her Maj is having mates round for charades.
Never mind all that excitement,
if you've got a play to rehearse,
why did you bother coming home at all?
To collect monies for the big present. The big present?
Oh, yes, I must buy a very beautiful and big, expensive present.
I would have thought that was obvious.
Well, when you put it like that...
So I will return to London on the morrow, sort out my play,
purchase the very big present and then return on Christmas Eve.
For a lovely family Christmas. We shall gorge till we're queasy.
We'll quaff till we be squiffy.
And then we'll all have a massive fight.
Exactly. A traditional family Christmas.
I love Christmas, especially the lead-up. So exciting.
Fasting throughout advent, denying oneself all
but the most basic sustenance,
then on Christmas Eve fasting again,
then waking up on Christmas morn all a-tingle, ready for the big morning
fast, which gets you in just the right mood for distributing arms
and washing the feet of the poor.
It's all so exciting and Christmassy!
When I were a kid, we had a priest, lovely fella,
couldn't pronounce his "S" at all, so for years the entire parish
thought we were meant to fart through advent.
"Advent," he'd say, "Time to tart farting."
And we'd all give a big cheer and let rip.
That is a lovely Christmas story, Bottom.
All is madness! The fox chases the hound, the master serves the man.
It's so funny! Brilliant!
But you're very naughty, Mr Marlowe, it's still advent.
Merry be not yet begun. Oh, come on now, Kate.
No-one waits any more,
the currants and the clothes have been in the shop since August.
Ah, Kit, thought that was you ahead of me. Splendid.
I see you've already got your amusing bells on.
Yeah, couldn't wait.
Don't blame you. So amusing!
But I really can't get too much into the fun stuff just yet.
I'm off to the Red Lion.
Burbage is rehearsing my Eighth Night for the Queen.
And you need to buy that big, special present. Absolutely.
For your wife, Anne? Anne? God, no. The Queen.
Yeah, all that come to court at Christmas must bring
the monarch a gift. And it better be a good one.
Christmas gifts for the monarch are deeply significant.
In 1581, Sir Philip Sidney, who had been thought a rebel,
bought Liz a golden whip which symbolised his recognition
of her divine authority. Yeah, well, that was the official version.
Although the fluffy wrist irons and the card saying
"I've been a very naughty boy," may suggest a different story.
I hope you've also given some thought to what you would
give Mrs Shakespeare, Mr Shakespeare.
Of course, Kate. I've planned something really special.
Writ have I various verses of love and dedicated all to her.
I shall place them in a small casket, a jewel box, in fact,
for was ever there a jewel more sparkling than love?
Sounds kind of lame, Will.
I think it's lovely. You'll have a wonderful Christmas.
We certainly will. I've promised Anne that it'll be just the family.
Me, Anne, my mum and dad and the kids.
Plus Bottom, of course, to do the dishes. Yes, absolutely.
And me. You, Kit? Yeah. Yeah, I need a favour. It ain't no thing.
As you know, I am officially a spy and Walsingham wants me to spend
Crimble uncovering Catholic masses
and quite frankly I don't fancy the gig.
So the plan is to hide out in Stratters, gorge in your tuck,
quaff in your ale, stroll back into London on the seventh night
with a bit of pig's blood on the sword
and tell Wally I've just killed a shed-load of wafer-nibblers.
Oh, I-I-I see.
The thing is, I promised Anne.
I'd like to help, I honestly would... It's settled then.
Oh! You're a pal.
Oh. Right. I must say, it does sound like fun - a big, family Christmas.
All sat around the turkey stuffed with a goose stuffed with a chicken
stuffed with a partridge stuffed with a pigeon. So exciting.
You'll have a wonderful time.
Child, there be a strange longing and a melancholy in your tone.
Surely you will also have a family Christmas with your mother?
No, Mr Shakespeare, she won't be home at Christmas
because she's a trollopsome tarting scrub who be going for a slap
and ticklish winter break with her bit of saucy ruffington.
Goodness. But if your mother be a-slapping and a-ticklishing
with her saucy ruffington, then you will be alone at Christmas.
Yes. That's right.
All alone. Yes. Just me.
Apart from when I pop out to distribute arms
and wash the feet of the poor, of course.
You mean you've been decking these halls just for yourself?
