Maternity Ward Ten

A sketch from A Bit of Fry & Laurie

Stephen is pacing the corridor of a hospital maternity ward, looking nervous. Hugh puts his head out of a door, wearing a white coat.

Hugh Mr Conway?

Stephen No.

Hugh Ah (He looks down the corridor) You are ...?

Stephen Mr Quick.

Hugh Mr Quick, right, thank you. Hugh exits. Pause. Hugh enters. Mr Arthur Quick?

Stephen Noel.

Hugh I'm sorry?

Stephen Noel Quick.

Hugh Noel, yes of course. And your wife is Mrs Mary Quick?

Stephen Shirley.

Hugh Shirley, yes. Shirley Quick. Thank you. Hugh exits. Pause. Hugh enters.

Hugh Mr Quick.

Stephen Yes?

Hugh Have you come far?

Stephen No, well, we're just off the ring road. About twenty minutes.

Hugh Oh, nice, nice. I say, hasn't your wife got splendid hair?

Stephen Has she?

Hugh Oh yes. Fantastic.

Stephen Well, I suppose it is rather lovely, yes. I hadn't really thought ...

Hugh Well you should think, Mr Quick. You should. It's lovely hair. Lovely think, blonde hair.

Stephen She's got brown hair.

Hugh Mmm. Lovely. Hugh exits. (Shouting off) Brown hair. Hugh enters. Lovely thick, brown hair, yes. To be quite frank with you, that's some of the best hair I've seen in a long time.

Stephen Oh thank you.

Hugh You're a lucky man, Mr Quick. I'm telling you, that is world-class hair.

Stephen Is there any chance of seeing her, Doctor?

Hugh You just can't wait, can you? I don't blame you. With hair like that waiting for you, who wants to hang around in a draughty old corridor?

Stephen Well quite.

Hugh Excuse me. Hugh exits. Pause. Hugh enters. Yes, I always think brown hair looks tremendous on ... a quite short woman.

Stephen Well, possibly.

Hugh Possibly?

Stephen Of course, my wife's very tall.

Hugh Ah. You'd say she was very tall would you?

Stephen Very. Hugh exits.

Hugh (Off) Very tall. She's very tall, with brown hair. Hugh enters. Yes, right. Of course she's tall. Yes. I was thinking of her being quite short, because of course she's lying down at the moment. So she only comes up to my waist. From my point of view, you see, your wife is very short ... and very wide. But I expect that when you're at home, she stands up quite a lot, and so then you're bound to see more of her tall side.

Stephen Can I see her?

Hugh No, you can't.

Stephen Why not.

Hugh Well, because there's a wall in the way.

Stephen No. Can I go in and see her?

Hugh Aha. It's not advisable, frankly. Patients who've just had their tonsils out, are always a bit ...

Stephen Tonsils? She's come here to have a baby.

Hugh Excuse me. Hugh exits. (Off) She's come here to have a baby, for Christ's sake! Hugh enters. A baby, right. That's a lovely idea. Is it your first?

Stephen Yes it is, as a matter of fact. We've been trying for quite a long time.

Hugh I bet you have - with hair like that, phwor, eh? Had any luck so far?

Stephen What do you mean?

Hugh With babies. Have you had any luck?

Stephen Well yes, that's why we're here.

Hugh Of course, of course.

Stephen Surely she must have had it by now?

Hugh Who?

Stephen My wife. Surely she must have had the baby by now.

Hugh Oh er ... hold on. Hugh exits. (Off) Well where is it? Well haven't we got any? Tscch. Hugh reenters.

Hugh Yes she has.

Stephen She has? That's brilliant! Is it a girl or a boy?

Hugh It's ... it's a boy.

Stephen A boy! Cor! Can I have a look at him?

Hugh Er ... here I am, Mr Quick.

Stephen What do you mean?

Hugh Er ... I am your son. I was born about twenty minutes ago. Sorry, I should have mentioned it earlier.

Stephen You're my son? What are you talking about? Where's the baby?

Hugh I'm the baby, Mr Quick. Unfortunately I was born with a strange disease called Stimtirumtumtum which means that I look and sound like an adult even though I'm only twenty minutes old. It's very rare, but strangely enough it's also quite common. Muriel Gray has got it.

Stephen Muriel Gray?

Hugh Yes. Only a trained doctor would know that she's just six months old.

Stephen You're mad.

Hugh Maybe, Mr Quick ... father. But you know, I blame the parents.

Stephen Can I see my wife now?

Hugh Mother? Of course. We can be a family at last.

Stephen Shut up.

Hugh Yes, I always say that fathers should be present when their wife's tonsils are being taken out.

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