A sideways look at the non-native female inhabitants of the Spanish Costa’s, 'Ladies On The Costa' comprises two volumes of six monologues each, written for a single female voice.
A compelling series telling the amusing, acerbic and utterly absorbing stories of the lives of twelve female ex-pats living in Spain, each with a diffferent reason for emigrating there. Their stories take about 10 minutes to tell, and are ideal to perform singly or grouped together either with the same actress or with a number of players.
The twelve ladies tell their engaging and entertaining tales of feminine fantasies, follies and foibles with humour, pathos and precision.
‘Christmas On The Costa’
Cynthia wears something vaguely jolly and is trying to look as though she welcomes the Festive Season, but would be much more at ease in the Home Counties at her local Hunt Ball. She was certainly brought up, educated and 'finished' for better things. Her husband is called Ralph, which she pronounces 'Rafe', and she still calls her parents 'Mummy and Daddy'.
Nora favours Crimplene as a fashion statement and is mildly shocked by much of what she sees around her, although she would not want anyone to think she was narrow-minded. She is sure that her ideas are unquestionably sensible and dismisses the rest of the world, including her husband, Stanley, as less perceptive than she is.
‘Down From The Valleys’
Gwen is fairly nondescript and has the air of a woman much put upon by life. She loves, but despairs of, her husband Gareth, and longs for the old days when the pits were alive ‘up in the valleys’ and ‘the electric’ was still a novelty and her man went underground with all her neighbours’ husbands and sons.
Pauline comes from South Lancashire. She is not young and looks stressed. She wears glasses, has leather loafers, a flower twined hairband and frilled feria dress, plastic beads and a red silk shawl. Not entirely comfortable at a local dance, she feels both foolish and conspicuous. She is looking for her husband, but without much hope of finding him in the crowd.
‘Good To His Mother’
Shireen is a divorcee who is in a long-term relationship with Eddie, a married man with business interests ranging from the dubious to the dangerous – details that she prefers not to think about. She has come to the Costa to find that Eddie’s dodgy property deals have been upset by the fall of the Marbella Town Council. She is at a loss to know what to do next, but he isn’t.
‘Made In America’
Maxine is unsubtle in approach, but what she wears is classy, if unsuited to the climate and situation. She has yet to accept that the good old ‘US of A’ has anything to learn from Europe and regards Spain as a third world country. She is constantly amazed that people actually live in a different way from ‘back home’. Her family have always voted Republican.
‘On The Promenade’
Mrs Martin is of no particular age, unremarkable in every way, except that her eyes miss nothing and her mind is sharper than her eyes. She comes from Cornwall and she speaks with the voice of her farming background, slow but sure, making no concessions to city ways, let alone Spanish ways. She is sitting on a balcony, looking at the Mediterranean without too much enthusiasm.
‘Other People’s Pets’
Olive is a brisk, no nonsense woman of indeterminate age, dressed in dull, practical clothes, with a blue canvas fishing hat. She has the voice of a Home Counties horse owner and treats human beings with disdain.
‘Stranger Than Fiction’
Pauline is a Lancashire lass and has the air of being quite sensible, but her lack of experience makes her more vulnerable than she at first appears to be. While her husband is involved in his Spanish dancing classes, she is often at a loose end.
'The Auld Country’
Widowed at a young age and childless, Martha lived all her life in Cork and, due to her house there having to be demolished she finds herself living now on the Costa with her nephew’s family. She has long and fond memories of the Auld Country, which keep up her spirits in a strange land.
'The Green Man’
Mavis is not young, but that doesn’t stop her from ‘glamming up’. She has had to fight the world for so long that she only knows how to be assertive. She comes from South London and whatever schooling she may have had has been lost in the life of the streets, but she is shrewd and a shrewd judge of people, for good and ill.
Very little appears to ruffle Grace. She has been brought up to appreciate the better things of Edinburgh suburban life. Until arriving on the Costa, her world had been genteel and restricted to ‘refined’ circles. She never married, but cared for her two brothers after her parents died. Left alone, she decided on an adventure of her own. Her new world poses problems and she is slightly fearful of so profound a change, but determined to make it work, whatever the difficulties.