19. Mar, 2014

Richard and his Ma

Here are a couple of my scenes for you to "enjoy". Please should you wish to comment try not to nit pick. Remember this is drama, seen through my very biased pro Richard eyes!

 

The lay out is not the way it looks in the script which is something hard to copy from the Final Draft software.

 

Stillington has just told Richard and Anne about the pre contract. Richard rushes up to the roof to think about what he will do.

Later Anne visits her nephews at the Tower. This latter is one of my own favourite scenes which speaks volumes about the state of mind of the characters at this moment.

 

 

EXT. THE ROOF OF CROSBY PLACE - NIGHT


Richard stands on the roof, staring out across the city. He is whispering to himself, imagining he is  talking to his brothers. Lovel finds him there, comes quietly up to his side.

LOVEL
He has told you I hear. The Bishop.

Richard nods. Says nothing. Stares out across the river and the city. Lovel leans on the wall next to his friend.

LOVEL (CONT’D)
At last

Richard suddenly turns to Lovel.

RICHARD
It seems I was the last to know!

LOVEL
He was waiting to see you for most of the week.

Richard shrugs his shoulders then leaves, calling back over his shoulder.

RICHARD
Frank, I am going to Baynards Castle.

Francis almost smiles. He mouths the words along with Richard.

RICHARD (CONT’D)
Mother will know what to do!

Zoom past Lovel to the river. Rapid track along the water.

EXT. BAYNARDS CASTLE NIGHT.
The huge building looms over the Thames. Guards are on the battlements, little light is showing, though one window flickers with candle light. The camera rushes in through this window.

INT. BAYNARDS CASTLE NIGHT - PRIVATE SOLAR OF DUCHESS OF YORK
Stone walls decked with Arras. A few tallow candles are lit. A fire burns in the grate, even though it is summer. Shadows flicker off the walls.
A high backed chair is in front of the fire. An elegant, bony hand, is draped over one of the arms. It is the Duchess. We do not see her face.
Another woman sits by the fire sewing by the light of a tallow candle, her lady in waiting.
From the far end of the room comes the sound of the door opening.
The lady-in-waiting looks up and gasps. She jumps to her feet, then, shooting a glance at the chair and it's occupant first, kneels. The hand waves her away, and she collects her work and moves towards the door.

CUT TO: Richard's point of view.

The lady-in-waiting approaches and curtsies to the camera as she passes. It moves slowly towards the fire, circles the chair, revealing the Duchess, dressed for sleep. Her hair hangs loose about her shoulders. She says nothing, waiting for her son to initiate the conversation.
Richard leans against the wall by the fire and speaks into the flames. His voice is soft, stretched, as though he is fighting back the anger and frustration that he feels. This is not easy for him.

RICHARD
You knew, did you not mother?

The Duchess does not answer. Richard is forced to look at her.

RICHARD (CONT’D)
Why did you not tell me?

DUCHESS OF YORK                                        Because the knowledge cost your brother George his life. I did not wish to place another of my sons in jeopardy.

Richard stares at her dumbfounded.

RICHARD
You let Edward kill his own brother because of this lie?

DUCHESS OF YORK
I pleaded with Ned as you did, but was forced to swear a holy oath.

RICHARD
Oaths can be broken.

DUCHESS OF YORK
Do you think George would have been able to keep an oath of silence? He was incapable, even when sober, of keeping such a secret to himself. Edward would have gone in constant fear for himself and his family had he let George live. As would his queen. And a lioness always looks after her young. As I have always fought to protect mine.

RICHARD
Mother. You are talking of your own son.

DUCHESS OF YORK
Edward was not your brother my son, as you should have acknowledged years ago.

RICHARD
Why do you repeat that old slander, mother?

DUCHESS OF YORK
Was he your father’s son? Oh by blood yes, but was he York personified? Think of how he betrayed our house. Your sister Margaret pleaded for aid, begged, not just for herself but for Burgundy. He refused. He rejected not just your sister but Burgundy. Think of what that state has done for our House, taking you all in, protecting you, when you needed a sanctuary. Your father would have been ashamed. And the Harrington family, fiercely loyal to your father, but left to stand alone against the Stanleys, had it not been for you.

RICHARD
Loyalty such as theirs deserves to be rewarded, not punished.

