Quartet (2012)

Thank you, ladies.
Octavia's usual spot.
- Is that OK for you?
- Yes.
# Oh, ooohhhhhhhh! #
# La-la-la-la-la,
la-la-la-la-lah, lah... #
# Godiamo, la tazza,
la tazza e il cantico
# La notte abbella e il riso... #
#... in questo, in questo paradiso
# Ne scopra il nuovo di
# Ah! Ah! Ne scopra il di
# Ah! Ah! Ne scopra il di
# Ahhhh
# Ne scopra il di, ne scopra il nuovo
# Diiii! #
# Siiii! #
Nowhere near where you should be, Bobby.
Give me the score, will you?
Wilf, the gala's only a month away.
I couldn't work out
what you were doing.
Can we take it from the top, please?
# Ah, si, godiamo, godiamo, godiamo
# La tazza e il cantico... #
Bobby, you're going
too fast for me.
- I'm sorry, Cedric.
- It's 'Cee-dric'.
Oh, Cee-dric. Could you give me
the intro again, please?
# Ah, si, godiamo... #
You did it again! I'm on fire here
and you're holding me back!
Be quiet!
You find this amusing. I don't!
It won't be amusing
if they shut this place down.
# Ah, si, godiamo, godiamo, godiamo,
la tazza e il cantico... #
Thank you, Nigel. You are so kind
to do that. Thank you. Now stop, please.
- # Godiamo... #
- The man said thank you. That's it.
- Is there no end to your bloody talent?
- Cissy! Please... pay... attention.
- Ready.
- You must listen.
Never bother with him, Cissy.
He's a bully.
Now, Lottie, in bars 17, 18 and 19,
you were deeply flat.
No, I don't think I was.
I think the piano needs tuning.
Anne, darling,
would you mind singing it for us?
I don't do chorus, Cedric. I never have.
I achieved immediate
international success at the Royal Opera
when I was only 21 years old.
Cedric, we should have been
using this room five minutes ago.
Oh, yeah.
The space is entirely yours, gentlemen.
The rehearsals are over. Come on, Bobby.
Come on. Hurry up.
# Ahhh, la-la
# Dee-dee-dee, dee-dee-dee
# Da-da-da, da-da-da-da-da,
da-da, dee-dee-dee
# Dee-dee
# Ah-ah-ah, ah-ah-ah
# Ah-ah-ahhhh
# Oh-oh-oh, oh-oh-ohhhh
# Ohhhh. #
You're making a fool of my part.
Reggie, it's empty.
You can't save seats, Reg.
He's not coming.
- Wilf, he's not coming.
- Why now?
You seem to think
that you own the thing.
We've been sitting at this table
since I first came here.
- That's precisely the point.
- It's not fair, Reggie.
We want the window
sometimes, don't we?
Yes. If this place has to shut down
in six months, which it very well might,
then I want to try and remember
I once had a fucking window seat.
Excuse me, please.
You can't deny it, Wilf,
you soloists would be lost without us.
Say that once more, and I swear
I'll ram a fork up yourjacksy, Harry.
- He's right, Wilf.
- Anybody got a fork?
- And you know he is.
- Make that two forks.
Ah, merci, Angelique. Have you
done something new to your hair?
- No, I just put my fringe in front.
- Oh, I love your fringe in front.
I give you extra slice
of fried bread this morning.
- I noticed.
- And your favourite - apricot jam.
Oh. Magnifique, Angelique.
Fancy vous a little rumpy-pumpy
ce soir?
Qu'est-ce que c'est,
Oh, secrets of the marriage bed,
you'll have to answer my proposal
at once.
Bon apptit.
- Cissy, Cissy!
- Ready.
- Remember the emergency meeting, 12:15.
- Cedric. Cedric.
- Breakfast time.
- This is critical.
All members of the gala committee,
please note,
we have a serious problem
with our star tenor, Frank White.
As such, there's an emergency meeting
at 12 noon - precisely.
Reggie, don't forget to remind me.
I'll set my watch.
Hey, what's this? Look.
- Didn't you say today was the day, Reg?
- What's today?
Tadek setting off
to fetch the new arrival.
- There's to be a new arrival?
- Cissy, we've talked about it for days.
- You too.
- Really?
- Yeah.
- Who is it?
- They'd only send the van for a star.
- Mm-hm.
When I came,
I had to pay for me own taxi.
They sent a private car
with a chauffeur for me.
This is a replacement
for Leonard Timms.
He was a real dear friend of mine.
I'm really gonna miss him terribly.
He was a genius, you know.
He could fart at will.
Yeah, Wilf, we're having breakfast.
- I'm not kidding.
- But don't let that stop you.
I swear it's true.
I saw it with my own eyes.
He got down on all fours
and went into a meditative state.
And when he was ready, he could exhale
and inhale through his anal canal.
- I suppose that's the stroke talking.
- I suppose it must be.
Hey, Cissy, do you think I could replace
Nobby for a quick one in the long grass?
You have the nicest tits
I've ever seen in my life.
Thank you.
Reg, you've got to try this jam.
It is unbelievable.
It's like eating Christmas.
Be careful with that one.
It's fragile.
I come back for the trunk. And for you.
I... I... I apologise.
Please be kind.
We were different people then.
Be kind. Be kind.
I can't do this. I can't. Stop. Stop.
- You say to me something?
- What did you say?
- Why are we stopping?
- We are not.
- We're on the way.
- Right.
- Should I call Dr Cogan?
- No. No, thank you.
These hydrangeas are beautiful.
Do you like them, Marta?
Yes, I do, but I would never
put on my table.
Well, well, well, this is new.
I've never seen you
arranging flowers before, Dr Cogan.
Really, Wilf? Haven't you noticed we've
cut down on staff in the past months?
And is this for the new arrival? Is it?
Or is that a secret?
Is it, Marta?
Is that a new skirt you're wearing,
Dr Cogan?
It clings beautifully to you.
And how it accentuates
your already beautiful legs.
My goodness.
What do you think of that, Marta?
I don't talk such things.
You're overstepping the line, Wilf.
Go for your walk.
I would love to,
if only you would come with me.
Go for your walk.
May I?
I wonder if you could help me. I can
never do this without my glasses.
I can't see a thing.
You don't have a buttonhole, Wilf.
Well, there you go.