Oh, yes, absolutely. Got to do it properly
and no excuse for not keeping Christmas full merrily.
Even if it be but for oneself.
I'm planning a small starling crown stuffed with a sparrow's thigh.
And I've already made a list of all the carols
I intend to sing to myself. It's going to be brilliant.
Kate...would you like to come home to Stratford with us?
Oh, Mr Shakespeare, that would be wonderful!
But won't Mrs Shakespeare be upset,
her heart being set on a family Crimble?
Hmmm, there's a thought.
Tell you what, my nan does love the wassailers.
Thus to be sure of a happy welcome we must all come a-wassailing.
After all, it's only TWO extra places.
It's Robert Greene. Wonder what he wants.
Hm, yes, if only I had a servant who could go and answer the door,
then we could find out.
Merry Christmas to you, too.
Although I think it's pretty clear, don't you? He means me some harm.
The Queen's commission to write a Christmas play for the court
will have eaten into his soul like a weevil through a Christmas stilton.
Ah, the compliments of the season to you, Mr Shakespeare, Mr Marlowe,
Miss Kate, and you also, good yeoman, Ned Bottom, is it not?
Here, take this penny for the birth of our saviour.
A penny? You're giving me a week's wages?
Not enough? Take two, good Ned, for if I may paraphrase the old song,
'tis the season to give lolly.
This is a bit weird.
Greene come a-giving arms and a-cracking gags.
It's gotta be a trick. Careful, mate.
And thee, Miss Kate, I have a gift for thee also.
The whisper is you have a poet's soul and yet being a maid
have no outlet for your talent in this cruel man's world.
I thought perhaps these fine brushes
and paints might bring succour to your soul.
Oh, Mr Greene! I have always dreamed of just such a gift!
Do you think it would be very naughty of me if I began at once?
Of course not. And pray, child, what will you paint?
Why, Mr Greene, I am a girl.
What else would I use my Christmas present for,
other than to create a selfington portraiture?
Come now, Greene, what be the meaning of your mood?
How is it that you who, in the past,
have been full of sound and fury like the roaring lion,
now blow soft and gentle like the flatulent fawn?
You stand in wonder at my new benevolence.
I cannot blame you, sirrah.
The sad truth is that I have been in desperate need of an epiphany.
Just have one out the window, Mr Greene. We all do.
Except for Kate.
Oh, actually, I do if it's dark.
Every night's a full moon for us girls.
No, an epiphany, good Ned.
As when the Christ child was revealed unto the Magi in a stable.
In a stable, out the window, it all ends up in the same river.
An epiphany is not a man with a lisp having a "piff", Bottom.
It means seeing the light.
Have you seen the light, Mr Greene?
Aye, Mr Shakespeare, I have seen the light...
in others.
Darkness in myself.
Goodness, Mr Greene!
Did Christ appear to you in a vision?
No, lady, I was not so blessed.
My vision was the realisation that I will spend this Christmas all alone.
For none will make merry with me.
Why is that, do you think?
Come now, do not dissemble, you know the answer.
Well, you can be a tad abrasive.
Not always entirely generous or sunny in your outlook.
A complete and utter bastible.
Exactly. I am despised because I am despicable.
That was my epiphany.
I sat alone, watching my servant stuff a turkey with a goose,
with a chicken, with a partridge, with a pigeon,
and knew that none but I would share the feast.
And then did I know myself for the first time...
be a friendless, lonely, cruel old man.
Oh. Really...
you're not that bad.
Actually, he is.
And since mine own Christmas must be lonely and miserable,
I can at least help make others merry,
and so do I go about the town with gifts,
before returning to my lonely...
..solitary Christmas.
Look, Greene, if...
if you can show a bit of Christmas spirit, then so can I.
Would you like to come and spend Christmas with us?
Glory be!
I am to have a jolly family Christmas after all.
Forgive me while I fall to my knees and give thanks.
Goodness, how amazing!
Greene's really had an epiphany!
I think he's taking the epiphany.
He's a slipperish bug-a-ball and no denying,
but he seems sincere enough.
I mean, frankly, who would want to trick their way into your boring family Christmas?
Oh, I don't know, we Shakespeares know how to party.
There will be warm ale and pie and all will play Snuffle the Truffle.
Ooh! Now, I like the sound of that. Oh, it's marvellous fun.