DUCHESS OF YORK
Exactly.
As for your brother George, he had become too dangerous to live any longer. God alone knows the lengths we went to to save him from himself. He committed treason as easily as you fell off your pony as a child! And something deep inside him told him he had reason to disobey your brother.

Richard pushes himself off the wall and begins pacing back and forth in front of the fire, his mother's attempt at intimacy having failed to placate him. He nervously plays with the ring on his little finger.

DUCHESS OF YORK (CONT’D)
(smiling)
When they paint your portrait my son, will they paint in your habit of playing with that ring?

Richard (like an old man would on being scolded by his wife) tuts but continues playing with the ring.

His mother stays silent, waiting.

Richard continues pacing, then stops in his tracks, as if suddenly waking up in a strange place, not knowing where he went to sleep.

RICHARD
Why are you still up? Did you know I was coming?

DUCHESS OF YORK
You can be very predictable at times, Dickon.

Richard shrugs, Cis smiles

DUCHESS OF YORK (CONT’D)
And Francis Lovel sent a messenger to warn me.

Richard moves across and kneels at his mothers feet. He takes her fragile hands in his. The resemblance can be clearly seen.

RICHARD
Richard the Third was the title father should have taken. Now they are trying to make me take it onto my shoulders.

DUCHESS OF YORK
Do you come for my approval?
(a pause)
DUCHESS OF YORK (CONT’D)
For a blessing?
(Another pause)
DUCHESS OF YORK (CONT’D)
Or both?

Richard stands up again, not knowing what to do with himself.

RICHARD
I don't know, mother. Perhaps I came looking for answers.

DUCHESS OF YORK
To what questions?

RICHARD
Why? Why did Edward do this to me? How could he?

DUCHESS OF YORK
Because you are who you are Richard. Because Edward trusted you. Because Edward left England in your care, not his sons. And because you are by law the King now. I have heard you say it many a time, how there is no justice, only the law. Now you must live that, and continue to live your life so that your death brings no pleasure to the world.

RICHARD
And what do I do with the boys? They are still my nephews, bastards or not.
Why did Edward do nothing to alter things back in his favour? He could have remarried Elizabeth publicly at any time?

DUCHESS OF YORK
And admitted he had lived a lie all that time? Nobody expected him to die so young, Edward especially. I imagine he gambled you would not find out, that power would pass peaceably into your hands. He underestimated the Woodvilles yet again.

She looks at him. He is staring at her. She answers his first question about the boys.

DUCHESS OF YORK (CONT’D)
Send the boys away somewhere. Give people time to forget. Ludlow perhaps. Young Edward always liked Wales, God alone knows why.

The joke falls flat.

DUCHESS OF YORK (CONT’D)
Send them to Wales.

RICHARD
Or Yorkshire.

DUCHESS OF YORK
Yes. Or Burgundy. You can keep them especially safe there. They are not their father's children, they are Woodvilles, especially the elder.

RICHARD
I always liked young Richard, though. Not just because he bears my name.

DUCHESS OF YORK
Then split the bastards up. Send them away, and forget them. Be the King your father would have been.

The Duchess stands and takes Richard’s hand. Using the chair to help her, she kneels to her son. Richard flabbergasted, tries to stop her. She waves him away and finishes kneeling. She does not look up at him as she speaks

DUCHESS OF YORK (CONT’D)
You are my King now Richard. I knelt to your brother. I salute you in the same way.

Richard helps her back to her feet.

DUCHESS OF YORK (CONT’D)
You were the most intelligent of all my children. But determination and ruthlessness? Sometimes you can be too obstinate, too upright, too diligent, to use that intelligence as it should be used. As Edward used it. You now feel guilty about Hastings. Do not. That was how to use power to punish a man who had abused it. But you allowed Morton to live? Why? Because of his cloth? That is not wise. Watch that weasel carefully, Richard.

Richard turns from her for an instant. She approaches him and puts her hand on his shoulder.

DUCHESS OF YORK (CONT’D)
Your father tried to take the throne before he was asked. That was his mistake. You will now be asked, so take it. You deserve it. Be King Richard, for your father, as well as for me.

Richard kisses her gently on the cheek.  Then softly

RICHARD
Mother. I am scared.

She smiles at him, touches him tenderly on the face.

DUCHESS OF YORK
Of course you are, my son. You were not born to be King. Nor a general. Yet fate made you a warrior, and now the wheel of fortune turns again, and throws the crown down at your feet. Pick it up. You have no choice.  Your father should have been King Richard the Third, now it will be how history remembers you.

