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FLAPPERS ep 1 by K Day, 1st 10 pages

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FLAPPERS ep 1 by K Day, 1st 10 pages

  1. 1. FLAPPERS by Kristina Day Episode 1 First 10 Pages Kristinadayandnight@gmail.com +44 77 76 133 531
  2. 2. EXT. STREET, LONDON - DAY ELLA, 20, swings her cheap tin suitcase, tied with rope. Her coat has been mended many times over. The borrowed hat doesn’t quite fit and threatens to blow away in the autumn wind. But there is a natural dazzle about her - so nobody ever notices her clothes. An urgent dingdingdingding! An open-top double decker bus swooshes past her. She glares after it, takes a step - now a model T Ford swerves to avoid her. HONK! ELLA Oh, quit casting kittens! You don't own the road! EXT. WALDORF HOTEL - DAY JACKSON leans casually against some railings, all is right with the world. A large open chest of assorted knickknacks dangles in front of him: a street seller. He’s Ella’s age, self-assured despite the grime on his face and possibly cute underneath it. Ella admires the magnificent building in front of her. The name sparkles in large gold letters: Waldorf Hotel. SUPER: LONDON, 1921 Ella sashays towards the entrance. Heads turn. A MAN IN A BOWLER HAT whistles. Ella laughs. It sounds like pearls dancing on a xylophone. Jackson pushes himself off the railings and cuts off Mr. Bowler Hat before the guy can try his luck. She’s his! JACKSON (re suitcase) ‘ere, let me help ya. ELLA I can manage, thanks! I’m a modern, you know! JACKSON You what? A Bentley pulls up, out spills an oversized Edwardian hat followed by the rest of BONNIE (30s). Awkward, she looks like she’s never fitted in, be it her dress or society. She turns to help GRACE (30s) alight, admiring her like she was a fragile dandelion about to blow away. Grace is the perfect Edwardian beauty: big hair, tiny waist, frilly long dress.
  3. 3. BONNIE Here we are then. GRACE The Waldorf! You said, come over to mine... There is chemistry between them but neither is sure the other feels it. Bonnie nervously fumbles with her purse. BONNIE Oh, if you’re not sure then... GRACE Oh no, I’d like to. BONNIE The Palm Court restaurant is divine. GRACE (mischievous) Do they do room service? A side glance at Bonnie who can’t believe her luck. She gestures at the revolving door, grinning. They go inside. Spellbound by their glamour, Ella follows but is barred by a gangly arm, belonging to STAN (20s), the gangly doorman. STAN You’re not coming in. ELLA Phonus balonus! I work here! Well... I start this afternoon. STAN Staff entrance ‘s round the back. ELLA Oh don’t be such a bluenose! Just for a minute! I’d so like to peep into the lobby -- Stan bends forward and shakes his head right in her face. Ella turns, affronted. A taxi pulls up. The male occupant, ASHLEY (20s), a long haired bohemian, pays the driver. Lady SARABELLE (20s) alights, a socialite and the epitome of glamour: alluring, unobtainable. 2.
  4. 4. JACKSON (advertising his wares) Collar studs, handkerchiefs, shoe laces, pipe cleaners, matches! For Sarabelle, Jackson is a ghost. Ashley follows suit. ASHLEY We’ve made it, buttercup, we’re here! I’m going to kiss you! He sweeps her up in his arms. She giggles - not in front of the staff! Ashley kisses her cheek rather than her lips. Stan looks away, flustered. Ella is mesmerised. A flock of PORTERS busy with the luggage now, pretending not to look. Sarabelle untangles herself from Ashley, they approach the entrance. Ella ducks behind them. Surely, in the commotion she can sneak past Stan? Jackson grins - she’s got pluck. He strolls up to Stan’s far side to distract him: JACKSON ‘ere gov, been meaning to tell ya, I asked the parakeet about you and Rosalie. In among Jackson’s chest of wares is a small bird cage with a live parakeet. Stan swings around to Jackson, eager. STAN Oh yeah? What’d he say? JACKSON You know he’s never been wrong once... always on the button. And he said, you and Rosalie - Ella’s ruse is working. Nearly in. But then Sarabelle stops to wipe lipstick off Ashley’s cheek with a handkerchief before they enter. She notices Ella right behind them. SARABELLE (disgusted) Would you mind! Ella jolts back. Stan cottons on, roughly pulls her away. STAN Hey! You filthy little-- 3.
