01x03 - Episode 3

Episode transcripts for the TV miniseries "Life in Squares". Aired: July 27, 2015 to August 2015.*
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"Life in Squares" is a fast-paced drama of the close and often fraught relationship between sisters Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf.
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01x03 - Episode 3

Post by bunniefuu »

'I'm in love with you... '

'I was thinking, we should have a child together. '

Ah, Duncan.

Very sauvage!


Angelica, my rights! Ravishment!

Virginia, I'm far too old.

No, I insist! The right ear!

No-one needs the car tonight, do they?

Walter could run George down, if he wanted to go to the station.

Oh, no. George has a few friends staying in Brighton, so we thought we might take a jaunt up to see them.


Whatever have you done to your hair?

It's more sophisticated, don't you think?

My God! The corrupting influence of drama college...

Well, everyone at college thinks it's most flattering.

I think it brings out the Belle in me, don't you?

You're far too pretty to resemble Clive.

I know.

I'll go.

Another love affair?

Or is Julian still thinking about going to Spain?

There's talk of it.

But he should just be allowed to rest for now.

China's taken enough out of him.

Some of the broken bits are so beautiful.

It seems a shame not to use them for something.

While Europe burns...

Yes, no doubt I should be knitting mittens for Spanish refugees and getting up a petition against Mr Mussolini. (HE SCOFFS) I hope you know how marvellous it is for us all having you back.

Not quite so marvellous seeing Duncan's latest, I imagine.

For you, I mean.


He's perfectly charming.


Thought he should be among us.


Splendid idea.

It's really almost impossible to believe he's gone.

George has managed to get hold of a ticket on the Queen Mary.

Two, as a matter of fact.

And you intend to go?


Would that be all right with you?

I rather think it's your decision, don't you?

You know, the laws may still be harsh, but you don't need the trappings of a family to go about the world.


My being here has nothing to do with what the world thinks.

You know that.

You must do as you wish, of course.

But I don't think I can endure it, if George takes you away from me.


I'll come back! I always come back.

All the way from America? Are you sure?

He's not like the others, you know.

Even Bunny, it was possible to fold him into our life here.

But George wants you all to himself.

You mustn't be tied to me by guilt.

Or because of Angelica.

It's not as though Angelica regards me as her father.

Everyone should be free to live as they please, otherwise we may as well be our parents.

Joan of Arc?

Well, what was your talk about?

The English Language.

And I didn't have to seduce the producer, my dear, before I was asked.

Oh, I finished it with her months ago.

I did!

There she is!

Look who I found at the BBC!

I thought we could all take tea together.

Hello, Vita.

How nice to see you.

25,000 copies in America so far... but I've vowed never to write a long book again.

I don't know how you do it.

It nearly finished me off, Nessa will tell you.

Now, the American agent has baited the hook...

A thousand a week and expenses if I go over there and lecture.

"More personal the better," they say.

"Share your thoughts about love and marriage, Mrs Woolf."

Americans are the most shockable nation on earth.

Do you really think they're ready to hear your thoughts on the married state?

What about you, Vanessa?


My life's exceedingly quiet, really.

Painting, of course.

She and Duncan wrap themselves in a cocoon of beauty.

It's a marvel to see.

Charleston's a convent dedicated to art with Nessa as the Mother Superior.

Have I become so stagnant, Billy?

You? The Empress of Bohemia?

I don't think George likes me, particularly.

It's foolish, I know...

I'm not sure I like George...

What does it matter? It's not you he's going to bed with.

And you know you always win Duncan's boys round in the end.

Your charms are irresistible.

Because it's not enough!

Oh, for God's sake...

Clive, you know it isn't.

To throw up our hands and trust to... to truth and beauty and let Fascists grind people's lives into dust!

You're wilfully misunderstanding me!

Of course there are things we can do!

Oh, Christ! Letters to the newspapers, thoughtful essays in small magazines?

We have been schooled in absolutely nothing useful to society!

I wish you would stop shouting at Clive. It's horrible.

We rather enjoy it, my darling.

You might.

I did hope we'd given you many things in your upbringing.

Do you think I'm not grateful?

