by Hannah and Ian Keildson
Isis – Act Two Scene Six - The Business Lady
Character and Costume
Business Lady - Her suit is dark grey with large dotted stitch lines in white chalk like a cosmetic surgeons markings or a butcher's chart showing cuts of beef on the picture of a cow. The words “Haunch”, “Breast” etc are written in chalk. She also has black dotted pencil marks used for the cut lines in cosmetic surgery on her face.
The Girls - In Grey shifts from scene one.
The Doctor and Nurse - White surgical gowns, gloved and masked. Tyre Track insignia on the back.
Business Lady. She is very pregnant and dances using her stuck out belly like the prow of the ship, steering it this way and that. The rhythm of the dance is a strict forward marching with alternate shoulders thrust forward in time to the beat, while the hands do a quick sideways chopping motion. The head shakes up and down at bongo speed. Not always all at once and not all the time.
Enter The Girls who begin taking notes from her, answering the phones and passing them to her back and forth furiously. It must be hectic. She does the "Time is money" movement from Act One. The Groom then comes in to show her baby brochures, clothes and a Teddy Bear. In-between other things, she nods her approval or not.
She walks backstage to front and doubles over in a contraction, swaying from side to side, lips tight, eyes closed.
One of the girls rushes for the doctor while the other tends her. The Doctor and Nurse arrive carrying silver surgical saws and syringes, and tie a surgical skirt around her waist, under which they insert tubes and drips and give her injections and things. (The Doctors hands are working away discretely out of sight.) The Doctor looks up at her and shakes his head “No not yet“.
The Business Lady recovers herself somewhat goes back to work now and the Doctor and Nurse also trail around behind her.
She walks backstage to front again and Freezes at the climax of the music. She folds over slowly in agony, her mouth a silent howl. The Girls support her hands and stretch her slightly as if she's on a cross.
The Doctor goes undercover and she starts to give birth. The Baby pops out; the Doctor holds it up by the ankles and gives it a hefty smack on the bum. The nurse injects it with a huge syringe and shows it to the Business Lady. She smiles and both hands go towards the child in love and affection and hover in mid air, her face full of wonder. Then she remembers her busy self and just nods to the Doctor a gentle “Okay, take it away" and gets back to work.
The Nurse removes the surgical apron and follows the Doctor, husband and child offstage.
The Girls dance a bit more and then pack up and go to the door and wait while the Labour Lady has a last look around and leaves.