Ladies in Retirement, by Edward Percy and Reginald Denham, is set in an old house on the marshes of the Thames Estuary in 1885. The play is based on a famous murder which actually took place. Leonora Fiske is a retired showgirl, who has bought herself a cottage from the proceeds of a life ministering to generous gentlemen friends. Her companion is Ellen Creed who now lives in poverty because she is fulfilling a promise to her father to take care of her two dotty sisters, Emily and Louisa. Ellen arrived with her sisters to Leonora’s house for a “visit” that has stretched to four months. Leonora demands that they go back to London. Ellen knows her sisters cannot bear to return to the place they hate, so does what she has to do to prevent this.