I have told you before, Vivien; I am not paying in the region of five thousand pounds to have your ego pampered. I was delivered here and there is nothing wrong with this hospital, the staff or the equipment. We’ll see about that. (Turning him round so no one can hear her). Clive… if you ever, and I mean ever, want our relations to be resumed after this baby is born… you will do as I ask… Do you understand what I’m saying? Yes, it’s going to cost me five thousand pounds to screw my own wife. Darling you have me by the short and curlies. I don’t know about a health and beauty studio, you should be running your own brothel, you’d make a bloody fortune.
Enter Sister Mitchell reading Vivien’s notes.
Ah good, the organ grinder. And Clive, please don’t swear.
Sister raises her eyebrows and looks over the top of her glasses.
Clive Vivien Clive Vivien Sister Vivien
Mrs Withrington, do we have a problem? No Sister, we do not have a problem, you have a problem. I don’t know if you have noticed, but I am pregnant. I need my own room… I cannot possibly be expected to share a room with strangers who probably snore. Do you have any idea who I am. My husband is Clive Withrington. Name ring a bell? He probably supplies this hospital with most of their medical equipment. Withringtons … you have heard of it? … He is a big name in this city and he is (lowering her voice) a brickie. Mason, dear. I don’t think the sister is interested. Well she should be, no doubt her boss is in the same chalet as you. He will be told. Lodge, dear. Whatever… now where is that room? Out the door, first on the left. Thank you. You see being firm does work. Clive, get my bag, come along.
Clive picks up her designer bag and they exit. Sister is still reading the notes she doesn’t look up at all. Lindsay sniggers.
Sister Something funny, nurse? Lindsay (Shaking her head). No, sister. Enter a fuming Vivien. with Clive behind her trying not to laugh.
I suppose sending me to the sluice room was your idea of a joke, Sister. Well, I’m telling you … (Looking up from her notes). No, Mrs Withrington! Firstly, I do not tell jokes. Secondly, I am telling you. We do not have private rooms on this ward. Everybody is treated exactly the same, whether they have money, or they don’t. I don’t give a damn who you are, or what your husband does. Your baby will come out the same way as everybody else’s, because I’m sure it got there in the same way. Now get undressed and get into bed… that one there. (To Clive). Goodbye… (Exit Clive, bemused. Vivien is completely taken aback by this outburst as no one usually dares to answer her back. Lindsay is trying not to laugh and the other three just look gobsmacked. Vivien opens her mouth to protest and Sister shoves a thermometer straight in). Right then, glad
that’s sorted out. I’ll be in my office if anyone needs me. Nurse, make sure Mrs Withrington is put down for the full works, and I mean… (wickedly) everything! Lindsay Would you like to get changed, Viv, or is there something you don’t want us to see. Lindsay takes out the thermometer and Vivien flounces offstage.
Vivien The name is Vivien, Viv-i-en. Lindsay Withringtons, medical supplies… hmm. (She picks up the phonebook, looks for a while and then dials a number). Yes, I wonder if you can help me. I understand you manufacture medical equipment… oh, really… do you deliver… great. I’ll have three… Ward M11… the hospital… yes… definitely. I thought so… thought the name rang a bell. (She hangs up). Medical supplies, my backside. Viv’s husband makes equipment all right… Bloody vibrators! Oh, this should be funny. Enter Vivien in a pink nightie and a negligee trimmed with Marabou feathers. 9