Four one-character plays
Requirements:

CAST: 2 men, 2 women
STAGING: As simply or elaborately as required. Can be done as performed readings or fully staged
LENGTH: Each play runs approx. 25 mins
1. MAGGY:

In the cafeteria of an Edinburgh department store, a sixty-something widow finds herself befriending a handsome young Italian.
Maggy:

We’re in one of the hot-houses. Both of us riveted by this Venus Fly-trap thingy. Reading about its digestive system - far too much information!
Then I see this man observing us a few yards away.
Beige jacket. Shades.

For a moment he seems to be looking at me.
Then I realise his eyes are on Tino.
Well, they would be, wouldn’t they?
Tino suddenly grabs my arm and I’m being forcibly steered towards the exit.

As soon as we’re out of earshot he’s muttering excitedly, sotto voce, in Italian.
Even outside, he won’t let go of my arm; pulling me behind a tree just as I catch sight of Mr Beige disappearing in the direction of the Queen Mother Memorial Garden … pushing something heavy into his pocket …
First presented by:

The Green Room Company, at the Browsers Theatre, Lingfield, Surrey (September 2009).

CAST: Hal Dyer as 'Maggy'.

2. TED:

Unpacking his possessions on arrival at The Limes Retirement Home, East-end butcher, Ted, reflects on his life - and the nurse from whom he was separated in World War II.
Ted:

Ding, dong merrily - it’s leave time again!
Barely time for a proper ‘hello’ to my lot, and I’m tearing round to your place with this bottle wrapped in fancy paper.
Zwaar de Paree stuff you liked.

But it wasn’t you answered the door, was it?

"Evie?" I said, "Where’s Evie?"

Your Dad looks straight through me. "Don’t want to see you no more. Her life's changed." I just stared at him … felt myself crashing into this … iceberg …

I’m shivering, shaking, violently. God knows how I got home. Every day until the end of my leave I slipped notes through your letterbox, but you never replied.

Ever get them?

Telephoned too, but when the voice at the other end heard mine, the line went dead. Once, you answered and I could hear the receiver being snatched away. I pretended to enjoy Christmas but - how could I? My folks must have been relieved when I went back.

But back to what?
First presented by:

Theatre 62, Bromley, Kent (September 2009).

CAST: Alec Raemers as 'Ted'.

3. FRANKLYN:

An ageing Lothario is about to be evicted from his Hove apartment, his good looks, time and luck having almost run out …
Franklyn:

Things have changed. Everything was done with finesse. Then. Personal recommendations … long-term arrangements spiced with the occasional … discreet dalliance to stave off monotony.

Today’s clientele?

It’s all wham-bam and 'merci-beaucoup-monsieur.'
Heavens! I’m a purveyor of romance, not a Talk-Talk salesman.

Not that sales are exactly booming right this very mo.
Tel suggested a makeover. "Do you a website," he said.
'Site for Sore Eyes' I quipped?

Never needed anything like that in the old days. Only had to glance round a public lounge to strike lucky.

Comes up with a snazzy front page. Cameo of moi with just enough tan, and underneath: 'Frankly Franklyn - superior service for the discerning female.'

Actually, the first version was 'Superior Silver Service' but sorted that toute suite when there were no hits at all the first week - except one old lady in Hassocks wanting me to cat-sit her Burmese queen.

Still. First thing on my lap for ages.
First presented by:

The Green Room Company at the Browsers Theatre, Lingfield, Surrey (September 2009).

CAST: with Julian Agnew as 'Franklyn'.

4. ELSIE:

In her Cheshire flat, Elsie awaits the arrival of her only son, following a two-year separation - and an unpleasant incident.
Elsie:

Tanya never beats about the George W - as Duggie still says. I’d taken along a photo of Helen Mirren - film premiere shot, you know.

"Any chance we could go for it, Tanya? Try something a bit different - p’rhaps an ash rinse?"

She said: "Sorry, Else" - wish she wouldn’t, I've never been an Else - "… very smart, but think you’d be disappointed. Need something with more body and bounce. And while we’re on the subject of bodies, what’s happened to that son of yours?"

I said: "funny you should mention that, Tanya. Been back from France a week now and neither sight nor sound of him.
Just this message on my answer-phone.
'Sorry to miss me but not to worry - things a bit complicated right now.'

Actually, I don’t think Tanya can be bothered giving me the star treatment. Only go in for a Senior Special.

When I get back, to my surprise, another message from Duggie. "Hopes I don’t mind, but he’s on his way. Something he needs to say. Doesn’t want me to hear it from anyone else first."

Had to be good news - kept it to himself otherwise?

Already told me he’s been asked to direct Didsbury Operatic’s 'Charlie Girl'. Must be that Deputy Headship vacancy! Table for two and Mateus Rosé at The Edelweiss tonight? Go back and insist on the full Helen Mirren? Look lovely with my dusk blue velvet.

Saw the moment he walked in something was badly amiss.
"Early," I said, "shouldn’t you still be at work?"
Shook his head. I didn’t like the look of him. So pale and drawn.
Expected a sun-tan and smiles.

Played things softly-softly.
"Park yourself while I make us a cuppa - there’s a fresh pack of jammy dodgers started."
But the vision of me in my dusk blue velvet had receded.