The Last Motel

The Last Motel by Sheepish Productions is a dark two-hander with a neo-noir style akin to the works of cult film directors Tarantino and Lynch. It sees a reluctant criminal battle his conscience and ponder the big questions in life with an unlikely confidante.

While the narrative does explore some very interesting themes, the letdown is in the pacing.

Set entirely in the confined space of a seedy motel, this equally claustrophobic play is a deeply psychological play centred around a chance encounter between two individuals from two completely different walks of life. Abalone finds himself in an unexpected hit-and-run and kidnap situation with no good way out. To make matters worse, Eve, his hostage, turns out to be the last person he would ever want to have as a captive.

What starts off as a hostage situation eventually turns into a heated intellectual discourse which has Abalone questioning his perspective on life and contemplating the spectrum of right and wrong. At its core, The Last Motel examines the fragility of human nature, particularly what happens when it is provoked.

While the narrative does explore some very interesting themes, the letdown is in the pacing. For the most part, you do find yourself getting anxious and wondering where it is all going, but the constant fading in and out between scenes proves distracting. It does start to pick up in the second half and the conclusion is extremely clever - it’s just a shame the journey to get there isn’t a little bit more engaging.

The Last Motel is an appropriately low-key and cynical piece with a thought-provoking message about life and the human psyche. With a few technical changes and tweaks to the narrative structure it definitely has plenty of potential.

Reviews by Faith-Ashleigh Wong

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Abalone’s a desperate man, he’s taken a day of holiday to commit armed robbery and now there's a woman stuffed into the boot of his classic car. Join us at The Last Motel to see whether his chance encounter alters his perspective on life. From award nominated playwright JJ Fletcher comes this cynical black comedy. A cult smash and sell-out at the Buxton Fringe in 2013. ‘A perfect piece of theatre, more than a hint of Tarantino and Lynch' (Fictionmaker.blogspot.com). ‘The essence of the Fringe’ (BuxtonFringe.org.uk).