Upstairs Downstairs

Solomon the Monkey

Upstairs Downstairs has it all: high drama, compelling characters, tumultuous historical events...and a monkey! Watch as Eileen Atkins, Ed Stoppard, and Keeley Hawes affectionately describe their simian costar, Solomon, and find out more about the off-screen lives and history of monkeys.

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Solomon was actually portrayed by two Rhesus Macaques: Rosie and her understudy/stunt monkey, Poppy. Learn more about Rhesus Macaques and how one might have ended up in a lavish townhouse in 1936.

Rhesus Macaque
Rhesus Macaque monkeys are ubiquitous throughout mainland Asia and have an enormous geographic population across the globe. In India, they inhabit diverse environments, including even dense urban centers. They are omnivores who raid crops in agricultural areas, pick through garbage in highly urban areas, and eat fruits, flowers, leaves, roots, bark, mushrooms and insects in the wild. In India, many dwell in temples and are fed offerings ranging from bananas to ice cream by locals as a form of worship. Solomon, Maud's monkey in Upstairs Downstairs, is partial to sweet tea and thick-cut marmalade.

Women of the Raj
Like so many women of her generation and class, the intrepid Maud Hallam voyaged to the Indian subcontinent and set up home for Mother Country and her diplomat husband. As a "memsahib" (the respectful address for a European woman during India's colonial period), Maud experienced many adventures, but endured a separation from her son, whom she had to send back to England for school. Hence the need for a loveable companion: Solomon the monkey.

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