All the freedom...

But one can't just be free to make love... to make art...

Jesus! You must see that.

I hate what Franco is trying to impose on Spain.

But giving up your life for it will achieve nothing.

How do you know?

Why is my life worth more than any one of those men already out in Spain?

Oh, stop it, Julian! You may be foolish, but don't pretend to be stupid.

If I didn't fight, then.

If I helped.

Really helped.

It's the only way I can see to give my life any meaning at all.


How can we stop you?

You're in good time, Walter!


The car's here.

You left this on your dressing table.

I, erm...

I shan't need it.

I'll probably be crawling with lice within the week.

No moping, darling.

It'll dry up your juices.

You'd better take the packet.

It's that sort of day.

George embarked at Portsmouth this morning.

Seems a berth came free rather sooner than expected.

Was that his decision or yours?

I'm not entirely sure.

Make sure Nessa talks to you, won't you?

Whatever about?

I do wish you'd let me buy you some more clothes...

It's fine.

You do realise, Nessa, you need to tell Angelica the truth... about Duncan.

She's not a child any more.

Everyone's got a right to know who they really are.

That sounds rather a tall order.

Quite honestly, I don't see how you've all let it get this far.

It's not fair.

She's bound to hear things about who her father is.

That's if she hasn't already.

Well, I suppose I thought she might've.

That it might sort of have gradually filtered in...

That's the trouble with you lot, pacifists.

You avoid confrontations of all kinds.

You seem to think we've made a terrible hash of things all round.

The older generation.

I think you're the most remarkable woman I know.

Perhaps that's the trouble.

Your life does have meaning, you know.

Tremendous meaning.

You don't want to run out on the journey.

Julian, do take care!

Bye, bye, bye.

"My dear Julian, your last arrived this morning, posted from Bilbao. You don't seem to have had two from me, but I intend to carry on regardless. It's heartening to hear you're finding the ambulance work so stimulating and feel so useful. We're very quiet here with you away and Angelica off in London. Angelica has taken your suggestion and been in touch with Bunny who, if you remember, she's always liked very much. We're all glad he's happy to keep an eye on her when we're down in Sussex. As for B, he seems to have seized on an avuncular role with unusual gusto. "

I've been many things in my time, but never a stage-door Johnny.

Well, I'm glad there's something new I can introduce you to.

Flirtation. Is that what they're teaching you at drama school?

And I can mime it.

Or engage in sword play, though I'm not very good at it.

Bit dangerous.

I do like it here.

I haven't been anywhere, Julian says I'm a bumpkin.

Straight back.

That's the way.

When I was in Russia, this was the only thing that stopped my toes from dropping off.

When were you in Russia?

Oh, long before you were born. I was...


My b*lls hadn't dropped, anyway.

Long days with the shepherds on the steppe.

Za tvoyo zdorovie!

And the worst thing... Well, not the worst thing... no-one told me Julian was going off until just before he went.

I think Nessa was hoping that if she didn't discuss it, he might change his mind or it might not happen or something.

Sounds like Nessa.

She's always liked sticking her head in the sand.

At least Julian's not fighting in Spain.

Quentin says the ambulance corps is every bit as dangerous.

I think it just makes Nessa feel better that she persuaded him out of carrying a g*n.

My wife is dying.

Did Nessa tell you that?


I'm so sorry...

Breast cancer, there's nothing to be done.

I haven't been the best husband, all in all.

Perhaps it's a judgment on me, but that'd be rather hard luck on Ray, wouldn't you say?

I... I'm sorry.

You're far too young to be hearing all this.

No, I'm not.

"I've embarked on a vast painting. Virginia says I've bitten off more than I can chew, so I'm determined to prove her wrong. Clive thinks her anti-w*r book is both wrong-headed and unsympathetic. Since you consider him a craven pacifist, along with the rest of us, perhaps you'll be surprised. Duncan worries that I shan't be able to get my canvas out of the studio, since I stretched it in here on the frame. Oh, dear. I fear he may be right. "

Bunny says he's only a second-rate writer. Is that true?

Er, I haven't read anything of his for years. Have you, Duncan?