You know, I could propose to you, but
this is as close to kneeling as I get.
Go for your walk.
Sure. Would you like to join me, Marta?
I don't do such things.
He's a very naughty boy, Marta.
He could be your father
or your grandfather.
Like that. OK?
Swing it close to the ground.
That's it. That's it. Like a pendulum.
Just like this.
When you're finished
being a croquet expert, Nigel,
I have a pound says
I'll kick your arse.
Ah, the way you play,
you probably will.
You forget.
I saw your Barber Of Seville,
and your singing
brought tears to my ears.
Saw you in Carmen,
I'll never forget it, but I'll try.
- Morning, Nobby.
- Ah, morning, Mr Bond.
- Simon, what's up?
- All good, mate.
Oh, by the way, Nobby,
if you get a chance,
I could use another one of the usual.
- Do you need any money?
- No, it's alright.
Look, I've got some change from last
time. I'll stick it in the usual place.
Oh, and watch it, Cissy Robson's
been looking for you all morning.
Can't think why. I'm the
most attractive man in the place.
La donna mobile
I read somewhere that the average man
thinks of sex every seven seconds.
Do you?
I wish it was only every
seven seconds.
Do you know,
the first time I set eyes on her,
I thought she was
the most beautiful, sexiest creature
I'd ever clapped my eyes on.
Oh, Cissy, Cissy, my love,
can you imagine the passionate love
we might have made?
But it's not too late.
We can still dive beneath the blankets
and cuddle till the end of time.
- What do you say to that, sweetie?
- Ready.
Why are you laughing?
You'll never guess what I've been
listening to. Our Rigoletto.
We are so lovely...
- Uh, Cissy, the gala committee.
- Oh...
This was the last time we sang it.
Remember, Reggie?
- Why have they reissued it?
- I don't know.
I remember the recording session,
the production, everything,
like it was yesterday,
and yet I can't remember
what I had for breakfast this morning.
- Apricot jam.
- 'Rigoletto - Horton and Paget'.
My name isn't there, of course.
I should've been top of the bill,
I had the name part.
Still, I made a living from it,
which was all I really wanted.
I'm not like you, you see, Reggie,
you're an artist, I'm an artisan.
Where's my bag?
I can't find my bag. Where is it?
Oh. Thank you, Reggie.
And you're safe back from Karachi,
and I'm so glad.
Why Karachi?
Well, her father was Indian army.
- Do you think she's getting
worse, Reg? - Yes.
# I'm born famous,
I'm sorta known
# If your son doesn't...
# If your...
# Son doesn't, I bet your... #
# I bet your daughter knows. #
Boom, boom, chh!
Reg, you might as well get
used to it, rap's here to stay.
Oh, I don't think it is.
That's what you said
about The Beatles.
- Well, it isn't music.
- They think it is.
- Who?
- The kids you're talking to.
# That's what we mean
# When we say that a thing
# Is welcome as flowers
that bloom in the spring
# Tra, la-la-la-la-la,
tra, la-la-la-la-la
# The flowers that
bloom in the spring
# Tra, la-la-la-la,
tra, la-la-la-la
# Tra, la-la-la, la-la. #
That's better. That was good.
Now this is a bloody
disaster! Really!
Come in, Cissy.
- Oh, what?
- Cissy.
- You're late.
- Sorry. I said I was sorry.
Sit down.
Frank White has just pulled out.
He doesn't feel up to the gala.
It's even in the local paper.
- He's not well.
- Darling, Frank White!
Oh, he's such a lovely man.
This is a disaster.
Because he's pulled out, ticket sales
have already fallen by 60%.
The givers aren't giving.
If we can't make the gala
into the hottest ticket in town,
this house could collapse
about our ears.
Oh! We could lose it!
We have to find a replacement
for Frank immediately.
Who was it who said,
'Old age is not for sissies'?
I always remember that, you know,
because it's my name... and 'sissies'.
Cissy, if you must speak,
please raise your hand.
Now, where was I?
'This is a disaster. '
Of course. Yes, it is a disaster.
Yes? What?
- She's raising her hand.
- What?
Bette Davis. Bette Davis. She said,
she said, 'Old age is not for sissies'.
- Silenzio!
- # Tra, la-la-la-la
- # Tra, la-la-la-la... #
- Silenzio!
Shut it! You will choose
a different song immediately.
I'll have no 'tra-la-la' at my gala!
None of it!
What about Reggie? La Donna e Mobile.
I just had a brilliant idea,
to ask Reggie if he'll sing
La Donna e Mobile.
Oh, yeah, what?
Reggie's a bit funny about
La Donna e Mobile.
Your job is to ask him.
Please put your hand/arm down.
- He won't do it.
- That was my idea.
Yes, it was.
- Oh, my God.
- Oh, my.
- Excuse me, love.
- Oh.
Most of our residents
are on the floor upstairs.
This is Sir Thomas Beecham.
He was one of Britain's
greatest conductors.
Yes. I know who he was.
He inherited a fortune.
His grandfather made laxatives.
Naming a nursing home
after him is frighteningly apt.
Um... these flowers are here
to welcome you.
I'll have them sent up to your room.
We're very lucky to
have you here.
Your room is as large
as Anne Langley's.
Oh, God, is she here?
It's a beautiful suite
in what we call the B Wing.
Well, it sounds like a prison.
The service lift
is currently being repaired,
but we have the chairlift,
which will be much easier.
Chairlift? What do I do
when I get to the top, ski down?
Brava! Brava!
Brava! Brava!
- Brava!
- Oh, how very kind.
Yeah, we could always do the Barber,
you, Cissy and me.
For the gala.
- Oh. You moved your ball.
- That's unthinkable! How dare you!
I just saw you move it.
With your foot.
Uh, Wilf, uh, she's married.
She gave me a look.
- Your shot.
- Thank you, Wilf.
You're never gonna get it from there,
Oh, you watch me.
Told you.
I always wanted to sing Wagner - Tristan.
Never came my way.
Wilf, what are you doing?
What does it look like I'm doing?
- Wagner!
- There are people watching.
The British should stick
to British composers
like Rossini, Donizetti, Verdi.
Boys! Boys! Boys!
I know who it is.
I saw her. I saw her!
George was right, it is a star.
But you'll never, never guess who it is.
- Never.
- Well, tell us.
Don't keep us in suspense
for eternity.