We take a piece of bread to represent the truffle,
put it on the floor, and then all will play pigs, trying to
snuffle at the bread whilst oinking most mightily. Is there any more?
Absolutely, we love games.
After Snuffle the Truffle, we generally play Snaffle the Apple.
Oh! Where we take a piece of bread to represent the apple... Yeah. it on the floor, and then all will play donkeys,
trying to snaffle the apple whilst braying most mightily.
Then there's Make Merry with the Berry, where we
take a piece of bread to represent to represent the berry...
Yes, I think we get it. The point is, do we trust Greene? Kate?
Kate, what do you think?
Oh, I think it's wonderful that Mr Greene has had an epi...
an epi...
Kate, what... What ails thee?
Thy breasts be pushed forward
and thy face be frozen in a pouty, kissy manner.
It just feels instinctively like the right pose
for a girlie selfington portraiture.
I don't know why, it just does.
This Eighth Night is his silliest yet.
The plot is simply potty!
If this is Eighth Night,
I'd hate to think what the first seven were like!
Good morrow, all.
I see you have my play. What do you think? Loving it?
Well, if I'm honest, Will, we're a bit disappointed.
When you told us you were writing a play for the Royal Christmas Revels,
we thought it would be all lovely and warm and Christmassy.
Yet you deliver a farrago of nonsense about a brother
and sister washed up on a foreign shore,
each thinking each other dead.
That's not Christmassy. That's, like, mad un-Christmassy.
Well, I think it's a terrible missed opportunity.
This be naught but a laughable ragbag of songs,
silly misunderstandings, a girl dressed as a boy
and a lot of characters with silly names!
Who would ever want a show like that at Christmas?
But Mr Condell, you are to play my divine Viola in the comedy.
So, it is a comedy?
Of course it's a comedy!
You can tell, because there are characters with funny names.
That's how I let people know.
And this one's got some corkers.
Sir Toby Belch!
I mean, come on! So funny.
Yes. But funny names aside, the plot is very complex. Complex?
How is it complex? Well, at the start, Viola loves Orsino.
Yes, Viola loves Orsino, it's hardly Chinese firework science.
But Orsino loves Olivia.
And Olivia loves Viola.
Viola is of course a woman, but Olivia thinks Viola is a man,
because hilariously, Viola is wearing men's clothes!
So funny.
But then Viola's brother, Sebastian, turns up,
dressed in exactly the same clothes as his sister.
They have to be dressed the same for the comedy to work.
So, it definitely is a comedy?
Yes, it's a comedy!
It's a very convoluted comedy.
How can you say that?
Olivia sees Sebastian, thinks he's Viola and marries him on the spot.
Orsino, who of course loves Olivia,
is furious to discover she's married Sebastian.
Viola returns,
meaning that Olivia now appears to have two identical husbands.
Viola takes off her cap and shakes out her hair.
Orsino forgets Olivia and marries Viola.
Olivia is of course already married to Sebastian,
even though she thought she was married to Viola,
and the two couples live happily ever after.
How is that convoluted?
Now, rehearse the play as it is writ,
and I'll see you on Eighth Night.
Give us a hand with this Yule log, will you, Mary?
You know how you like handling my wood! Ha-ha!
You're a common man, John Shakespeare, a very common man.
And you love it!
I am the Lord of Misrule
and I can order you to do any naughty thing I like!
You cannot order me to do anything, John Shakespeare.
But you could try asking nicely.
Shut up! Gross! I want to be sick!
Old people do still do it, you know, Susanna.
Urgh! I'm not listening! Urgh!
Come on, Susanna, help me peel these parsnips.
I've still to stuff the turkey with the goose, with the chicken,
with the partridge, with the pigeon, and we expect your father
at any moment, home for a nice, quiet family Christmas with just us.
Yep, and with that great big special present he was talking about!
# Here we come a-wassailing among the leaves so green
# Here we come a-wandering so fairly to be seen
# Love and joy come to you, and to you your wassail too
# And God bless you and send you a Happy New Year
# And God send you a Happy New Year. #
Brilliant! Well done, son.
I never knew you had it in you!
But I thought you hated the wassailers
who come a-begging ale and pie?
We're not begging, Mum, I live here!
