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Viva! La Costa

    by Pip Burley


Comedy Play Script: 'Viva La Costa' by Pip Burley

Henry and Tracey have rented a villa on the Costa del Sol for three months to get over the trauma of Henry’s redundancy from Humardo, a large corporate conglomerate where he was Financial Director. Next door live Sid, a retired show business agent, and his much younger wife, Viv, who are keen to introduce their neighboursto the ex-pat set. Viv invites them round for dinner.

During the evening some home truths emerge.  Henry is bitter, admitting he was actually fired, certain that his old chairman used him as a scapegoat to save his own skin.  Tracey has been unhappy with a husband she never saw and, having looked forward to enjoying some shared time together, is disappointed that he is sulky and depressed.  Viv is bored stiff with ex-pat life and being married to Sid, whilst Sid is fretting over finding enough material for the ‘kiss-and-tell’ autobiography he is writing for a London publisher. 

Adding to the mix are D-list celebrity Laurie Nolan, a broke but ever-optimistic ex-comic seeking investment in his new, if dubious, business proposition and Louise Harding, a deceptively bespectacled girl who works as Sid’s secretary by day, transforming into a society beauty by night.  Oh, and Maria, Viv’s Spanish maid, loyal, largely incompetent and secretively in love with Laurie. 

After a few drinks Henry is persuaded by Laurie and Sid to invest in Laurie’s new business - a society magazine called “Viva La Costa”. The evening ends drunkenly with Viv falling into the pool, to be rescued heroically by an equally inebriated Henry.  

With everyone recovering the next morning, Laurie admits to Sid that there is no “Viva La Costa” and that he has used Henry’s money to pay off some personal debts. The girls, now good chums, return from a visit to the tennis club, with Tracey clearly loving every minute of life on the Costa.  Henry takes Laurie to task over his failure to provide some promised paperwork and Sid tells Henry there may not be a “Viva La Costa” after all.

All this is interrupted by the unexpected arrival of Sir Charles Wellman, Henry's erstwhile chairman. He asks for Henry's help, explaining that Humardo is subject to a takeover by an even larger corporation who have unearthed a flaw in the company’s accounts for which Sir Charles will be held personally responsible.  He needs Henry to own up publicly, in return for a sizeable pay-off into an offshore account.  Henry says he will have no part of it.  Sir Charles tells him in no uncertain terms what will happen if he refuses.

In despair, Henry pours out his heart to Sid who promises to see if he can help.  Using his all his showbiz experience - including planting fake news and spoilers in the press, TV and social media - Sid comes up with an audacious plan to disgrace Sir Charles. With Viv, Tracey, Laurie and Louise all playing their parts to perfection, their unsuspecting victim is ridiculed, Henry's reputation restored and some long overdue personal issues resolved in the process. It even looks as though '“Viva La Costa!” may have a future after all…


(4m, 4f)

  • Sid Sullivan - 60, retired, likes golf and drinking
  • Viv Sullivan - 45, retired, attractive, keeps fit, a hive of activity
  • Henry Bristow - 40’s, made redundant, bitter & resentful
  • Tracey Bristow - 40’s, pretty, meek 
  • Laurie Nolan - 45, local ‘celebrity’, once a professional comic
  • Sir Charles Wellman - 60, canny Glaswegian bachelor, rich, famous, well-connected and obsessed
  • Louise Harding - 20’s, bespectacled girl
  • Maria - 30, the Sullivans’ Spanish maid, attractive, scatty, speaks little English

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