No, you won't believe it.
As large as life
and twice as terrifying...
Um... Oh, it's gone. Um... uh...
Think, Cissy. Think.
- Soprano, beginning with G.
- Mary Garden.
- No, no, no, no.
- Rita Gorr?
- Galli-Curci.
- No! No! Oh, God!
- Gilda?
- Our Gilda.
- Rigoletto?
- Yes.
- Jean Horton?
- Yes.
Jean Horton. Yes.
Oh, my darling.
Steady, Reg.
Excuse me, Dr Cogan.
That's why you've kept it such a secret.
You didn't want me to know.
- You mean Jean Horton?
- I should have been consulted.
She was such a huge star...
I should have been consulted.
Well, she didn't want
media attention...
She didn't want? Nothing changes!
What about what I didn't want?!
- It had nothing to do with you, Reggie.
- Obviously not!
- I mean, it was simply at her request.
- She did know that I live here?
She did know that I live here?
Reggie, I'm sure
she's gonna be amicable...
With great respect, Dr Cogan,
you don't know her.
You don't know her.
I wanted a dignified senility.
Fat chance now she's here.
I'll have to find
somewhere else to live.
Sod it.
Don't you have one of your
talks tomorrow, Reggie?
- What? - Your talk,
with the children tomorrow.
Oh, God.
Uh... Excuse me.
# Ahhhh... #
Why don't they have tenors
like Jon Vickers anymore?
They just don't exist.
And Freni
was such a wonderful Desdemona.
Oh, I loved singing that role.
It was so easy for me.
Poor thing.
She's having such a hard time.
- Cissy, canasta! You've won!
- I win! I win!
- You cheated.
- Nonsense.
- How dare you.
- Any of you seen...?
Who is that smoking?
- George and Harry.
- Nobody, nothing.
I don't know how many times I have
told you, smoking kills. Put those out.
- What?
- Drop them on the floor, please.
- Thank you.
- Oh, for goodness sake.
Give them a break.
George is 78, Harry's 82.
Suppose they were
to stop smoking,
how much longer are they
going to live, a week?
It would probably rain
that week, anyway.
- You are a bad influence, Wilfred.
- I think so.
- Have you seen Reginald?
- He went to bed early.
Don't worry about him. He's as tough
as a monkey's tit, our Reggie.
I think we should worry
more about Jean Horton.
Ms Horton?
- Are you alright?
- Yes.
Isn't it a lovely room?
Well, you've had a very long day.
You might want to retire early.
Yes, I've not yet
entered second childhood,
so please don't talk to me
as though I have.
Just leave me be. And I'll
take my meals in my room.
Uh... we don't usually
serve the residents in their rooms.
I presume you do when the residents
are unwell. I am unwell.
Well, I... I hope you
feel better soon.
# So, please, sir, we much regret
If we have failed in etiquette
# Towards a man of rank so high
We shall know better by and by
# But youth, of course,
must have its fling
# So pardon us, so pardon us
# And don't,
in girlhood's happy spring
# Be hard on us,
be hard on us... #
- Where do you want it, Nobby?
- That's it, yeah.
# But youth, of course,
must have its fling, so pardon us... #
# La, la, la, la, la,
la, la, la, la. #
Yoo-hoo, Nobby!
Hello, big boy.
- Morning, Ms Robson.
- I'm coming right down.
Good morning, Nobby!
# La, la, la, la, la,
la, la, la, la. #
# You're the foundation,
I'm the cornerstone
# I'm born famous,
I'm sorta known
# And if your son doesn't,
I bet your daughter knows... #
Toccata and Fugue In D Minor
- Oh.
- Excuse me.
This room is occupied, Wilf.
Oh, I'm sorry. Oh, and don't
do your toes the same colour,
it's considered gauche.
No breeding.
Doctor, have you seen Reggie?
Yes. He's using the computer
in my office.
- Morning.
- Good morning.
You OK, Mr Bond?
Mr Bond, are you OK?
I'm... just a bit dizzy.
I'm fine. Fine.
Reg? You OK?
- Can I get you a coffee?
- I'm preparing my talk.
Reg? Coffee?
Close the door behind you, please.
Yeah. OK.
# I said, bitch, listen up... #
Well, come in.
It's me, Cissy.
Cicely Robson.
Oh! Yes, of course. Course it is.
Yes, do come in.
Ah, lovely room. Bigger than mine.
- How nice to see you.
- You haven't unpacked yet.
I've been telling everyone
you still look like a young girl.
Well, I don't feel it.
Look. Huh.
I'm on the waiting
list for a new hip.
Oh, dear. Lovely jewels.
You look beautiful.
You haven't changed a bit.
Did they serve you breakfast
in your room?
Who are all these children?
It's probably Reggie
giving one of his classes.
Yes, of course.
Reginald Paget's here, isn't he?
Now I'd like to ask if any of
you have a favourite singer.
Don't be shy.
- Lady Gaga?
- Lady Ga-who?
I'm sorry. Lady Gaga.
I don't know about Lady Gaga.
Anyone else? You?
Do you like Lady Gaga?
Nah, Lady Gaga's pop.
I like hip-hop, period.
'Hip-hop, period'?
Is that the same as rap?
No, it's different, slightly.
- Would you mind telling me what rap is?
- Tell me what opera is.
No, yes, uh, well, yes,
I will... I will eventually.
No, you tell me what rap is
and then I'll tell you what opera is.
How about you tell me
what opera is
and then later on I'll
tell you what rap is?
There you go.
What can I do?
Uh, well, you know, originally,
it was people just like you
went to the opera.
Casual clothes, they took food,
they took alcohol, they threw things.
Anyway, that was
a long time ago
that rich people
took over the world of opera
with their fancy dress,
and they took the soul out of it,
they made it something that it's not.
What is it?
Uh, what is it?
Would you wait for me, Cissy, dear?
What? Oh, sorry, sorry.
I'm so excited.
Even I... even I... I've woken up
with the black dog on my shoulder
from time to time,
and it doesn't last for long.
You see, how could it? Because everyone
here looks after each other and...
Make up your mind, dear, please.
And there's so much to enjoy here,
people coming and going,
new faces, old friends,
new hobbies.
What's that dreadful noise?
I'm meant to be in there.
Side to side, basic.
Cissy, you're missing my class.
Come in, darling.