  5. 5. JACKSON Ladies! Gentlemen. Just a small misunderstanding! No need to come to blows. (to distract everyone:) Take a looks at my parakeet, he can tell your fortune, he can. He steps close to Sarabelle, seemingly to show her the bird. JACKSON (CONT’D) Just let him look you in the eye, my lady, and then he’ll pick a card for you. Parrotology. He’s never wrong. Sarabelle and Ashley just turn away and disappear inside the Waldorf lobby. Jackson gently takes Ella’s arm. JACKSON (CONT’D) Just leave it. ELLA I’m not dirty! Even as Jackson guides her away she calls back: ELLA (CONT’D) Old pillow case! JACKSON Is that bad? ELLA (nods) Full of feathers. They’re now round the corner, near the staff entrance. He pulls out Sarabelle’s embroidered handkerchief, presents it to her. It’s beautiful. Ella can’t believe her eyes. JACKSON Picked her pocket when she didn’t want to look my parakeet in the eye! ELLA (beams) You’re the flea’s whiskers! She turns to go inside the Waldorf staff entrance. JACKSON I hope that’s better than a pillow? 4.
  6. 6. ELLA Posolutely! Thanks! JACKSON Then... may I see you again? ELLA That would be the berries! With a giggle, she hurries inside. He calls after her: JACKSON What does that mean?! INT. WALDORF LOBBY - DAY Sarabelle and Ashley stand to one side. ASHLEY Nonsense! Stop worrying. It was them who were rude, if anything. Let’s go out and come in again - this time, I’ll carry you over the threshold! He playfully makes to pick her up. Laughing, she fends him off but he’s cheered her up. ASHLEY (CONT’D) We're here! Let’s enjoy every magnificent second of this! He drinks in the splendidness of the lobby - gilded paintings, mirrors polished to a sparkle, glittering chandeliers. She sees something else: SARABELLE No chaperone! The outrageousness of it! She gets out a lip rouge and paints on a much more alluring red. SARABELLE (CONT’D) Will you take me dancing? I’ve heard trotting like a fox is all the rage now. ASHLEY The foxtrot, yes. And the Black Bottom. She shrieks with delight. 5.
  7. 7. SARABELLE At one of those petting parties?! She now poses with a long cigarette holder, pouting her lips. SARABELLE (CONT’D) They’re meant to be unspeakably fatal. ASHLEY Not unlike you... SARABELLE I want to try everything! He takes her hand. As they stride up to reception all eyes are on them. Ashley loves it. Sarabelle takes no notice. ASHLEY (to receptionist) Your best suite! It’s Lady -- The RECEPTIONIST jolts himself out of his reverie. RECEPTIONIST Lady Sarabelle! We are honoured to have you stay with us. Suite six twelve. SARABELLE Have a selection of evening gowns brought up. I didn’t bring much. She pulls Ashley towards the lift. SARABELLE (CONT’D) We’ve practically eloped! INT. WALDORF KITCHENS - DAY A hive of activity. Instructions being shouted left right and centre, COOKS, CHEFS, PASTRY CHEFS and ASSISTANTS, KITCHEN MAIDS, SCULLERY MAIDS fetch, mix, chop, whisk, peel. Ella, now in a maid’s uniform, doesn’t know where to start. She turns to a waiter, CLYDE (20s), who seems right at home both in the hectic kitchen and in his handsome uniform. CLYDE (shouting an order) One lobster, one turbot, one cheese soufflé! 6.