It's my ale and my pie, and I say let's get stuck in!
Good wife, I know I promised a quiet Christmas,
but Kate and Marlowe and Master Greene had nowhere left to go.
Well, it is the season of goodwill, and you did come a-wassailing,
and you have got me a lovely big present.
Oh, yes, Anne, a lovely one which is as big
and bursting with love as my heart.
Oh, well, in that case, Merry Christmas, one and all!
Hello, Sue. Oh, you're not going to be weird, are you?
Oh, no, absolutely not.
I know that in the past, my neediness has been alienating,
but since then, I've grown as a person,
learned to love myself and say, hey, it's all right to be me.
And what part of not being weird is that not being?
Can we be friends?
I dunno! Not sure.
It's just, I got some paints and brushes for Christmas,
and I thought I might do a cheeky portraiture of thine visage.
Well, in that case - brilliant!
Christmas girlie fun!
I'm so happy, I could cry!
So, just hold that pose for two hours.
I am the Lord of Misrule,
and I order all to eat, drink and be merry!
No need for orders, my lord, happy to oblige!
Right, when I drop the truffle,
everybody snuffle!
Step will I a yard or two aside and speak my most private thoughts,
which by strict convention, none will hear.
Look at them!
With their imbecilic laughter, their pathetic good fellowship and fun.
Little do they know that even as they barf and bray,
caught are they in my web of lies and plots.
For I am come hither this Christmas to destroy the crow!
He has bought a jewel as a present for the Queen.
And I intend to steal it.
Without a gift for the monarch, his play will instantly be cancelled.
And likely, too, will his life be forfeit.
But soft. As ever, fortune favours the Cambridge man.
Why, the shrewish milking slap hath done my work for me,
uncovered hath she the very thing that I would filch.
Later, when all be in bed,
will I steal that jewel and be gone from this foul hovel.
And tomorrow, will I be alone in my mansion,
feasting on turkey stuffed with goose, stuffed with chicken,
stuffed with partridge, stuffed with pigeon,
which I will have all to myself.
You're right, Will.
This is a blooming good game!
You wait til we play Snaffle the Apple!
Ah! Greene. Need another drink, eh? Me too.
Let's have a nasty lasty together, eh?
Two varsity roisters quaffing as one!
Ah! Gladly, sirrah.
Once more will I step a yard or two aside and speak my most private
thoughts which, by strict convention, cannot be overheard.
This Marlowe is second only to Shakespeare in my loathing.
I will share with him this nasty lasty and
perchance discover means to do him harm.
Well, it's all very pleasant isn't it, eh?
Quaffing and a-gorging in the country. Hmm, yes.
'Tis tremendous FUN.
And yet, Mr Marlowe, I cannot help but ask myself, would not a famous
roister such as yourself prefer a rather wilder Christmas in London?
You know I would!
I mean, left to myself, I'd be nibbling mince pies betwixt the arse
and cleavage of a gladsome, Yuletide saucing slap.
But let me tell you,
hiding out here is a damn sight more pleasant than hunting Catholics!
Oh, joy. I see his head already on the block.
But, Mr Marlowe, be you skiving off, sirrah?
Had Walsingham a Christmas mission for you?
Oops! Shouldn't have said that! But er... Yeah. I'm on a skive.
I mean, if Walsingham ever found out, I'd be for it,
but he's not going to, as I am too smart.
I may look thick, but I got a pretty canny head on my shoulders.
Mmm. It won't be on your shoulders for long.
It's Christmas! Yeah, time for presents!
Well, perchance there be some sweet meats or maybe a toy or two,
but we should have them in front of the Yule log with Nan and Gramps.
Oh, come on, Mum. Let's have them now, just us.
Well, maybe just one. Here's one for you, Mum.
Oh, no, no, no. I want to choose my own,
and I know EXACTLY the one I want.
If your dad's put it in here! And I see he has.
Yes, I have, my dearest Anne.
'Tis something from my very heart.
A bit of paper?!
Poems, my love. I have writ some verse for thee.
Are you all right, my sweet?
Yeah. Lovely.
Um, if you'd like to take the kids downstairs, Will, get them
ready for the feasting, and...
I just need a moment.
All right, come on, kids! Let's go and light a fire.
Bring the presents.
Where is Robert Greene? I have something for him.