Forward and back.
Nice, hips, move those hips.
Side to side now. Shake it, ladies.
Shake it.
This is not a retirement home,
this is a madhouse.
Jean? Jean?
Birthday benefit gala,
emergency, top secret.
- Jean. - Didn't that used
to be Bobby Swanson?
- Yes. - Well, he didn't
seem to recognise me.
Isn't that odd?
'Birthday benefit gala,
emergency, top secret'.
Oh, whose birthday?
Mine isn't till January 6.
No, no, no. Not yours, darling, no.
No, Verdi's birthday.
There's a benefit gala
and we're all expected to perform.
- Wha...? Perform?
- Yes, we all do... what we do.
At our age? That's ridiculous.
No, it isn't.
Everybody can do something.
Well, I'm not singing at Verdi's gala
or anybody else's.
I don't sing anymore,
and that is final.
Jean, I was listening
to our Rigoletto this morning,
and we were all so good,
but... Jean, your Gilda,
it was magnificent.
Yes, I know.
I know. I never took less than
twelve curtain calls. Never.
Where is Reggie?
Um... I think he's round here.
Opera is, when a guy
is stabbed in the back,
instead of bleeding, he sings.
But it seems to me,
after much research,
that rap is,
when a guy is stabbed in the back,
instead of bleeding, he talks - albeit
rhythmically, even with feeling.
But because rap's spoken, the feeling is
sort of held in check, all on one note.
I think he's in here. This is the...
No, no, no, no.
This is the little music room.
This is the little m...
He'll be in the big music room
because that's where they
do all the big lectures, in here.
- Yes.
- No, Cissy, don't.
- He'll be thrilled to see you.
- Don't.
In opera, we sing what we're feeling,
and the song,
the rise and fall of the music,
sets our emotions free.
If you ask me,
I'd say to you that opera
is simply the outpouring
of all the emotions
that all of us carry inside us.
Now, Joey, I think it's your turn.
Show him what you can do.
- Oh, he can actually do rap.
- He's good.
- Come on.
- Alright.
# Opera's where you sing
your arse on stage
# Rap is where you're trying
to get your arse paid
# You're talking horny,
but we get laid
# We can't help what
we talk about
# We just talk and you sing it out
# Opera make you feel the pain too
# We wake up, we're 16 years old
# We look outside, the sky stays cold
# See, there's pain in my heart
# And every day I wake up,
and it's damaged
# But opera, you sing it out loud
# Get stabbed in the back,
you seem to manage
# Everybody thinks that opera and rap
are two completely different things
# But it's just talking, for us
# And for you,
it's just the way that you sing
# And everybody knows
how we do it, homes
# 'Cause the sky... # Ohh.
- I don't know, whatever, man...
- Fantastic.
Thank you, Joey. Now,
uh, very good, it's going very well.
Don't go away.
Um, we're going to, uh...
Uh, yes, come in.
It's us.
Can I help you?
Where was I?
Rigoletto is, uh...
...one of Verdi's, uh, masterpieces.
It's about infidelity.
- No. No...
- Ah, Reggie, how'd the talk go?
# You little beauty, yes... #
Jean, shall we just sit for a while?
I don't care what we do, really.
Oh! Nobby really ought to
have a go at this pond.
Ugh, it's filthy.
Here we are.
There's Olly. Daisy! Daisy-Jo!
Run, run, run, run, run, run, run!
Look at you!
Give me a hug! Mmmm!
- This is my friend Jean.
- Hello, Jean.
Uh, which hand?
That one.
Daisy! It's time to go home.
Off you go. Say goodbye.
- Goodbye, Cissy.
- Bye-bye, sweetheart.
- What's your name again?
- Jean.
Bye, Jean.
Must be lovely to have visitors,
like family.
Will you, Jean, have visitors?
- The grounds are nice.
- Yes. Yes.
I'm not like you, Wilf,
I positively liked getting old.
I think I can say that
I made the transition
from opera singer to old fart
with aplomb.
And then Jean arrives
and shatters everything.
You know, I remember thinking
about you when you got married...
She was always much
more ambitious than you.
Of course she was. She was
more ambitious than everyone.
If I know anything about it...
- What can you know about it?
- I was your best man.
Yeah, of course you were. But you were
married to the same woman for 35 years.
Call me old-fashioned, Wilf,
but did she know you were unfaithful
to her God knows how many times?
You say some very harsh things, Reg.
I think I'll have myself a widdle.
And you were right, you know,
I do hate getting older.
I hate every bloody moment of it.
If it isn't piles, it's bloody prostate
or peeing five times a night,
if you're lucky.
Ah! Ladies!
You may want to avert your gaze.
A wise man goes when he can,
a fool goes when he must.
Look, here's Jean in all her glory.
Oh, Jean. You haven't changed a jot.
Didn't I tell you? Didn't I say
she still looks like a young girl?
Reggie? Don't I get a kiss?
I apologise for hurting you.
Please... be kind to me.
We were different people then.
There, I've... I've been
rehearsing that all the past week.
He's upset because he wasn't warned
you were coming.
I'm not upset.
Oh, Reg.
This is the first time we've seen each
other in God knows how many years.
- '97.
- Is it really that long?
God. How time flies.
Oh... A joke!
Bobby, give us a clue, for God's sake.
Is it a book, a film, a play?
Cissy. The note?
I couldn't read your writing.
Meeting, now.
Oh, God. The emergency meeting.
- I wonder what that was all about.
- Where's Reg? Where's Reg?
Reg, are you in here?
Oh. There you are.
What you doing there?
Leave me in peace, Jean.
God... Oh, dear,
I've walked miles to find you.
Leave me in peace.
Can't ever remember
you crying.
I don't remember you
being religious.
I'm not. I was trying to avoid you.
I apologise for hurting you.
Please be kind.
- We were different people then.
- No, you just said that, Jean.
You're repeating yourself.
Oh, God.
Why do we have to get old?
That's what people do.
We have to come to
some arrangement.
I don't want to talk about it.
You're here. I'm here. Trapped.
So what are we going to do?
Grin and bear it.
What happened to
forgive and forget?
This cologne...
...takes me back.
It takes me back to you, Reg.
- It's flat.
- I know.
Are there any other pianos?
We will make sure you get a
better one next time, alright?
Have a little go, see how you get on.
Thank you.