She sighs

Part of me will never forgive Edward for forcing this burden upon you, but perhaps by setting aside his heir you may yet be truer to Edward than he was to himself. Succeed your brother and redeem his rule, return it to its true track, to the York way, the way it was before the Woodvilles deflected it.

She looks at Richard who is almost in tears

DUCHESS OF YORK (CONT’D)
Sometimes, you are so like your father.

She kisses him on the cheek and moves towards her bed chamber. At the door she turns.

DUCHESS OF YORK (CONT’D)
Take the crown Richard. Take it for England. She needs you.

She drops into a deep curtsy, then leaves the chamber.

Richard watches her go, and once more finds himself alone.

EXT. FIELDS OF LONDON. DAY.
CLOSE UP a hawk floating in the air. It spies it's prey and lets out a squawk.

CLOSE: Richard watching the bird's flight.

Pull back to show he is with Buckingham, Ratcliffe and Tyrell. Buckingham has a page at his side. Tyrell stands holding Richard’s bridle.

ANGLES: Richard sits squarely on his mount, eyes watching the sky and the hawk. Richard's bird flies back to his arm a sparrow in its mouth. Richard takes the bird and strokes the hawk’s head, speaking quietly to it as he does so.

Next to him Buckingham is talking. Occasionally Richard turns to look at his animated companion.

BUCKINGHAM
Imagine it Richard! The changes we could make, returning the crown to the old nobility, regain it the honour it has lost since your brother married my sister in law! I could get rid of her too!

RICHARD
Harry! Enough! Give me some peace to think for myself!

He looses the hawk again and watches it fly off.

RICHARD (CONT’D)
Tyrell. Let me loose!

He leans forward and whispers in his horse's ear.

RICHARD (CONT’D)
Come on boy! Let's get away from all this noise!

He kicks his heels in and man and mount take off, galloping away into the distance leaving Buckingham mouth open looking about him. Ratcliffe and Tyrell simply smile, shrug at his exasperation, and take off after the king.

ANGLE: From above the hawk looks down flapping its wings, screaming in the air as it sees its master regaining his real self galloping off signalling to it to follow.
CUT TO:

INT. CROSBY PLACE. EVENING.
A supper party is in progress.
Around the table are John Howard and his wife, Francis Lovel and his wife, Suffolk and his wife, Richard's sister Elizabeth, and their son, John, Earl of Lincoln, Bishops Russell and Rotherham, William Catesby, Richard Ratcliffe, John Kendall,  Robert Brackenbury,  Richard's other nephew, Clarence’s son Edward, Earl of Warwick, and Edward of Middleham , Richard and Anne's son.
There is little formality, no stiff protocol, although Richard and Anne are seated at the end table while the others are spread out along side tables. Servants bob and weave their way around the room. Minstrels play softly in the gallery above the hall.
Everyone is trying to get Richard to relax, while at the same time treating him royally. The atmosphere is tense.
Buckingham arrives with a flourish and a deep bow to Richard.

BUCKINGHAM
Your Grace. Lady Anne. How are we all this glorious evening?

He looks about surprised, then laughs and picks up a cup into which he pours some wine and toasts the entire company.

BUCKINGHAM (CONT’D)
Lords, Ladies, Gentlemen! Children! Your health!

Richard's son smiles at the Duke as he wipes his hands on a cloth then reaches for a sweetmeat while asking loudly, if innocently, into a sudden lull in the room's noise

EDWARD OF MIDDLEHAM
Father, will you get my cousin Richard of York away from his mother to join his brother in the Tower? I expect they miss each other lots.

He doesn't react until he realises that everyone in the room is staring at him.

EDWARD OF MIDDLEHAM (CONT’D)
(surprised)
What?

EXT. WESTMINSTER SANCTUARY. DAY.
Camera pulls down from clear blue sky onto the west window of Westminster Abbey, then pans across to the Sanctuary entrance.

Anne Neville is standing waiting.

John Howard paces impatiently up and down. He taps Anne’s arm as he passes, coughs gruffly, continues pacing.

CLOSE:The doors to the Sanctuary open and Cardinal Bouchier, dressed in his red gowns, comes out, smiling broadly.

HAND HELD: Richard Duke of York runs out past him into the arms of Anne.

