Upstairs Downstairs 1897 An Original New Musical - Book, Music & Lyrics by Loretta Kay Feld ASCAP

Sara Evans
A saucy disgruntled housemaid

Welsh by birth and born into a poverty stricken family, Sara, feisty and forthright by nature, is employed as a housemaid in the Farthing household in Portman Square.  Her work is demanding, strenuous and gruelling, from the early morning hours often until late at night.  Indeed, a life of total drudgery is not one in which Sara is prepared to fit into with compliance.  She longs for a life of freedom, a life of travel and luxury and constantly daydreams about the possibilities that might just be lurking around the corner if only she can find a means of escape.  Other servants in the household try to console and conform her ways but Sara's strong will and determination emerge against all odds and much to the surprise of the faithful butler, Higgenbotham who always has his misgivings about Sara's suitability for service.  Her eventual triumph against the constraints of a life in service offer hope to the first wave of feminism.

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What a life I would lead

You Bloody Bastard!

All in a days work

Lady Caroline Farthing

A lady of leisure and longings

Caroline is a beauty, her father had been a respected Judge who had arranged an early marriage for her at the tender age of nineteen to a promising politician, Charles Farthing.  She is witty, capricious and thoroughly enjoys exercising the prerogatives of a belle.  Her life seems a natural extension of her indulged childhood.  She and Charles move in a golden aura of excitement and promise.  The epitome of an aristocratic couple well prepared to ride the crest of an era to its full glory.  Caroline lacks for nothing except true love and an inner longing for a meaningful relationship.  On a holiday in Cannes, she meets with a French diplomat, Phillipe Juneau who fills her needs both on an emotional and sexual level.  They become lovers but Caroline is quite aware of the scandal this relationship could have on the political desires of her husband and ends the relationship despite her own longings.  A twist and turn of fate reunites the lovers a year later and opens the door to scandalous entanglements and possibilities.

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It must have been the wine!

Do you ever wonder who you are?

Lady Penelope Ashford-Jones

An aristocratic lady who thrives on wagging tongues.

What would life be like in the prudish Victorian age without the town gossip?  The smallest details, albeit dresses for balls, details of the latest corsets, the intimate lives of her friends in the highest of social circles become the passion of Penelope's keen ears and watchful eyes.  Gossip enhances the flavour of her tea, she often proclaims and although discreet in her telling all, she thrives on the intricacies and affairs of the upper class society and simply delights in catching mistakes that almost everybody makes, except herself, of course.  Her companion, Lord Tweedmouth never fails to encourage her love of gossip and is perfectly content to sip the well flavoured tea alongside her and to remain her faithful companion.

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Just a little bit of Gossip

Queen Victoria

Her Imperial Majesty

In 1897, England was at the height of her glory.  Queen Victoria had reigned for sixty years, held many titles, enjoyed her nine children although she always remained saddened by the early death of her husband, Prince Albert.  What a joyful pageantry awaited her as she waved to the endless numbers of people who had come to England from all over the world to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee.  As she was driven through the streets of London in her carriage waving to the vast crowds, perhaps her mind was drifting backwards to when she was just eighteen, trembling at her coronation, so afraid to be a Queen.

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The Queen's Soliloquy

Fred Higgenbotham

The ever-faithful butler

As Head Butler, in charge of the smooth running of the Farthing household, Higgenbotham is jubilant at the thought of the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations for Queen Victoria.  He is patriotic, diligent, and reliable even to the point of understanding Lord Charles' nightly disappearances.  No matter what problem arises, he insists that the home of an English Lord be run in accordance with the highest standards of behaviour and etiquette.  He does not approve of Sara's employment as a housemaid but hopes he will be able to force her to realize she has no option than to remain in service and comply with every household rule.  After endless years of service, he has climbed the rung of the ladder to become head butler and accepts his lot in life with sincere gratitude and expects all those employed under him to do exactly the same.  His household is turned upside down however by the adventures and misadventures of Sara but he takes it all in his stride whilst maintaining decorum and averting a scandal.  His stiff upper lip prevails at all costs and at all times and his guard can only be let down by the occasional bottle of wine he is entitled to whilst relaxing in his study where he dreams of days gone by and of a future filled with stability and security

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In the Home of an English Lord

Sixty Years a Queen

Lord Charles Farthing

Who is this English gentleman?

