Welcome to The Last Motel, hope you enjoy your stay

Motel

Like the Coen Brothers, Quentin Tarantino and David Lynch? You’ll love new darkly comedic psychological thriller The Last Motel

Abalone’s desperate. He’s taken a day off from the poultry farm to commit armed robbery.

Now he has local vicar Eve stuffed in the boot of his classic car. Set near Barnsley (South Yorkshire, not Kentucky), can Abalone’s hostage change his perspective on life?

The Last Motel comes from Sheepish Productions Theatre Company, the team behind Communicate. It’s here on 28 September. We caught up with writer Jeremy Fletcher.

Q: How did the idea for The Last Motel come about?

A: The original idea came from a monologue I wrote when I was doing A-Level English. It was about a prisoner on death row who had committed a series of brutal crimes but was unremorseful as they saw it as protecting Mother Earth.

Q: The journey of idea to script to stage has been relatively long?

A: A version of the play toured a few years ago and it went down really well, we sold at a couple of venues. It felt like the right play for now, I won’t say state of the nation more the state of the world.

So, I spent a fair bit of lockdown re-drafting it and having Zoom discussions over various updates with the director. A fair chunk of it is brand new and the themes, including references to Covid-19, have been updated.

Q: What have been the challenges of bringing The Last Motel to the stage?

A: I also do a fair bit in a producer role. The main challenge is getting the funding to get the play tour ready.

Q: How did Evening Standard x TikTok Future Theatre Fund Award winner Caitlin Mawhinney come on board?

A: In 2016 we met a great producer called Porl Cooper, he’s been really supportive of our work. When we were on the hunt for a set designer, he put us in touch with Caitlin.

Q: You’ve had some amazing reviews so far, being likened to the Coen Brothers must be nice?

A: I’ve never had a piece that has drawn so many comparisons to other work, which includes Lynch, Tarantino, Inside No 9 and the Coen Brothers. It’s more than flattering. I hope it gives a sense of what the audience is in for.

Q: The Last Motel is funny, but dark. Why does this approach appeal so much to you and why do you think it appeals to audiences?

A: I don’t approach it that way intentionally but a friend who has come to see a couple of things I’ve written tells me “I open a warped window on the world”.

I write theatre as though I’ve been plonked in the audience, I don’t want to be spoon fed. I want to be surprised and made to think. Hopefully, at least the people who come to see our work are after a similar experience.   

Q: What can audiences expect, without giving too much away?

A: It starts as a classic hostage situation played out in real time. However, the motel room isn’t in Kentucky it’s in Barnsley, South Yorkshire.

The would-be robber is taking a day of annual leave from his job at the poultry farm and the hostage is far more formidable than she initially appears.

If anyone has nine minutes to spare there’s a short audio play called Shallow which was on the BBC which gives an idea of our work.

Q: How do you hope audiences will feel after seeing it?

A: I would like them to come away entertained, surprised and provoked. It’s one of those shows that you’ll be talking about, you might come away with different interpretations and some thoughts planted.

Q: What’s next for you?

A: We live in a place called Fishlake, it’s a small Yorkshire village. It hadn’t flooded for about 100 years but in 2019 it did, and we were out of our home for nine months.

Before that happened, I was passionate about the environment. Unsurprisingly I’m even more passionate now. So next up we’re planning a verbatim piece about the Fishlake floods and the climate crisis.  

Check out our full live shows programme below.

If you’re interested in taking a creative class or course you can find out more here and here. Our friendly front of house team is happy to answer any questions.

Give them a call on 01603 283382 or email info@thegarage.org.uk. You can find our latest Covid policy here.

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