DUCHESS ANNE
(picks him up and cuddles him)
Richard! My sweet boy!

Anne returns him to the ground, and he runs around her, jumping up and down, laughing.

DUCHESS ANNE (CONT’D)
Calm down Richard, please. This is supposed to be a serious moment.

Richard laughs and takes Anne’s hand.

CLOSE: Elizabeth Woodville stands by the sanctuary, her daughter Elizabeth peers around her mother, trying to see what is happening.

ELIZABETH OF YORK
Has uncle Richard come?

Elizabeth Woodville hushes her.
Anne curtsies to Elizabeth, turns and leads young Richard away.
Elizabeth wipes a tear away as she watches the procession move off, crosses herself, and fusses her daughters back into the sanctuary.

EXT TOWER OF LONDON. THE NEXT DAY. MAIN GATES.
Camera moves up from the cobbles and reveals a carriage as it approaches the gates of the Tower which open for it to enter. We follow it into the Tower where it pulls up outside the royal apartments. A crowd of the people who live within the Tower stands gaping. Guards wearing the white rose insignia stand to attention when they see first Francis Lovel, then the Duchess of Gloucester, step down from the carriage. Anne smiles at the crowd as they enter the building.

INT. THE ROYAL APARTMENTS AT THE TOWER.
King Edward stands to greet Anne as if forced and unwilling. Lovel bows, and Anne goes into a deep curtsy, which the King does nothing to bring to an end. She smiles warmly up at him in spite of her discomfort.

ANNE
Your Grace. How are you today? I come with greetings from my husband, the Lord Protector, and to see that your brother has settled in well. And that you are both well and comfortable.

KING EDWARD V
Yes thank you aunt, though I could do with more familiar faces about me than those uncle Richard has provided.

He almost spits the name ‘Richard’ out, then sits back down with no gesture to his visitor to indicate that she may rise.

Lovel offers Anne his hand as he speaks and helps her to stand.

LOVEL
The Duke is keen to know what he may do to aid your grace’s comfort. He asks if there is anything he can do for you and your brother.

Richard of York, obviously happy to see Anne, runs up giggling, grabbing her hand and spinning her round in a game.

RICHARD OF YORK
Aunt! How is mother? Is she coming to see us? She’s not still in sanctuary is she? How can she stay there? I hated it. I always seemed to have to be at prayers, and those monks are so serious, I wasn’t allowed to do anything like play, nor have my dogs with me. How are my dogs? Can you bring me my dogs? I really miss Red. Please aunt, please ask uncle Richard if you can bring me Red.

ANNE
I’m certain your uncle will be only too happy to bring you your pets Richard, as soon as I tell him. Now calm down. Frank, play with his energetic grace!

KING EDWARD V
Yes. Lovel the dog, isn’t it?

Lovel ignores the barb and moves towards the prince in a playful growl

LOVEL
Grrrrrr!

He picks Richard up and swings him round. The boy giggles with pleasure.

Anne turns back towards the King, who sits sullen and quiet on his cushioned chair, staring coldly at his aunt. He turns his gaze towards his young brother with disapproval.
Anne tries to instil some order in the room, indicating to Lovel to bring the boy to order. Quiet descends. Anne moves closer to the young King.

ANNE
(gently)
Edward, Your Grace. How are you? Really?

Edward says nothing, but pushes himself out of his seat, shrugging his shoulders first in another sullen gesture.
He moves across to gaze out the window at the green below.
King Edward V turns back to Anne. Smiles, icily.

KING EDWARD V
Come here a moment, aunt.

Anne walks across to him. As she gets close he grabs her wrist and forces her to look out the window.

POV THE TOWER GREEN BELOW.
People move about their business, guards, their womenfolk, their children. All stay clear of a pile of wood, covered with dried blood, though some attempt has been made to cover the bloodied logs with clean ones to hide them.

KING EDWARD V
See that? That's where your husband chopped my uncle William Hastings head off. Down there. Look. You can still see the blood stains.

Anne shocked, almost collapses, but King Edward holds her wrist tightly, preventing her from falling or detaching herself.

Anne has a look of horror on her face.

The King, enjoying the effect he has had, lets her go free.

She staggers back.

ANNE
Your Grace

Lovel rushes forwards to put his arm around her for support.

ANNE (CONT’D)
Your grace, your uncles Richard and Henry acted for the safety of yourself and the realm.  Lord Hastings was a traitor....

