Welcome to 1936 and the Hardcase Hotel; the last resort luxury hotel for the wild, weird and wacky rich who have been banned from the five-star hotels of Europe. Under the management of the flamboyant and indomitable Juan Carlos no guest is too difficult, and no situation is impossible. Until today. Today, a guest has been murdered, and with the Hotel cut off by flash flooding Juan Carlos is going to have to find out which of the oddball guests is the killer and why. Classic murder mystery served with a delicious twist of comedy!
Plot / Synopsis
Setting: The play takes place in 1936 at the little boutique five-star Hardcase Hotel. The hotel is located on a clifftop in the Italian countryside about an hour's drive from a small unnamed village. The only section of the hotel that is shown to the audience is the hotel lobby and lounge.
- JUAN CARLOS (Male) - Aged forties to fifties. Manager of the Hardcase Hotel - was once a manager at the Ritz-Paris, but due to an indiscretion, he has been sent to The Hardcase Hotel as punishment. He is finally reaching the end of his “sentence” at the Hardcase Hotel, and then he can return to his beloved Ritz-Paris.
- AILEEN (Female) - a young (twenties or thirties) Irish assistant to Juan Carlos. Aileen is competent, quick-witted and more than a match for Juan Carlos. She has been relegated to the Hardcase Hotel, from another 5-star hotel, after she was caught selling stories of misbehaving guests.
- VALÉRIE du PONT (Female) - Middle-aged or older, French, has the poise and grace of a former ballerina.
- SHIRLEY (Female) - New Zealander, aged twenties to forties. Doesn’t understand the social rules of the rich or the unspoken resident rules of the Hardcase Hotel. A cheerful, high-spirited, straight-talking woman with a violent streak.
- LADY DONCASTER-SMYTHE (Female) - English. Middle-aged. The quintessential caustic upper-class snob.
- WALT (WALTER) BUCKLEY - (Male), middle-aged, American businessperson. Loud, brash, unscrupulous, and egotistical. Married to Barb (Barbara) Buckley.
- BARB BUCKLEY (Female) - Married to Walter Buckley and perhaps 10 years younger. Thick nasally New York American accent. What she may lack in intelligence, she makes up for in enthusiasm and unashamed emotion.
- ALBERT (Male) - Of a similar age to Madame Gazda. Dangerously boring. Perhaps a Cockney Londoner.
- MADAME GAZDA (Female) - Hungarian. A wacky, thick-accented woman who takes very seriously her belief that she has psychic powers. Of similar age to Albert.