He was drinking pretty late with Marlowe.
I imagine they're still in bed.
We must drink him a toast! More ale!
If you were in my position...
..what would you do?
What position is that?
Well, imagine that your husband had bought a gold necklace and,
come Christmas, he gave it to somebody else.
Hmm, yes, that's right. The Queen.
I mean, would you...
..would you wait to find out if it was just a necklace...
..if it was sex and a necklace, or...
..worst of all, if it was...
..a necklace and love?
It's none of those things. It's a necklace for the Queen.
Would you stay?
Knowing that things would always be a little bit worse?
Or would you cut and run?
The Queen?
As you know, every person who comes to court at Christmas must
give a gift on pain of death.
Thus have I spent nearly half a year's
income on a necklace for she who already has enough necklaces
to satisfy a particularly vain and shallow giraffe.
You bought a necklace for the Queen? Absolutely.
But do you know, wife, I care not a single jot for the money it cost,
for when I look at you I know have all the riches in the world.
I've tried to express something along those lines in the poems
I gave you in the little casket.
Sorry, Mrs Shakespeare, probably shouldn't be reading this,
but it was just on the table, and...
They are SO beautiful.
Soppy, but beautiful.
No, no, Kate, that's fine.
Perhaps you wouldn't mind reading them to me, you know,
seeing as how I can't.
They're just fragments, work in progress.
"How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
"I love thee to the depth and breadth
"and height my soul can reach.
"My bounty is as boundless as the sea.
"My love is deep.
"The more I give to thee, the more I have, for both are infinite."
Oh! Fine verse indeed, Will.
He gets it from my side, of course.
"Whoever loved that loved not at first sight?"
Dad! That's, like, TOTALLY beautiful.
And another of my phrases destined, in my view, to enter common usage.
"Doubt thou the stars are fire.
"Doubt that the sun doth move.
"Doubt truth to be a liar.
"But never doubt, I love."
What a load of crappage.
"Move" does not rhyme with "love".
Mrs S, I think you just got the best Christmas present
since the shepherds pledged only their hearts to the infant Jesus.
And I shall carry it with me forever. I will never let it go.
Aw, Will!
I don't deserve you.
No, Anne - I don't deserve you.
But use any man after his dessert and who should escape whipping?
Everyone deserves to be loved!
I beg to differ, Mr Shakespeare.
Some deserve only to HANG.
Oh, merry Christmas, all right, when's the first drink?
Now a good time? Guards, arrest him!
What the devil's toenails?!
Your drunken witterings hath condemned you, sirrah.
When Walsingham discovers your desertion of duty,
your head will be forfeit.
But... Greene, I thought you'd gone all nice!
Hmm. For a self-proclaimed genius, you know little of human nature!
I think history's going to prove you wrong on that one. Remove the prisoner!
Now, don't worry, Kit -
I am to attend the Queen this eighth night, and will surely win
her favour with my enchanting comedy of various nobles
falling in love with the wrong people.
I imagine once she's finished laughing at the name
Sir Toby Belch, she'll be happy to grant me any favour I ask.
Oh, Bolingbrokes. I'm doomed.
I just don't see how we can make it work. We don't look a bit alike.
It's lame.
So lame. I mean, proper lame, like, mad lame.
I know, but Eighth Night approaches,
and we have no choice but to rehearse.
Oh, but you do, sirrah! Indeed, you must,
for I have it on good authority that
Mr Shakespeare has bought no gift for Her Majesty.
No gift? He intends to go before the Queen at Christmas with no gift?
We may forget the play. He will be lucky to keep his head!
And likewise us, Mr Burbage,
for we will certainly be cast aside with him
if we give his Eighth Night. But we are booked to perform!
We must have a play!
Well now, sirrah, it just so happens I have with me copies of...
Bungay and Bacon, Mr Greene? Bacon and Bungay, Mr Burbage.
My very own Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay.
She's just so, you know, real.
Just like one of us. She's the People's Queen.
I honestly think that if I knew her, we'd be friends.
Yes, I'm wondering on what evidence you're basing
this fantastical analysis of the nature of class and power.
She works bloody hard!
On being a tyrannical despot. Well, I wouldn't want the job.
What? The job of being incredibly rich and all-powerful?
Every day, she has to keep scowling. She can never let it drop.
