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The Ladybirds: Francesca Returns

    by Tony Layton


       

(Sequel to 'The Ladybirds' but can be played on its own)

Synopsis

Comedy Play Script: 'The Ladybirds: Francesca Returns' by Tony Layton

The Ladybirds is an all female acting group of mixed ages and abilities who through poor management and dire directing have lost all their men and the quiet hamlet of Plumpton is unlikely to produce any more soon.

However, last year a young energetic professional director had offered her services as a means of trying out some experimental theatre on the group. Her name was Francesca and suddenly Plumpton was reeling from dealing with serious issues concerning the lesbian community. That was last year and here they are again once again with no men and at a loss what to produce for their main production.

But then, out of the blue, Francesca returns with yet another project to challenge their artistic skills.

Marge, who hated the challenge of playing a lesbian last year is not the most enthusiastic member to welcome Francesca back and the reasons become clear during the progress of this play. Sufficient to say her portrayal of a lesbian was very convincing to such an extent that she attracted a lady stalker who happened to hold a position in the village to help protect it from the lowering of public morals.

Francesca has a working title for her project namely ‘Ladies In Waiting’. At first images of the golden age of the Tudors is evoked but it is quickly revealed that the ladies in question are in fact a group of sex workers in an inner city brothel.

As rehearsals are about to commence along comes Gabby a teenage geek who wants to be an actor. During a short audition by Francesca she soon shows she has no aptitude whatsoever and is asked to sit out the rehearsal.  Now Gabby happens to be the niece of Matilda, the lady stalker who made Marge’s life a misery during the past year. Clearly Gabby is traumatised by the subject matter being attempted by the Ladybirds and rushes home to tell Matilda of the ghastly doings in the village hall. Matilda faces the Ladybirds to shut down the production but her plan is quickly scuppered when Marge recognises her as the creepy stalker.

Duration

50 mins approx

Characters

(8f)

  • Marge - officious, domineering, retired civil servant
  • Betty - quick witted, retired matron
  • Faye - aspiring actress who has missed the boat, an aesthete
  • Francesca - professional young director, enthusiastic and ambitious, angry
  • Julie - college girl with a fresh innocence
  • Babs - general dogsbody
  • Gabby - a twenty something geek, Matilda’s niece
  • Matilda Spratt - staunch defender of Plumpton’s morality

       

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