The Last Resort - Research Ideas


The Last Resort

Background 
Music 
Script Development 

 

The Story 
The Cast 
Performance Hints 
Staging Hints 
Resources 
Purchasing 

 

 

The Plays

The Last Resort 
A Mother's Voice 
Bridges 
Jabberwocky 
Children of the Blitz 

Research

The very best way of researching The Last Resort is to go to your nearest seaside town for the day! A trip to Brighton, Blackpool, Weston or Weymouth will supply you with ample source material and the opportunity to undergo the “seaside experience” at first hand. Armed with a reasonable knowledge of the script you can play “spot the character” and find most of them there! You will also probably see many others, far more bizarre than any in the script. 

The seaside is an excellent location for people watching. Cast members can seek out someone who reminds them of one of their characters and develop a role based on an exaggeration of what they see. They should look for particular behaviours, mannerisms, and vocal expressions then amplify these slightly to form the foundation of their characterisation. They should be careful to not be intrusive in their observations and as they develop their role they should focus on evolving an original character  and not “send up” the person they observed. In rehearsal they can develop improvisations around these characters and discuss ways of integrating them into their performance.

A photomontage of the day out can also be very useful. Rather than recording their own trip, the cast should focus on taking photographs of what they consider to be the archetypal features of the seaside experience- both of the people and the place itself. Later these photographs can be discussed and used as reference material for the cast. Additionally they can be used as the basis of a large wall display to promote and support your show!

Discussion is also an important tool of research. Many of the attitudes and behaviours depicted in The Last Resort are not  unique features of seaside life but rather are part of young people’s lives in general. The night time scenes of clubbing and the attitudes of “the lads” and “the girls” provide fertile ground for exploration and for the cast to share their experiences. An interesting way of sparking such discussion is for the actors playing “the lads” to show their interpretation of “the girls” and vice versa. This can often result in  some lively debate. You may even end up deciding to keep the gender reversal for the actual production! 

Brighton Beach Memoirs?

Context Notes