- Hello. My name's Isla Mathieson.
- Hello. My name's lona Mathieson.
- And we'll be playing...
- Go Tell Aunt Rhody.
Would you like to go for a walk?
Were you married four or five times?
I was only married twice.
After you.
Charlie Tripper.
He was a businessman.
Mixed pleasure with business
rather too often.
And Edward...
- Fitzroy.
- Yeah.
Yeah. He wanted me to retire, have
a family, so that was the end of that.
- You never married again?
- No.
- Why not?
- Didn't want to.
When we did Bohme at the Met
and you backed out,
was that because of me?
- And Salzburg?
- Yep.
What brought you here?
Um... actually Wilf was ill.
He had a stroke, didn't he?
Yes, it was only a mild one, thankfully.
It's affected
his, um... his frontal lobe
and he has trouble censoring himself.
Is that it?
Well, so he says.
So I came here
to see how Wilf was getting on.
- And stayed.
- Mm.
I loved singing. But I like my life.
You can't have both. Can you?
- No.
- No.
No, you can't.
I've nothing.
Well, my clothes, bit of jewellery
and a hip that gives me hell.
- And here you are.
- Yeah, here I am.
On charity. God,
it's embarrassing.
I wouldn't tell anyone.
I mean, the press
have always been mean to me.
If they learned I'd landed up here,
God, how they'd gloat.
Do the press still have
any interest in you?
- Oh!
- Ow.
Piss off, Reg.
W... Bitch!
There she goes. See her?
Angelique. Bitch!
Cow! Sodding frog!
She won't give me marmalade
at breakfast.
She gives me apricot jam.
- Oh. You hate apricot jam.
- Bitch!
- Skinny-arsed French twat.
- Shh.
Stop it, Reggie.
So, Jean, what made
you stop singing?
- You mean for good?
- Yes, for good.
I just became so scared.
Suddenly, the pressure was huge.
I became so aware of the critics,
and the importance
of getting a good review,
that whatever you did had to be good,
or, well, better than before.
And of course it can't be.
I got so nervous, I just...
I just could not sing anymore.
- I just...
- Here. You know this?
'Works of art
are of an infinite loneliness,
and nothing...
...can reach them so little
as criticism. '
We weren't doing anything.
Neither were we.
- # Underneath the arches... #
- Can you find us somewhere...?
# We dream our dreams away... #
Where is she - Cissy?
Where is she?
- She will be here.
- Excuse me!
Are you planning to do this
at the gala?
Well, I've changed my mind.
I don't think it's sophisticated enough.
What do you mean
it isn't sophisticated enough?
- Exactly what I say. What did I say?
- 'It's not sophisticated enough'.
- There you are.
- Well, we are gonna do it.
# Underneath the arches... #
We started half an hour ago.
- You're late.
- I had to get my bag.
Have you asked Reggie
to sing that Donna e Mobile?
- God. No, I forgot.
- Good. Don't.
I have a brilliant idea!
What is it?
Oh, I've forgotten it. Um... er...
You remember it. What was that?
- You haven't said it yet.
- I told you this morning.
- No, you didn't.
- I told you at breakfast!
- You didn't.
- And you. I've told you.
You were sitting outside with us.
What is it?
You must know...
Oh, for God's sake, you cretins.
I'll find it eventually.
Go and find Wilf. Go on.
Now, where was I?
The reason I've asked you here
is because I've had a brilliant idea.
Excuse me while I shut
out Tit-Willow, Cedric.
'Cee-dric'. A brilliant idea.
Terrific. I can explain to you now.
I'm sorry,
I missed that last bit, Cedric.
- 'Cee-dric'.
- Oh, Cee-dric. Of course, of course.
Now that Jean is here
and the four of you are together again,
I put it to you
that you should perform at the gala
the quartet from Rigoletto.
That's amazing!
I've... I've just been listening to us.
- The Rigoletto.
- Think of the publicity!
The Times, The Telegraph,
Opera Magazine.
We have four of the finest singers
in English operatic history.
We already know the bloody thing.
We'd hardly have to rehearse.
- But Jean won't sing it.
- Put your hand up.
- Put your hand up?
- Oh, but you must change her mind.
She's a huge draw.
Don't you put your
hand up for anyone.
It would be as if Maria Callas
were making a comeback.
I don't think I want to
sing with Jean again.
Why not?
They were married once,
but it didn't work out.
Cissy, please. I don't want to.
It wouldn't be right.
Well, it's a shame.
I can't count the number of galas
you have graced over the years
with your incomparable voice,
and I mean that sincerely.
I don't think you realise it, Reggie,
but people still talk about
your Celeste Aida four years ago
and your Ave Maria two years ago.
For what it's worth,
when I heard you sing Nessun Dorma
at the gala last year,
all I thought was,
'Eat your heart out, Pavarotti. '
Reggie, I know you
don't think much of me,
but with this one concert, we could get
enough money to keep this place going
for the rest of the year.
- Or possibly even the next.
- It's true.
You could help save Beecham House,
But I have an important meeting now.
Do excuse me.
# Tit-willow... #
- Oh, shut up! For... sakes, shut up!
And you could persuade
Jean to sing.
It's only one gala, Reggie.
Why don't the three of us
ask her out to dinner'?
- Well done, Reggie.
- Oh, Reggie!
- Thank you.
- Excellent.
No, I'll, uh... I'll write
her a little note, Cissy,
and perhaps you will be
good enough to deliver it.
- Just two favours.
- Exactly what do you propose?
The Swan restaurant. Just
the four of us, Cissy, Reggie and me.
If we could convince Jean
to sing at the gala,
we're talking serious money here.
I mean, even Cedric reckons
we could charge Covent Garden prices.
In by 10:30. No later.
- 12:30.
- No.
- You sure?
- Yes.
What kind of cigarettes
is it you smoke again?
- 12:30. No later.
- Done, Lucy.
- Please call me Dr Cogan.
- Done, Dr Cogan.
Why is it, Wilfred, I always get the
impression you're up to no good?
Because I'm normally up to no good.
And please, call me Wilf.
We've done this, remember?
You don't have a buttonhole.
Why do you persist
in flirting with me, Wilf?
Because you're a cracker,
a thing of beauty.
You're not a bimbo or a chick
or any of those awful things.
You're one of that rarest of species,
you're a woman, Lucy Cogan.