I think he's being modest.

I doubt that.

Julian says he might get home for Christmas.

I wonder if the months will start to go more quickly.


You know Bunny's seen a fair bit of her up in town.

She seems quite keen on him.

Well, she hasn't said anything to me.

Would she, though?

You don't think you should have a word?

With whom?

I don't know. Either of them. Both of them.

You don't think he's seduced her?

Oh, good God!

Bunny, of all people!

Which one are you jealous of?

I'm sure we can trust her to behave... to behave reasonably.

And him.

A dear friend, an old friend of ours.

Perhaps I should discuss it with Clive.

Really, though, she's just a child!

The Rite of Spring by Stravinsky Angelica?

I didn't know you'd be in tonight, Duncan!

I'm going to be even more nervous than usual.

What is it?


He was your son as well.

It's just as bad for you.

My dear, my life is so full of things.

Mostly vanities.

The hole will fill up eventually.

How can you say that?

It's true.

It won't fill up for Nessa.

It's not that I don't mind, Angelica, but I know what I'm like.

I don't know what I'm like.

Do you think I am more like you or her?

"Nessa, the truth is I've never felt for any lover what I have for you. You've given me the loveliest of lives. If anything should happen to me, promise you won't cling too tightly to Angelica. She needs her freedom, too. Perhaps more than I ever have. "


My darling... you know how much you're loved, don't you?

How very, very much, by all of us?

Yes, of course.

And everything that's been done... has been done out of love.

You see, that's the most important thing in anyone's life.

You're the child of the most perfect and special love.

Nessa, I do know the facts of life.


It's Duncan.

Duncan's your father, you see.

Not Clive.


Of course.

It changes nothing. Nothing of the way any of us feels.

You loving Julian so much, and Quentin, it doesn't matter they're your half-brothers.

What matters is you love them.

And it means, really, you're fortunate, aren't you?

To have two fathers.

Though better not speak of it to Clive.

He so delights in you as his daughter.

He does know?

Yes, of course. Of course he knows!

It was all done in perfect honesty, as I say, and love.

My darling.

Special, precious darling.

Julian thought it important you should know.

If I Didn't Care by The Ink Spots Sun over the yardarm?

Somewhere in the world.

The brandy's finished.

Gin, in that case.

I hate gin. It makes me morbid.

Then whatever you fancy. There's some vermouth, I think.

I'm going to leave drama college.

I don't think I have any talent in that direction.

I mean, I haven't been given any important parts and Monsieur St Denis was quite brutal when I presented my work on Nina.

In The Seagull?

So I'm wasting my time, really, when I could be doing something else.

I see.

Best talk it over with Nessa, don't you think?

Will it suit for the blackout, though, without linings?

I'd say it's heavy enough, but the only real way to be sure is to shine a light through it at night.

You wouldn't be in danger of finding things for me to do?

You know how hopeless I am at this sort of thing.

I'm sure the woman in the shop overcharged me.

Blackouts, shelters.

Oh, can you believe we're required to think about it all again?

There was an announcement on the wireless about k*lling all the dangerous snakes at the zoo.

As though they think London will be invaded by serpents the moment there's an air raid...


Exactly what I thought.

And the apocalypse coming.

When do you think you might start painting again?

Well, Duncan thinks it will make all the difference to you.

I still don't...

I don't feel myself, Billy.

Painting's what makes you yourself! It always has been.

When I was mad, the worst thing of all was not being able to work.

But I'm not mad, am I?

All right, it was nice this time.

Extremely nice.


But I still don't love you.


Where's... the lavatory?

Oh, er... usual sort of arrangement.

Or there's a pot, if you just need to piss.

You certainly didn't get that prudery from Duncan.

Well, you didn't!

So you knew then, about Duncan being my father?

My dear, I was famously the first person to see you after the birth.

Surely Nessa must have said?

Oh, do borrow that, if you like. Harry won't mind.

I've read it. Only in English, though.

It is a great favourite of Clive's.


It was very gripping, but they are so unpleasant, aren't they?

The Marquise and Valmont.

You didn't find them... interestingly honest?

