RUTH on the phone
which is it
Hello, yes, sorry – my name is Ruth Wolff, double-f
which is it (god, you’d think I’d know this)
which is it I need if someone’s died? a body, yes –
no, not urgent – I’m sure. yes. Yes. I’m crystal clear.
I’m a doctor
CHARLIE speaks: THE FIRST DAY
CHARLIE is about the same age as RUTH. It’s important that the audience are never told explicitly whether the character is male or female.
A room in the Elizabeth Institute. MURPHY and HARDIMAN come in to a room where JUNIOR waits.
MURPHY We were playing as a team – I mean, we played better than we’ve been playing –
JUNIOR do you know where Professor Hardiman is?
MURPHY That’s him
HARDIMAN You’re the new junior
JUNIOR Yes –
HARDIMAN Roger Hardiman, senior consultant, deputy director – [without stopping]
JUNIOR Oh – I’m / my name’s
HARDIMAN there’s supposed to be a report, autopsy, three days ago, male mid-70s
JUNIOR It’s here, it’s just come in –
JUNIOR passes it, HARDIMAN takes it and reads
HARDIMAN It was his liver. She was right.
MURPHY Which means: I’m now owed money.
JUNIOR You bet on patients?
MURPHY Absolutely not. Patient was Hardiman’s, very sick, we can’t work out whether it’s his liver or his kidneys and patient’s too weak for us to treat both – he calls the BB in for an opinion – the BB has her Jedi perception. Professor, says the BB, I have nothing but my intuition, it is not my name above the bed, but I am crystal clear that the patient’s kidneys are not the problem. Hardiman disagrees, treats the kidneys, patient dies. That’s a fish, isn’t it, your tattoo –
JUNIOR is that a title? The BB?
MURPHY It’s a person. Sort of. Professor Wolff. BB = Big Bad
JUNIOR Professor Wolff is my consultant
HARDIMAN Good luck. Woman in name only.
JUNIOR What does that mean?
HARDIMAN It’s a joke.
COPLEY comes in
COPLEY Is Ruth here?
MURPHY She’s on her round, I think –
COPLEY ok. They need her downstairs.
COPLEY goes out again
HARDIMAN Do you go to pharmacology lectures?
JUNIOR It’s not Professor Creswell at the moment –
HARDIMAN I know that.
JUNIOR He’s off on sick, so Doctor Feinman is filling in.
HARDIMAN I know that. But have you been to them?
JUNIOR Yes –
HARDIMAN And how are they?
JUNIOR How are they?
HARDIMAN looks at JUNIOR as if to say ‘Say more’
She gets a bit excited.
HARDIMAN I quite agree
As MURPHY makes to go
MURPHY BB will need to see that report. And Copley is looking for her –
JUNIOR For who?
RUTH enters, overhearing
RUTH For whom.
For whom is Doctor Copley looking? In the case that you care about language at all. Either way, I believe I am the answer.
JUNIOR doesn’t really know how to respond, HARDIMAN saves
HARDIMAN Report’s in. It was his liver. You were right.
RUTH No, we were wrong. We are one institution, Roger, not a balkanised set of opinions – and here, we got it wrong. Could I have that report, please?
JUNIOR This one?
RUTH That one. In my hand. Thank you.
I wouldn’t join the boys’ club just yet. You may have better options.
JUNIOR Actually I’m with your firm again today, Professor
RUTH I do not run a ‘firm’. Coming through the doors of this institute, we might have cleaning firms, or firms of engineers – solicitors’ firms, occasionally, but I run a medical team.
RUTH Good. There’s a patient in room one, female, fourteen years old, sepsis, antibiotics aren’t achieving source control. There’s a nurse in there who needs relieving. The parents are on their way here, but someone should be with her at all times. Could y...