Well, I'm flattered, but I have
professional ethics to uphold.
Ah, throw caution to the wind.
What if we were
to make beautiful music together?
Your husband would never know.
That's reassuring, Wilf.
- Think about it, huh?
- No, Wilf.
- No-one would ever know.
- I will know, Wilf.
Older man. Vintage wine.
Seasoned wood.
- Did you say wood?
- Seasoned.
Bella Figlia dell'Amore
wait until she's totally legless
before we hit her with it.
Yes. Don't speak till she's legless.
- She's coming.
- Legless.
- I should never have agreed to this.
- Here she comes.
She looks fairly alright-ish.
You look lovely, Jean.
Oh. Thank you.
You give a whole new meaning
to the word 'chic'.
- It's so very, very kind of you.
- It's the least we can do.
- May I, Jean?
- Thank you.
For you, Jean, a little toast,
from all of us to make
you feel welcome.
Oh-oh, now, don't forget you've got
to make eye contact or it's bad luck.
I never heard of anything like that
in my life.
- It's the truth.
- Nonsense.
Jean, do you ever
listen to your old recordings?
- Oh, no. No.
- I do.
I listen to us a lot.
As a matter of fact,
Reggie was meant to be
singing La Donna e Mobile
at the gala concert.
- But even more exciting, guess what?
- Shh, shh, shh.
La donna mobile.
Qual piuma al vento.
Women are as fickle
as a feather in the wind.
Oh, I fell in love with you
when I first heard you sing that.
Yeah, that's why I
never sang it again.
I took twelve curtain calls.
No. No, you took nine. I took twelve.
- Stop.
- If you say so.
You know, the other night
I was at the Garden,
I was Sir George's guest,
and I received a standing ovation.
Oh, how lovely!
You're doing it again, Jean.
- Doing what?
- Repeating yourself.
Oh, what's it matter.
In opera we repeat ourselves
all the time, all the time, all the...
In opera we repeat ourselves
all the time,
- ... repeat ourselves over and over...
- Repetito...
I think you two are drunk.
I think I possibly am,
although I find it very difficult
to tell the difference at this age.
- You always drink.
- Let's have a toast to our quartet.
- To the quartet.
- What quartet?
Cedric wants us all
to sing in the gala concert.
What, us to sing?
He wants us to sing...
The quartet from Rigoletto.
It's such an honour.
It's a great honour, Jean.
- Great honour.
- Very great honour.
The quartet?
Is that why you're...?
I don't want any of this, please.
Is that why you asked
me for this dinner?
No. We asked you because...
- Well...
- Why?
- Because we love you.
- Aye. Yeah.
Well, I'm not singing in any quartet.
I think you really are despicable.
Did she say yes?
Caro Nome
# Festi primo palpitar
# Le delizie dell'amor
# Mi di sempre rammentar
# Col pensier il mio desir
# Ate sempre voler
# E fin I'ultimo sospir
# Caro nome, tuo sar. #
Excuse me.
Let me ask you something.
When did you last sing?
This morning in the shower?
Has anybody heard you recently?
Any idea of the noise you make?
I mean, what were you thinking of?
Why did you ask me out to dinner?
Why didn't you just say you want us,
average age, what, 1998
to sing the quartet from Rigoletto?
'It's an honour. '
It's not an honour.
It's insanity.
Is this your idea of revenge?
I'm going to say something
very rude to you.
Fuck you.
And you.
Can't believe it.
Can you believe that bitch?
Oh, my God. It's Olly!
Dwayne. Olly's been taken ill.
I'm going to explain to everybody...
Ladies and gentlemen,
can I have your attention, please?
Sorry to interrupt your breakfast.
Er... it seems
that Olly Fisher is unwell.
It's his recurring condition,
but he is in the safest hands.
I want to reassure you
he's on his way to hospital
and he's gonna be absolutely OK.
He's going for a check-up.
Dr Cogan, he is still conscious,
isn't he?
He's fully conscious,
Norma, yes.
And he wouldn't want
any of us worrying, now.
Would he? So, you just
enjoy your breakfast, OK?
With everything in life,
I'd just like to ask you one question.
# Why, you silly so and so
# With all your dough
# Are you havin' any fun
# What y'gettin' out of livin'
# What good is what you've got
# If you're not havin' any fun
# Are you havin' any laughs
# Are you gettin' any lovin'
# If other people do
# So can you
# Have a little fun
# After the honey's in the comb
# Little bees go out and play
# Even the old grey mare down home
# Has got to have hay
# Are you havin' any fun
# You ain't gonna live forever
# Before you're old and grey
# Still OK
# Have a little fun, son
# Have a little fun! #
Go away.
- It's me, Cissy.
- Just go away, Cissy, please.
I- I know you're upset,
so I brought you some flowers
and I picked them myself.
Aren't they lovely? Look.
I thought these
might really cheer you up.
And Nobby doesn't usually
allow us to pick any flowers,
and especially not the ones
in the woodland, not even those.
And I really wanted to get you bluebells
because I know you love bluebells.
Because we talked about
them before.
But I wondered also, would you like
to talk about the quartet?
No! I would not like
to talk about the quartet!
- Oh!
- Get out!
Why did she do that?
Why did she do that?
Is this my house?
It's a lovely place.
This is Beecham House.
It's not your room.
It's another room.
You've come here to
have a rest, Cissy.
You're... you're...
...my friend.
Sheryl. Yes.
- Sheryl.
- Mm-hmm.
And this is...?
And, of course,
this is a naughty, naughty man.
Hi, Cissy.
Where's... where's...
...where's my, um...
Where's my... my thing?
I got your bag here, Cissy.
That's my bag.
- This is my...
- Mm-hmm.
- That's mine.
- Mm-hmm.
- And what were you listening to?
- Mmm...
What's that?
Cissy... this is our quartet.
You... you've been listening to us.
It's new. It's new.
- Mm-hmm.
- Yes.
- This is...
- The one they re-issued.
This is new. Yep. That's mine.
Wilf... Wilf, that's...
...that's my swimming costume.
It certainly is, Cissy.
- Mmm.
- Yes.
This... this place is
a concept for me.
Because I've got no husband
and no children.
I've got you.
- Mm.
- Indeed you have, Cissy.
All of you.
I think she should get some rest.
Lovely girl.