We expect it of her.
Whatever she's doing, opening pageants, cutting off heads,
murdering the Irish...
Always with a scowl, and you never hear her complain.
Because if she ever did complain,
you'd be the first to hear about it, wouldn't you?
"Does the Queen have a complaint? I don't know.
"Let's ask Anne Shakespeare.
"She lives in a cottage in Warwickshire, so she'd know."
Oh, you can sneer. But I think she's wonderful.
Her Majesty the Queen.
We live in a wounded and divided country.
Ever must we make windows into men's souls,
and oftentimes kill them for what we find there.
I have known fear.
When a child, I was dismissed and despised.
I was female.
I was Protestant.
And I was a ginge.
Now, I am Queen, and it is I who must decide who is to be despised.
But it is Christmas, and so I say good will to all,
particularly gingers.
Master of the Revels, how are we to proceed this e'en?
Your Majesty, the poet Shakespeare is to present his gift
prior to the performance of his play.
Step forward, poet, with your gift.
Also, if possible, a receipt of purchase.
Your Majesty, I... I can't. It's not...
Have a care, Mr Shakespeare.
If you do not bring a gift,
Christmas custom dictates that you must give your head!
Be it ever a most difficult shape to wrap.
Your Majesty, I... I do have a gift. Oh.
Your Majesty... Ahhh! (Sorry, Your Majesty.)
Thank you, Master Shakespeare.
It is a beautiful gift.
Whomsoever you do love is a lucky woman indeed.
Majesty, I... I love thee, as do all thy subjects. Yes, I know.
They have to. When they're not trying to kill me.
The love contained within your verse is of a different order.
It speaks not of duty, nor yet of fear.
It is the love felt by one person for just one other,
given freely and unselfishly.
Such a love is not for me, for I am married to England.
And though all the nation be my spouse...
..I am ever the loneliest person in the realm.
I thank you, sir...
..for this little window into love.
And now, there is to be a play presented, is there not?
Yes, absolutely, Your Majesty.
Mr Burbage and his men stand ready to present my sublime new piece,
Eighth Night.
'Tis strange, Mr Greene, 'tis passing strange.
My gentle lady did tell she o'erheard the players
rehearsing your appalling old chestnut Backache and Bogey.
Bacon and Bungay, Your Majesty.
Lucky for you the rumour was false.
Had I thought for one minute you'd try to slip your Bogey play
into my Yuletide schedule, I would have had everyone involved beheaded!
Truth is, sirrah, I am in no mood for comedy this e'en.
Mr Shakespeare, kindly present your Eighth Night another season.
I will to my royal chamber, there to be alone, and read again
these poems that speak so eloquently of a love I'll never know.
See? I told you she was burdened down by duty and worry.
It ain't no doddlin' skive being queen.
E'er I leave, poet, must I make thee a gift, as is the custom.
What would you? Monies, titles, speak.
Your Majesty, not riches, nor a title.
There sits in the tower the poet Kit Marlowe,
falsely accused of malingering, when actually, he had a tummy ache.
I offer you all that men desire, and you would help a friend?
Well, it... It is Christmas, after all.
Yes, Mr Shakespeare. It is Christmas.
Mr Marlowe shall be freed.
Now I bid good night to all.
I will hie me to my lonely chamber,
there to lie back
and think of England.
Give me my futtocking necklace now, you thieving Barstible!
Merry Christmas, darling!
Oh, Will! It's stunning.
But I'd much rather have my poems.
Don't worry. There's plenty more where those came from.
Well, husband. It's been a wonderful Christmas.
Yes, it has.
And now, it be twelfth night.
Tomorrow is Plough Monday, and work begins again.
Twelfth Night?
It's got a lovely ring to it, hasn't it?
A bit better than Eighth Night, if you want my opinion.
There may be something in what you say.
Easy to change, since cleverly,
the title has literally nothing to do with the play.
Shame you never got to see it performed. It'll keep.
Might shelve it for a few years, anyway.
Not sure the world's ready for
a non-gender specific trans comedy yet.
It will be one day, doll.
You're just a bit ahead of your time, that's all.
Happy Christmas.
Happy Christmas.
Peace on earth and goodwill to all men.
And women. Of course!
And also, those who, like my Viola, aren't exactly sure.