I don't think they're honest at all!

I think they hide behind honesty as an excuse for... for utter selfishness.


You are so deliciously easy to tease.

They'd like you to come to Charleston.

Nessa and Duncan.

They're planning a party for my 21st birthday, since they couldn't hold it at Christmas.

Don't you think it might be strange?

They're strange.

You're delightful.

And we have nothing to be ashamed of.

Good God, what an entrance!

You were never so dashing in the last w*r.

Air Ministry, different times.

There she is!

There you go. Thank you.

Shall we? Come on!
Bunny, welcome!

Nessa! How marvellous to be here.

Like stepping into a fairy tale.

No more bags than that?


It's ridiculous.

I don't understand why I find it so upsetting.

Perhaps it's some awful complex I've got over sex or something.


Bear... perhaps it's something a father most naturally feels about... about his daughter.

And maybe it's no bad thing for Angelica to have a love affair with an older man.

Better that than some panting youth who'll try to marry her.

It's far too early for her to think of pinning herself down.

But, really, of all the older men...

(SHE LAUGHS) It seems the most terrible mess.

Yes, I suppose it is.

We must try to be as rational as possible.

Otherwise we'll end up just driving her away.

You know I couldn't stand that, Duncan. Not now.

It's only a drill, surely.

The world's falling down about our ears.

We should think of moving a few supplies into the shelter.

I've been chatting to the warden, Tony's son.

The raids are set to intensify, apparently.

And if we're invaded?

There's no danger of that.


Leonard, five miles from the coast, we won't stand a chance.

They'll put you in a camp.

If I'm lucky.

A prominent Jew.

We can't be separated.

Promise me.

There has to be something we can do.

I suppose I can talk to Doctor Richards.

su1c1de pills?

He might be amenable.

Or there's the exhaust in the garage, so long as we have sufficient petrol to run the engine, if the worst happens.

But, at present... we can be useful. Books, committees... our whiff of sh*t in the cause of freedom.

Yes, of course.

How lucky we've been.

We took it on, didn't we, marriage?

We made it into something quite different.

Couldn't... you do the same with death?

Change it into an exciting experience?


You couldn't.

What was it there before? A garland?

Or one of Duncan's gambolling nudes?

You know, I honestly can't remember.

Would you like a hot water bottle?

You probably remember the bedrooms are rather chilly.

No, thank you.

This wouldn't be about revenge, would it? Angelica?

If I'd taken you to bed 20 years ago...

Revenge? This...

You might as well know this is serious for me.

Completely. I'm in love with her.

But, by all means, see it entirely as a reflection on you.

But is she in love with you?

Well, Christ! Why don't you ask her?

I've already lost one of my children.

I'm begging you, please don't take her away from me, too.

It is not in my gift!

Angelica's 21!

Don't you think you've kept her in a glass case long enough?

I know she feels that!

You've told her nothing, taught her nothing. Why?

What, to keep a piece of Duncan all for yourself?

One might speculate the same is true of you.

I am not the Big Bad Wolf, Nessa. I never was.

Talk to her.

About everything.

You and Duncan, how you felt when you were her age.

About love, even.

And perhaps she'll stop seeing you as the enemy.

The enemy?

Aren't you famously committed to honesty?


I promise you, I don't need a chaperone to collect the bread order.

I can keep you company, though.

You're such a help. Not like me, when I was your age.

I hated anything to do with the house.

I know you know the stories, my darling - presenting the household accounts to Father after Mother d*ed, him ranting at me, weeping, sh**ting Niagara to ruin.

I hated him for it.

He never got over Mother's death, you see.

I can understand that now.

But I think it's very difficult for the young to understand unhappiness.

And why should you?

Are you trying to accuse me of not understanding you?

No, not accuse!

Just I've been very shut away from you since Julian...

But please don't think I can't understand how you feel about Bunny.


Is that so strange?

I know what it is to be in love. You are in love with him.

How? How do you know?

You don't love Clive, Duncan prefers men, everyone knows he does.

I haven't seen you touch either of them. Not once.

Not a kiss, not an embrace. You always sleep alone.

That doesn't mean...