Beautifully endowed.
- Have you seen Cissy?
- Yes.
How is she?
- She's...
- Fine.
I'll come back in the morning.
Yes, of course, Ms Horton.
You be sure
to tell her I came to see her.
Jean, is that you?
I thought I recognised your voice.
As if one couldn't.
Frank White!
It's nothing serious,
just one of my dizzy spells.
But I won't be taking part in the gala.
I had no idea you were here.
I would've come to see you earlier.
Oh, dear, dear Frank.
I'm sorry you're not well.
What a fling we had.
What a fling indeed.
Short, but giving.
And that beautiful hotel.
- You...
- Yes.
You've been up to
your usual tricks.
Poor Cissy.
I don't know what came over me.
I feel so ashamed.
She does so want to
perform the quartet.
Take part.
If you can't sing at the gala,
do conjuring tricks.
The only alternative
is to be guest of honour
at the crematorium.
Ah! Qual Colpo Inaspettato!
# Dolce nodo
# Nodo
# Avventurato
# Che fai paghi
# Andiamo
# I miei desiri
# Dolce nodo
# Nodo
# Awenturato
# Presto andiamo
# Che fai paghi... #
- Oh, thank you.
- There's some change, Ms Horton.
No, you keep that.
Could you give this to Mr Paget?
- Of course I will.
- Thank you.
It's the only trio
we could come up with, Bobby.
Are you sure about this, Wilfred?
Well, the three of us must have
sang the Barber a dozen times.
You'll need at least six sessions.
- Six?
- Mmm.
- Who's that from?
- Ms Horton.
Did she say yes?
Oh. How good of you to come.
Please. Please sit down.
Why don't you sit on the bed, Cissy?
I have some little gifts for you.
First, I want to apologise,
especially to you, Cissy.
What I did to you was appalling,
and I am... I'm so very sorry.
Thank you.
This is for you, Wilf.
Oh, thank you.
I don't even remember
you throwing flowers at me.
This is for you, Reggie.
I really am very sorry.
My fault entirely.
I think I know what it is.
- Lime marmalade.
- A CD of our Rigoletto.
How lovely.
Yes, I know you have copies, but these
are signed, so they're rather valuable.
And I wrapped them myself.
I thought perhaps you did.
- Well, is that it?
- Yes.
This should do rather well on eBay,
I would imagine.
Come on, Cissy.
Have you changed your mind
about the gala?
Well, of course, she hasn't.
I mean, why should she?
It's only a celebration in honour of the
greatest composer for the human voice
who ever bloody lived, that's all.
You must understand.
I was someone once.
I thought I was someone now.
I can't insult the memory of who I was.
What are you talking about, memory?
Whose memory?
Your fans?
Your fans are dead!
Gone, split, bought the farm!
Except the ones who've moved in here,
and they're just waiting to die.
We've all aged. It's crept up
on all of us without us even noticing.
I'm the same old Wilf I always was,
thankfully, with a little bit of
testosterone to keep me interested.
Now, I'm gonna say something
that's a wee bit rude to you.
Just fucking do it!
My gift deserted me.
It deserts us all, Jean.
It's called life.
Oh, my darling.
Old age is not for sissies.
Let go.
What's it matter now
what anyone says or thinks?
You might even enjoy it.
Are you telling me
to go out and smell the roses?
No, I'm telling you to sing.
The roses are long gone. But the
chrysanthemums are magnificent.
They certainly are, Cissy.
Jean, if you say yes,
Cedric will give us the finale
instead of Anne Langley.
- Anne Langley?
- Yes.
Yes, she wanted to sing Violetta.
And she was, of course,
a very fine Violetta.
Oh, pull yourself together, Cissy.
Violetta's supposed to be
dying of tuberculosis.
She sounded as if she
was singing Falstaff.
Well, she's singing Tosca now.
Over my dead body.
Is that a yes?
So, you decided to sing
in the gala after all.
Yes, they've persuaded me
to join them in the quartet.
Really? I would've thought you
would want to sing an aria, dear.
No, I prefer to sing
with my friends.
How are your high
notes nowadays?
Just a little shaky, dear.
Oh, I'm so sorry.
Now, when I sang Gilda...
Yes, I heard it was a triumph.
I remember my mother
telling me about it.
# Happy birthday to you
# Happy birthday to you
# Happy birthday, dear Octavia
# Happy birthday to you. #
Speech! Speech!
Now, when I play Gilda...!
I may crack on the
high notes.
Toccata and Fugue in D Minor
And then Sir Thomas Beecham
did the same in Britain.
- Hence Beecham House.
- Ladies?
Lady Mayor. Sorry. Thank you.
Thank you so much for coming.
Ah. Hello there.
Nice. Thank you. Yeah, one more.
Lady Mayoress,
will you come this way, please?
Well, I don't think that's...
Is that going to be
too late in the day for that?
I'd say something like
'Verdi's Rigoletto is a masterpiece
and the quartet is one of the great
milestones in the history of opera. '
Now, look at that. Perfect.
And then I'll introduce
each of us in turn.
No, wait a minute, Reggie.
- What?
- I'll go on last.
I'm sure we can live with that.
We certainly can, yes.
- I remember.
- What?
I've got to do Anne
Langley's make-up.
It's not make-up she needs.
It's a paper-hanging job.
- That's very naughty, Jean.
- And very true.
Make it nice and tight. Make sure the
middle bit's tight so it stays that way.
'Cause it ends up listing to starboard.
No, no, no. I promise you...
This too much, Reg?
Do you think it's too much?
No, no. Lovely.
Well, I don't think it'll work.
I do.
Hello, good afternoon.
Hello, ladies and gentlemen.
Welcome to Beecham House
and our annual gala in honour
of Giuseppe Verdi's birthday.
First of all, I would like
to express our debt of gratitude
to the amazing Mr Cedric Livingstone
for organising the event.
Thank you so much.
Thank you, thank you,
ladies and gentlemen.
Let me just say, in all modesty,
that all great artists
need a great director, you know.
And I... Here I am.
Well said!
Thank you. Thank you so much.
Thank you.
This year,
in aid of our rebuilding program,
you have all given so generously,
and we thank you for that
with all our hearts.
And, because of that,
the quartet and you have done it.
Beecham House lives on!
I'd also like to thank all those
taking part in the gala itself.