Despite his revered position as Under Secretary of State in the Victorian golden age, Charles reveals his intimate character, his macho posture and incomparable range of styles and personality designed to keep him at a distance from the eyes of the public and those of his charming wife, Caroline.  Addicted to the sexual favours of prostitutes and exhibiting total indifference to his wife's needs, he leads a double life of a well-respected politician by day and delights in the sweetest of his fantasies by night.  He is an aristocratic intelligent, imaginative and determined man whose obvious destiny is to become Prime Minister without regard to morality or conscience.

Mungo Farthing

Lord Charles’ manipulative nephew

Mungo, a young, charming, handsome man who relies on his uncle to provide him with all his needs in life.  The only work he ever performs is to manage his Uncle Charles' estate in the Country in the hope that this property and all its entitlements will be handed to him on a silver platter one day.  He is seductive, secretive and cunning and is mesmerized by Sara's beauty and cheek. No matter what the situation, he proves himself a gentleman who is always willing to lend a helping hand to any lady and Sara is no exception.  He insists on persuading Sara to join him for the afternoon and evening celebrations of the Jubilee, even to the point of making certain that he will ensure the Diamond Jubilee Celebration night will be one that Sarah will never forget!

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Saucy Sara

Philipe Juneau

A French diplomat

A French lover and highly respected diplomat must have appealed enormously to Lady Caroline when they met in Cannes during a thunderstorm.  Philipe knew exactly how to fulfil the needs of Caroline whose husband had complained of being impotent.  He was charming, with a joie de vivre, and welcomed Caroline into his open arms and his bed.   He never expected to see her again after Caroline ended their relationship so swiftly at the end of a glorious and most memorable summer but nevertheless he continued to pursue his efforts by writing endless letters to her in London, letters which were left unanswered.  He was the epitome of a Frenchman after all and when an unexpected opportunity arose a year later to escort Caroline to the Jubilee Ball, he used all the charm he could muster to reclaim his endless love for her.  Surely a mutual understanding between Lord Charles and himself could be reached!

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My Lovely Lady


Lord Charles’ favourite whore

A streetwalker, lady of the night, enticer who fulfils all Lord Charles sexual fantasies even though he claims he is impotent to his own wife, Lady Caroline.  Lucy beckons and Lord Charles comes running.  She is a teaser and a tormenter who shares her bed not only with Lord Charles but with Munshi, an Indian servant to the Queen. Consumed with jealousy, Lord Charles offers to find her a high position at the Adam and Eve, a club for gentlemen only, whose clothes are removed upon entrance, to be replaced with fig leaves if they stay the whole night through.

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Welcome to the Club

Sam Kendall

Self made millionaire

Sam, who had once swept the dung of horses from the streets in London when he was a boy, had been determined to end a life of poverty and had gone to live in South Africa, where after mining diamonds for many years, became an expert and an entrepreneur.  He eventually made a fortune when he opened his own company and mined diamonds.  He has arrived in London to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee and to present Queen Victoria with the Jubilee Diamond, one of the largest diamonds ever found in South Africa.  He is befriended by Lord Charles who has a monetary interest in his company and is thoroughly taken with Sara whilst staying at the country home of Lord Charles.  Sara haughtily proclaims she is the sixth daughter of the seventh Duke of Cumberland and displays all the airs and graces of nobility, an act which amuses Sam and encourages his affection for her.

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You Brought Me Love

Streetwalkers in Shepards Alley

awaiting their customers on the eve of the Diamond Jubilee June 1897

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The Whores Enticement

I would like to pay special tribute to Lynne Vardaman, Vocal coach  professor, singer, educator at the Manhattan School of Music, whose voice you can listen to on the audio samples on the Character page.  I appreciated her time, dedication and patience on this project and I am very happy to have spent many musical hours with her recording this musical.

My love and gratitude to my dear husband who offered me endless encouragement and to my children, family and friends whose support I shall always treasure and be deeply grateful for.

Book, Music & Lyrics
by Loretta Kay Feld ASCAP

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