Four characters; WANDA GOODWRITE, DOREEN, MR SHELL, ZELDA.
Set up: two chairs facing each other in the middle of the stage.
WANDA GOODWRITE is a psychiatrist who has just finished her training and started a job as a psychiatrist
. She is optimistic and friendly, but utterly insensitive. She’s sitting on a chair, opposite her is an empty chair.
<KNOCK AT DOOR>
WANDA; come in!
DOREEN is a nervous woman, she shakily enters the room.
WANDA; come in, come in. Do sit down.
Doreen walks to the chair and sits uncomfortably. A few seconds go by.
WANDA; So what’s new with you?
A few more seconds go.
DOREEN;(stutters) I-I-I- (silence)
WANDA; (impatiently) Come on! Out with it! You can tell me.
Doreen remains silent.
WANDA: Do you have a problem speaking?
Doreen still remains silent.
WANDA; Ok, let’s try this. I’ll ask a question, you either shake or nod your head. Alright?
Doreen nods her head.
WANDA; How are you?
Silence, Doreen looks confused
WANDA: Let’s try another one shall we? How was your day?
Doreen shakes her head in confusion.
WANDA: Good! Now you’re getting the hang of it! Are you feeling down?
Wanda gets out a leaflet.
WANDA; Do you often feel tired?
Doreen nods again.
WANDA; (happily) Well, it says here they are both symptoms of depression. Glad we got that one sorted! I think we’re done.
Doreen stays seated.
WANDA; I said we’re done. You can leave.
Doreen gets up and leaves.
MR SHELL a quiet polite man walks in, eyes darting, he walks over to the chair and sits.
WANDA; Hello Mr….(Wanda picks up a piece of paper stating her patients names) Roberts.
MR SHELL; Shell.
WANDA; Oh, Mr Shell.
MR SHELL: Where’s Zelda?
WANDA; I’m a new psychiatrist here, and I’m taking over your sessions. How are you today?
MR SHELL; urm.. Fine thank-you
WANDA; That can’t be true can it? Or you wouldn’t be here would you?
MR SHELL; actually this week I’ve been feeling really quite good.
WANDA; Let me look through your case history. (Wanda picks up a wad of paper) it says… girlfriend left you, in the same week you were sacked from your job. Since has been depressed.….. What have you got to say about that then?
MR SHELL; well, urm, It took me a bit of time to adjust, but now, I think I’m feeling better.
WANDA; Where was I? Oh yes. So it all started when your girlfriend dumped you?
MR SHELL; Yes, but I think I’m over that now.
WANDA; Nonsense! Of course you’re not. Trust me I’m the psychiatrist. You have a lot of feelings you need to deal with. What was it about you that made your girlfriend leave?
MR SHELL; (glumly) I have the personality of a wet fish, the charisma of a dried out anemone, and a head which resembles that of a hammer head shark’s.
WANDA; They are particularly fish-centred descriptions.
MR SHELL: She’s a Marine Biologist.
WANDA: How very interesting, she must have been clever! Do you have a photo of her?
Mr Shell nods
WANDA: Can I see it?
Hesitantly Mr Shell takes out his wallet and removes a photo from it and hands it to her.
WANDA; WOW! She’s extremely pretty (she looks at him)
She rips up the picture.
Mr Shell looks horrified, and puts his arms out in a stop motion.
MR SHELL: (meekly) N-NO
WANDA: You’ll never get over her with that in your wallet, best thing was to get rid of it. Were there any other reasons, apart from your personality and looks, why your extremely attractive, intelligent girlfriend left you?
MR SHELL; (looking extremely uncomfortable) (pause) She preferred my identical twin brother, Simon.
WANDA; That’s a stinger! Didn’t he have your odd hammer-head shark shaped head too?
MR SHELL; She said it looked good on him.
WANDA: How odd! You look exactly the same yet she chose your identical twin. Well as long as she’s happy I guess, that’s what counts! (Pauses) Oh…. yes where was I. What you’ve got to remember Mr Roberts…(interrupted)
Mr Shell; Shell;
Wanda; What you’ve got to remember Mr Shell is that, it doesn’t matter that your girlfriend broke up with you because you have the personality of a wet fish, or that your job sacked you….. Why did your job sack you?
MR SHELL; Simon, my identical twin applied for my job. They said they liked him better, because he had more personality.
WANDA; Awch, what are the chances! But so what? Who cares that your job sacked you because everyone likes Simon better, what you’ve got to remember is (<CLOCK CHIME>) Where was I? Oh dear! I completely forgot where I was going with that. It would seem that we’re out of time anyway. See you next week Simon.
Mr Shell looks displeased he gets up and leaves.
ZELDA, a scruffy, shy, woman wearing thick rimmed glasses enters and walks to the empty chair, sits.
WANDA; Don’t tell me what your problem is, I’m going to guess.
Zelda tries to protest.
WANDA; No no! I insist. A good psychiatrist can tell a patient their problems are before they’ve been told. Give me a moment (a moment goes by) you’ve got body image problems; Low self-esteem, low confidence…. because you’re not particularly attractive.
Zelda; Miss Goodwrite…(interrupted)
Zelda keeps on trying to interject Wanda.
WANDA; Wait, wait! There’s more. You really shouldn’t interrupt, its rude. Something happened in your life, to make it even worse (knowingly) boyfriend broke up with you, lost your job? Whatever it was it made you, stop putting on make-up, brushing your hair or teeth and (turning away slightly) washing regularly. Well fear not! I’m here to pick up your broken pieces.
Zelda; (angry) Mrs Goodwrite! I’m the head of this institution. I’ve received complaints about your sessions.