KING EDWARD V
To whom aunt?

Edward turns on her and almost screams out. (There is the mother in this boy, he reminding us of the screaming harpy of the earlier barge scene)

KING EDWARD V (CONT’D)
A traitor to whom? Not to me aunt! Not to me or mine!

His tone is angry, arrogant.

His brother Richard is frozen to the spot, staring. Lovel too does not move. He almost shivers with the recognisable tone in the young King’s voice.
Anne is clearly terrified, and does not at first answer. She goes into another deep curtsey, almost not daring to look at the boy in fear of provoking him further. As she composes herself she gets some courage to stammer out

ANNE
Your uncle, my husband, is your protector,
(pause)
and the realm's, ....until you come of age and can make decisions for yourself.

KING EDWARD V
(vindictiveness incarnate)
And may that day be soon, or I may have none of my maternal uncles left alive!

He stares down at her, for in shock she has remained down in the curtsy.

Richard as shocked as her, moves across and stands by her side, takes her hand to comfort her. Lovel kneels at her other side, offering his protection. She is on the verge of tears.

King Edward enjoys this moment and looms as large as he can above his gentle aunt, though it is Richard who dares speak for him.

RICHARD OF YORK
I think my brother the King wishes to know if he is truly King, aunt.

Edward does not react. He is ice.

RICHARD OF YORK (CONT’D)
Why, my brother’s grace would know, was he not consulted before our uncle Rivers was imprisoned and removed from his company? The King believes his uncle Rivers is a good man and that his permission should have been sought.

KING EDWARD V
(with venom in his tongue.)
Rivers is a good man.

He turns away and makes to leave but is stopped by what he hears.

ANNE
(whispers)
Was....

It hangs in the air for a moment.

King Edward spins around on her.

KING EDWARD V
(screams)
What?

Anne cowers.
The King turns to Lovel.

KING EDWARD V
Has Gloucester dared to execute my uncle Rivers?

Anne is in tears, but the boy King does not care. He grabs her arm and pulls her roughly up off her knees so that he can look  directly into her eyes.

KING EDWARD V
Wait till I am older aunt, and you shall see what King Edward the Fifth will do with uncles he does not like or trust.
When I am truly King, England will have no more of uncles.

Anne is shocked into silence by this direct threat. She shakes her arm free. Lovel moves in closer to support her.

LOVEL
Time to go Your Grace.

Anne nods meekly but full of gratitude.

LOVEL
(he bows to the king)
If Your Grace will excuse us.

Anne curtseys hurriedly, looks at the young boy king quizzically, hurt, seeking some apology, but getting none she and Lovel turn and rapidly leave.

Prince Richard looks only confused as, after a moment of silence King Edward returns to the window and watches Anne  hurry out of the building in deep distress, and with Lovel, climb into her carriage, neither looking back.

Richard shrugs off the anger hanging in the room, not really understanding what has just happened, and joins his brother at the window.

He is in time to see the back of the carriage as it disappears and the gates swing solidly shut behind it. The boom echoes in and around the chamber.

KING EDWARD V
Am I King here, or a prisoner?

He asks nobody in particular. Absently almost, Richard asks his brother,

RICHARD OF YORK
You don't love aunt Anne much, do you Ned?

Edward laughs out loud, but it is a hellish sound.

KING EDWARD V
Love her? I don't even like her very much. Women like her should not have so much influence.

Richard doesn't get this.

RICHARD OF YORK
But you keep saying you'd like mother to be your regent. Mother's a woman isn't she? She'd have influence as Regent, wouldn't she?

KING EDWARD V
Don't be so stupid Richard! Of course mother is a woman. But she would leave me to rule, for she wants the same as I do, the advancement and well being of our family.

RICHARD OF YORK
But so does uncle Richard, Ned. He's always telling me I bear grandfather's name as well as his, and should be proud to be a son of York.

KING EDWARD V
York? York? I stand for my family, the one who brought me up, cared for me, educated me. At father's court when did you ever look at York? Did you not always gaze upon the splendour of the Woodvilles? Which would you prefer now? The gaiety of mother and her relations, or dark and sombre uncle Dick?

RICHARD OF YORK
But Ned..

KING EDWARD V
Oh shut up Richard! Just shut up!

He storms out of the room slamming the door behind him in his brother’s face as Richard tries to follow.