The preparations and rehearsals
have kept everybody busy
and very excited
for the past few months.
I and all my staff here
feel highly privileged
to have in our care
such talented performers,
gifted musicians
who seem to find renewed energy
when they anticipate
performing before an audience.
It keeps them young.
And, actually, let me
just say something else, if I may,
before we start.
I, and all my staff here
at Beecham House,
we owe those in our charge
an enormous debt.
They inspire us.
Their love of life, as you well know,
is infectious,
and gives us all faith in the future.
I mean that.
Thank you so much.
Libiamo Ne' Lieti Calici
# Godiamo, la tazza,
la tazza e il cantico
# La notte abbella e il riso
# In questo, in questo paradiso
# Ne scopra il nuovo di
# Ah! Ah! Ne scopra il di
# Ah! Ah! Ne scopra il di
# Ahhhh
# Ne scopra il di, ne scopra il nuovo
# Diiii! #
# Siiii! #
Thank you.
Oh, my darling!
It's so exciting!
- They loved the Brindisi.
- Oh, good.
Tadek, quick! Come
and do my dress.
Make sure there's no
black showing, yeah?
- OK.
- OK.
Dress is done.
Reggie likes this one, but I think...
- I think I'll wear this.
- Yes.
# Vissi d'arle
# Vissi d'amore
# Non feci mai male
ad anima viva
# Con man furtiva
# Quante miserie conobbi aiutai... #
Hey, Reg, remember
the Barber of Seville
in the '60s in Covent Garden?
Who was that big, fat, mezzo-soprano
who was doing it with a little tenor
in the bathtub?
She got suctioned in.
What was her name?
I can't remember.
London. Remember.
The wee guy couldn't get out!
She was Italian.
The tenor had to dial
the emergency services.
What was her name?
Oh, uh... uh...
Elizabeta Botticelli.
That's it. Elizabeta Botticelli.
They say her high notes
were never the same again.
#... sincera
# Diedi fiori... #
I always think you take
the last bit too quick.
- No, we don't take it too quick.
- No, it's the last four bars.
Listen to Tony on the trumpet.
What about the trumpet?
Doesn't matter about the trumpet.
Sometimes he'd slow
down at the end.
We'll just take two steps after the end,
the way we always do.
#... rimuneri cosi? #
Three Little Maids From School
# Three little maids
from school are we
# Perl as a schoolgirl well can be
# Filled to the brim with girlish glee
# Three little maids from school
# Everything is a source of fun... #
Jean, is that too much?
I'm so happy to be
here doing this.
And you and Reggie
are friends again.
- How long were the two of
you married? - Nine hours.
- Nine hours?
- Yes.
Ha! Nine hours!
We were together for
about a year,
and he finally got down on his knees
and asked me to marry him
and I said yes,
he's very old-fashioned.
- He still is.
- I know.
And we were gonna get married
in the January
and then I got that offer
from La Scala.
I remember that. I remember.
But when I was at La Scala, I had...
...I had a fling with a tenor.
Why on earth would you do that?
Because I'd had too much
champagne. I was pissed.
Shh, shh, shh, shh.
Where's Harry?
What's his name, that tenor?
I know who you mean.
Roberto di Angelis.
- But he was so persuasive.
- I know.
Anyway, we came back.
We had this wonderful
wedding breakfast,
champagne and scrambled eggs.
And I told him about Roberto.
Why on earth did you do that?
I wanted to be honest.
Anyway, he was very angry.
- So he walked out?
- He ran.
He was heartbroken, Jean.
So was I.
So was I.
It was the biggest
mistake of my life.
Darling girl,
you still have your future.
There's not a lot of it.
Most of it's been.
No, it hasn't.
# Underneath the arches
# We'll dream our dreams away. #
- Are you having any fun?
- Yes!
# Are you havin' any fun
# What y'gettin' out of livin'
# What good is what you've got
# If you're not havin' any fun... #
Do you know, darling,
I last wore this in 1983?
Arts Council tour of India.
And I fell in love with
the maharajah.
I'll help you with it.
Ooh, thanks. Yeah.
Oh, this isn't...
God, this is tight, Cissy.
- What's... what's the matter?
- I can't fasten it.
Oh. Come on.
Well, I altered it. I altered it.
Yeah, well, I'm...
I'm trying, I'm try...
- I can't do it.
- Well, try. Just try...
I cannot fasten it, Cissy!
I can't fasten it.
Oh, alright. Well, I'll...
I'll let it out a bit more.
Alright. Well, I've got
some safety pins somewhere.
- My scissors.
- Cissy?
Cissy, where are you going?
I... I have to go home.
What are you talking about?
Mother and Father
are waiting for me.
Cissy's gone walkabout! Reg, Wilf!
I nearly forgot to
say goodbye to you.
Goodbye, Wilfred. Goodbye, Reginald.
Wish me bon voyage.
- Cissy?!
- I'm late!
- Don't let them see her like this.
- Cissy.
I have to go.
You mustn't leave.
We're doing the quartet, Cissy.
- The quartet from Rigoletto.
- No. I want to go home.
Is that Jean Horton?
I thought she wouldn't sing anymore.
Cissy. Come with me
and we'll get your luggage.
My big case?
Yes, your big case.
Come with me. And your passport.
Yes. There we are.
The ship doesn't leave for two weeks,
you know.
- Doesn't it?
- No. We've got plenty of time.
# Mais la vie... #
- It's alright.
It's the little things
that get you down.
I know. But we'll get
your dress fixed.
That was a close one.
Jean was very good.
She was indeed.
We're getting close, gents.
- Thank you, Simon.
- Thanks, Si.
Getting near, ladies.
Where shall I...?
It's through there, Cissy.
Mr Paget.
- You're on next.
- Thanks.
Jean, I was thinking
about the sticks.
I think we could get through
without them.
Oh, no. No, I don't think I could.
My hip's very bad today.
Well, I'm not so good,
but I think we should try.
It's more distinguished,
more operatic.
I may have to lean on you.
Lean on Reg. You'll be much safer.
And he'll love it because
he adores you.
Trust me.
How do you know?
I don't believe he ever
stopped loving you.
How do you know?
Did he say so?
It's the man from
Opera Today.
You look very handsome.
You look very beautiful.
We're both very old.
Then let's get married.
Were you serious?
Bella Figlia dell'Amore