When Denis Midgley's father is rushed to hospital, Midgley drops everything to be by his side. They've never really got on, so Midgley wants to be sure he's there if his father ever regains consciousness. As he hates his job as a schoolteacher, and his home-life with his wife, her senile mother and their insolent teenage son, he has no qualms about lingering around the hospital. But as days turn into weeks, his father obstinately refuses to 'slip away', and Denis' motivation for staying by his father's bedside has more and more to do with Valery, a young nurse.
Peter Brynmor Roberts
Did You Know?
While writing the script, Alan Bennett also wrote a short story "Father! Father! Burning Bright", using the same material. This was published in 1999. See more
[Denis's father has been rushed into hospital and is not expected to live. Denis discusses him with his father's sister
What was my dad like?
He never had a wrong word for anybody. He'd do anybody a good turn. Shovel the snow, fetch the coal in. He was a *saint*.
You take after your mother, more.
[Denis looks dismayed that he has not inherited his father's saintly qualities