A lack of demonstration doesn't signify a lack of feeling.

Quite the opposite.

I have cared for Duncan, so much.

It hasn't always been easy, my darling, but I'm saying I understand how you feel.

I don't want to be understood!

Or discussed or helped or meddled with. I just want to live my own life.

Please, Angelica, you've brought me...

When you had me, when you were planning with Duncan, did you even think about me, grown up, as a person?

I was just another of your plans, wasn't I?

Like a new studio, or a new mosaic for the garden.

God, how could you have been so selfish?

You have brought me the purest happiness I've had in my life!

That has nothing to do with me!

Angelica 21?

Why does Nessa's life always seem so much more real than mine?

Speak for yourself.

It's children, I think. They anchor you in the world.

Best foot forward, eh?

Pixerina, a vision!

Well, I will be changing before the proper guests arrive.

Ah! Where's Nessa?

Somewhere about. May as well start as we mean to go on.

No rationing today!

Thank you, Clive.


That's the good stuff.

Pace yourself, you know how bad your head's been...

Surely you didn't walk all the way from Rodmell?

Yes, saving petrol.

It's become something of an obsession.

May I introduce Eribert? My aunt and uncle.

Eribert is from a small town near Munich.


Yes, so pleased to meet you.

We met on the Charing Cross Road, in a music shop.

Leonard and I took a tour through Germany a few years ago.

It wasn't at all what we were expecting.

Although, given Leonard's racial impurity, I suppose we should count ourselves lucky to have escaped with our lives.

I thought it would be nice to invite him before he was interned, or something dreadful.

Oh, God!

I didn't think he would actually find his way down here.

Thank you for all of the champagne. Very generous of you.

Nonsense, my pleasure!

When will my daughter be 21 again?

Just put it here.

Clive is to be here permanently, then.

Lock, stock and barrel.

He's already had his bed sent down from London.

And all his books.

You decorating a church, of all things...

It's rather a good commission, actually.

It's not going to be a phoney w*r for ever, you know.

No. I never thought much of appeasement as a strategy, myself.

Not this time round.

The important things are best faced.

And fought for.

Bunny, I... I know you've spoken to Nessa, but I wondered what your intentions are, concerning Angelica?

Oh, "intentions", oh.

How very Victorian of you!

Duncan the patriarch.

Are you going to tell me never to darken your door again?

Or see me off with a horsewhip?

Being facetious doesn't help.


The fact is... a serious affair at this stage... might be a great mistake for her.

Oh, Christ!

I think you'd concede this is hardly your area of expertise.

I just hoped... quite apart from it being you, you must see it's an awful gap, you being so much older.

That's absurd!

You, of all people, talking to me like the bloody Archbishop of Canterbury, lecturing me about morality!

I don't think I've I...

How could I?

How could I have forgotten the f*cking... sealed, self-righteous little outfit that you and Nessa run here!

Just not one of the g*ng, am I?

I never was!


Angelica, I need to speak with you.

More suitable, do you think, Nessa, hm? The Kraut?


More the right age for her?

Please stay, he's being rude.

We're getting everything together. Can't this wait?

Please, I don't wish to cause any bad feeling.

Look, if I can't speak to you privately, I'll have to do it here.

I don't think I want to speak to you at all when you're in this peculiar mood.

Have you been drinking?

Very well.

Have you thought any more about my proposal?

Oh, God, Angelica!

No, this has nothing to do with you!

You absolute sh*t!

You're ruining everything for everyone.

To think, I'd been considering writing a skit for today, in case we were short of entertainment.


I don't know what I'll do. What'll I do if she marries Bunny?

Does it really matter so much?

Of course it matters!

You couldn't be expected to understand.

You always have that over me, always.

Ten years ago, I used to grieve.

A little more self-control and I might have a boy and a girl of my own to fret over.

But I'm glad now, I'm glad I don't. This madness about one's children, it blinds you, I really think it does.

I really don't feel disposed to listen to your theories.

My child, my family, my country!

That's why the world's as it is, sunk in v*olence and insanity.

I am not responsible for the afflictions of the world!

