Hammer Chillers: Spanish Ladies. Audiobook Review

Hammer Chillers coverSPANISH LADIES by Paul Magrs

Hammer Chillers, Download, £2.99

Reviewed by Chris Limb

Phil’s Mummy doesn’t have much in her life – just the occasional evening out at the Friday night bingo with her friend Reneé, looking after her socially awkward middle aged son and making her “Spanish Ladies” – 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 bit…

Whilst there’s no sign of her dreams ever coming true, her nightmares might. Mummy begins to have her suspicions about what Phil’s been up to. If she’s right there’s no telling what she might do…

Whilst the Overbearing Mother and Awkward Single Son may be a familiar theme in darker fiction – from the Bates in Psycho to the Sowerbutts in Psychoville – Spanish Ladies is a refreshing and different take on it. One of the strengths of this play is Jacqueline King’s powerful performance as the deranged Mummy and the sinister conversations she has with her Spanish Ladies as she goes through her son’s possessions looking for evidence. Ewan Bailey’s Phil is suitably self-conscious and clumsy, at turns both sympathetic and sinister and Camile Coduri’s Reneé 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 unexpected…

About Phil Lunt (950 Articles)
Hailing from the rain-sodden, North Western wastelands of England, Phil has dabbled in many an arcane vocation. From rock-star to conveyor-belt scraper at a bread factory, 'Dairy Logistics Technician' to world's worst waiter. He's currently a freelance designer, actor, sometime writer/editor and Chair of the British Fantasy Society. He is on the Global Frequency and is still considering becoming an astronaut when he grows up.