Hammer Chillers, Download, Â£2.99
Reviewed by Chris Limb
Philâ€™s Mummy doesnâ€™t have much in her life â€“ just the occasional evening out at the Friday night bingo with her friend ReneÃ©, looking after her socially awkward middle aged son and making her â€œSpanish Ladiesâ€ â€“ cheap dolls she buys and customises to use as toilet roll covers. She has dreams of visiting Spain herself one day and has nightmares about her son being taken away from her by some cheap blonde bitâ€¦
Whilst thereâ€™s no sign of her dreams ever coming true, her nightmares might. Mummy begins to have her suspicions about what Philâ€™s been up to. If sheâ€™s right thereâ€™s no telling what she might doâ€¦
Whilst the Overbearing Mother and Awkward Single Son may be a familiar theme in darker fiction â€“ from the Bates in Psycho to the Sowerbutts in Psychoville â€“ Spanish Ladies is a refreshing and different take on it. One of the strengths of this play is Jacqueline Kingâ€™s powerful performance as the deranged Mummy and the sinister conversations she has with her Spanish Ladies as she goes through her sonâ€™s possessions looking for evidence. Ewan Baileyâ€™s Phil is suitably self-conscious and clumsy, at turns both sympathetic and sinister and Camile Coduriâ€™s ReneÃ© comes across as a naive innocent who nevertheless has secrets and an agenda of her own.
The 1976 setting of this play is perfect – evoking the stagnation of suburbia in the summer heat and the dreams of escape to the Costa Brava. There is a lot of humour inherent in the story, which makes the dark turns it takes all the more shocking when they leap out at the listener, the final chilling twist making this a genuine tale of the unexpectedâ€¦