Of course not. I'm sorry.

Don't listen to me, I've been a little...

Leonard. Now, he speaks more sense than anyone I know.

I think you'd agree.

He's a great believer in letting the young get on with things.

Allowing them to make their own mistakes.

Of course. I tried that with Julian. And it k*lled him.

Oh, he wanted to go, you know how much.


Better to die free than live under tyranny.

I'm not so sure any more.

You can't mean that.

Think of Hyde Park Gate, under Father's thumb. No life of our own.

Surely you must let Angelica make up her own mind, if it makes her happy.

What's coming with this w*r, it may be so terrible...

Oh, the w*r.

The w*r, the w*r, always the w*r.

Well, you can't shut yourself away from it, not this time!

We can't make a world apart, Nessa!

A world just of reason and friendship and beauty.

We believed we could and we tried, but we've failed.

I've failed!

I've failed.

In every possible way.

How can you say that?

Everything you've made.

Everything you've done.

You've lived exactly the life you wanted.

Haven't you?

"The King exposed himself in the bushes and the birds sang to me in Greek. "



I did warn you. Drink beyond your limit and a headache's the inevitable outcome.

I'm sorry, Pixerina!

I'm sure you'll manage to have a delightful time without me, anyway.

So... much beauty in the world.

On the snout.

If not too wet.

If we could meld souls...


"Dearest, I am certain now that I am going mad again. It is just as it was the first time. I'm always hearing voices, and I shan't get over it now. If I could, I would tell you what you and the children have meant to me. I think you know. I have fought against it, but I can't any longer. Virginia. "

They say, "Come to tea, bit of company. "

But it's no good.


And there's this. Always an itch to be scratched.

Any small thing distracts you. We're all so damned stupid and selfish.

You've been extraordinarily brave.

What choice do I have?

I know she won't come in from the lodge, and yet I look across the garden for her.

I know she's drowned... yet still I listen for her to come.

To come in at the door.

I've ordered a plaque for here, where I scattered the ashes.

Something of hers.

"Death is the enemy. Against you I will fling myself, unvanquished and unyielding, O Death! The waves broke on the shore. "

I wish I'd known how bad it had become.

She must have been suffering such a very great deal to have abandoned you like this.

The papers are saying out-and-out that Virginia took her life because of the w*r.

There was a very minty letter from a Bishop's wife - "We can't all crumple at the first sign of beastliness."

Stupid b*tch. If they'd known...

Well, it's too late now, isn't it?

She'll go down as too sensitive for this world, a wispy aesthete, a feeble lady writer.

Everything she hated. Well, that serves her bloody well right, eh?

'.. There!

'No, not there. There!'

'In Aldershot?!'

Oh, there you are. The Crazy g*ng.

'Why can't you listen?'

'I'm doing my best, but you're driving me bananas... '


All all right?


I'm rather keen on the Crazy g*ng myself.

Erm... I'm not sure about the background.

No, you're... you're quite right.

Sharing the same taste, it sounds like such an unimportant thing.

But we always have, haven't we?


Colours, a convincing line...

Your opinion on things, your... your feelings... I always want to hear them, you know.

I can't imagine being without them.


No viridian?

No, I've run out.

Well, we'd better order some more.

Does it do, though, the blue?

In this light, it's perfect.


He had a terribly important meeting, the Ministry.

He sends his love.

Is it Julian?

He was such a pudding of a baby.

I thought you had Mr Durrant to model.

That's right, he found it terribly boring.

But it's Duncan. Surely you've painted Duncan?

You must be able to see.

Well, there might be a resemblance.

One can never see oneself, really.

Undoubtedly, though... you are the Madonna.

Your grandchild.

Aren't you going to tell me how marriage suits me?

Everything suits you.

A left-handed marriage, that's what Virginia always used to call it, between Duncan and me.

I thought, while I was painting, that's what Mary had, her and Joseph.


I suppose it's terribly blasphemous to be saying that here.

I wouldn't mention it to the bishop.

At least we got it all done, anyway.

More than that.

The two of you have actually made the whole thing work.

Thank you.

I think, yes.

I think perhaps we have.
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