A FEATURE LENGTH SCREENPLAY
The psychiatric system takes its toll on a reluctant new patient.
Also available as a One Act Play (different ending).
Richard Anderson is a new, and reluctant, admission to the psychiatric ward at the insistence of his Psychiatrist Dr Trevor Elliot. He quickly becomes acquainted with an assortment of other unusual patients. However, it is not the patients that cause him the most concern. Eddy, a long serving and burnt out psychiatric nurse, seems to be treating him more harshly than he does the others inmates.
Mike is one of the senior nursing staff and a long-standing friend of Eddy’s. Generally he holds Ward 12A together reasonably well, but he is finding this increasingly difficult since Richard has been admitted. Mike has a special relationship with Susan, an intellectually impaired young woman with a behavioural disorder, and a current patient of Ward 12A. Susan can be quite volatile at times.
Theresa, a recently graduated psychiatric nurse with good intentions, supports Richard through his ordeals. She has a very overt dislike of Eddy, but gets on reasonably well with Mike. When she calls on Mike to do something about Eddy and his mistreatment of the patients their relationship takes a turn for the worse as Mike sticks solidly with his friend and colleague.
Richard has an unexpected and suspicious psychotic outburst during which he head-butts Eddy, smashing his nose.
It appears fortunate for both Richard and Theresa that Eddy’s retirement is only a matter of days away. Only after Eddy has left does Theresa finally realises that it was Eddy’s deliberate interference and drug tampering that caused Richard’s severe psychotic episode.
At an opportunistic moment Theresa allows Richard the chance to escape. However, despite his departure from Ward 12A, Richard’s nightmare is set to continue.