Inspired by a dream, this was at one time scheduled for production at Skipton Little Theatre in June 2005. However, it was deemed commercially unviable, and its' slot was taken by The Importance of Being Earnest. I am considering options for staging it.
At the end of the busy season in Edinburgh, a small 3-star hotel has just closed after the last guest has gone home. The staff (all casual workers, working for £15 a day and free board) are relaxing and preparing to go home tomorrow. That night, however, the owner (a frail old man slowly losing his marbles by the name of Ronnie) is found wandering around the garden in his dressing gown, muttering. He reveals that there is in fact a coachload of American tourists arriving early tomorrow morning - more tourists than the hotel has room for. They were booked in by Ronnie, who isn't entirely with it these days, and their offer of twice the going rate was too good to pass up. The staff will have to be persuaded to stay on and help cope with the tourists - fortunately, it is only for three nights, and they have five hours in which to try and sort things out.
Into the limelight steps Tom, who has been the de facto manager of the hotel over the summer. He and his girlfriend persuade the others to stay, and under his guidance, the hotel is re-arranged. Unfortunately, the Americans arrive before the work is completed, so Tom and another staff member offer to take them on a tour of Edinburgh castle, on the pretext that the hotel has not quite finished a minor renovation project. Tom leads the way, and is soon in conversation with a very attractive American woman (Crystal) in her early 30s who seems very interested in not only the city, but the hotel, and Tom himself.
As the weekend passes, it becomes obvious that Crystal isn't the normal American tourist - she's spent most of the time in her room on the phone to the States, rather than out in the sun "photographing everything then buying it". Before the inquisitive staff can find out what she's up to, Ronnie has a heart attack over breakfast. When Tom returns from the hospital, Crystal asks to see him, and all is revealed.
It turns out that Crystal's father is the head of the fastest growing hotel network in America, and he wants to expand his operations to Europe, and this hotel is the next one they want to buy. Crystal tries to persuade Tom to sell, pointing out that it would provide much needed financial backing for both the hotel and staff - including the terminally ill Ronnie. And to sweeten the deal, Crystal is turned on by Tom's efficiency, and offers herself to him.
Tom has no option but to discuss the various options Crystal has presented to him with the rest of the staff, and the debate about just what loyalty means rages into the night, but in the end, Tom says he has to sleep on the decision. And the Americans leave in the morning.
© Brian Wakeling