  8. 8. He sees Ella. His eyes light up. CLYDE (CONT’D) Hey sweet patootie! Before she can reply BETTY (30s), one of the cooks, nabs her. BETTY You're mine. CLYDE (playful) Just what I was gonna say to her! BETTY (to Ella) You’re to answer only to me. The front end is where plates of mouth watering dishes await service. But they now walk deep into the bowels of the kitchen, past gleaming copper pots, enamel jars, 12 sizes of spatulas hanging in an orderly row. ELLA How do you do? I’m Ella Frankl -- BETTY You will address me as Cook. Two rules: no dallying, and no complaining. You never leave the premises without permission. And you never eat the guests’ food. ELLA Er, that’s four-- BETTY Now, peel those potatoes. There’s a whole mountain awaiting her. ELLA Yes, Cook. Betty goes back to her range. She never stands still. Ella starts working at a kitchen island next to PEARL (20s) who looks like all this is beneath her. ELLA (CONT’D) Hello. I’m Ella. PEARL Pearl. 7.
  9. 9. ELLA What’s it like, the Waldorf? Is it true, all the rooms are fully electrified? Clyde sneaks over. Pearl’s mood brightens. CLYDE (to Ella) Yes, electricity in all the rooms! I’m Clyde. Head waiter. Palm Court. He ignores Pearl, she scowls. PEARL (to Ella) You’ll never get to see them rooms. BETTY Get out of here, Clyde. (to Ella) No relations with the male staff. Grate this horseradish. ELLA Where are the graters? But Betty is gone again. Ella looks at Pearl. She doesn’t respond. Ella goes searching. She recognises ROSALIE (20s), an assistant pastry chef. She’s making delicate peach puffs. ELLA (CONT’D) Oh Rosalie! Teriff! ROSALIE Not now! We can jaw tonight. ELLA Um, alright. Want to go explore the big city? ROSALIE It’s not my afternoon off! What do you need? ELLA Hmpf... grater? ROSALIE Above range three. Now go do me proud! 8.
  10. 10. Ella arrives back at her kitchen island. CLANG! Pearl plonks a bowl and whisk in front of her. She was making mayonnaise. PEARL I was new once. Now it’s your turn! Angry, Ella dumps her grater and starts whisking. She adds a little more oil. It’s hard work making mayonnaise. BETTY (O.S.) Girl? When you’ve done the horseradish, ladle the scum off this soup. Ella puts the mayonnaise down. BETTY (CONT’D) Oh my, you haven’t even started the potatoes! (to Pearl, re mayonnaise) Better than your usual. ELLA No, that was -- BETTY I won't have dawdling in my kitchen. You idle girl! INT. BONNIE'S SUITE - DAY Grace looks at drawings Bonnie shows her: beautiful elaborate furniture designs. Bonnie can’t take her eyes off Grace. GRACE Lovely! (looks around) Did you design this suite? Like the drawings, the Edwardian suite is cluttered: frilly sofas, peacock feathers, porcelain vases. BONNIE I wish! Just because we now have a female MP, a woman has won the Pulitzer prize, and Queen Mary has been awarded an honorary degree, apparently that doesn’t mean a woman can be trusted to design a sofa. GRACE Who is it you’re trying to impress? 9.
  11. 11. BONNIE Lord Waltinghurst. GRACE Gordon Waltinghurst. Good luck! I call him Gordon Ghastly. Bonnie laughs. She dares to make a move: BONNIE Why don’t you come with me? If you could find nice things to say about me... I mean, my designs. You know what men are like. A beauty like you... Grace gets it. GRACE (suggestively) He wouldn’t interest me in the slightest. Bonnie gulps. Is she reading the signs correctly? BONNIE I’m glad. GRACE You on the other hand... Well, I’d be happy to help. INT. WALDORF KITCHENS - NIGHT Exhausted, Ella washes up stacks of pots, pans, and dishes in the scullery corner. She is the only one left in the kitchen. Betty comes in, she’s just eaten, wipes her mouth. BETTY Oh and girl, when you've finished washing up, clean the stoves and the floor. ELLA When do I get to eat? BETTY You’re too slow, you’ve missed dinner. 10.

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