The Last Resort - Staging Hints




The Last Resort


Surfing scene 



The Story 
The Cast 
Performance Hints 
Staging Hints 



The Plays


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



 The Last Resort can be easily adapted to virtually any form of staging -  from a traditional proscenium arch to a free form promenade version and all points in between! The approach you take to staging will probably be a reflection of your overall approach to the play. If you are using a small cast with minimal props then you can be very flexible. If you are using a much larger cast with full props and costume then you will need more space for  storage and for exits and entrances.

In this section, you will find an outline of the original staging and the intentions behind it. You can also find some hints on staging the surfing scene and some tips on the best shopping trolleys to use!


The joys of motoring in the South West!

Happy holiday-makers enjoying the stressless journey south for their holidays!

The primary need in the staging of The Last Resort is for a large free flowing performance area that is as uncluttered as possible. Therefore, there is very little in the way of hard staging and certainly no need for flats. We did however take a little trouble over the backdrop to the action.

Using a cyclorama (skycloth) enabled us to use lighting to the full to suggest the different times of day, including neat sunrise and sunset effects. In front of this we created a mini-promenade. This consisted of a raised area with steps to either side backed by a very sturdy set of metal railings which ran the full width of the stage, climbing up the steps and across the rostra. Spaced at interval along the railing were working lampposts. A long light string of multi-coloured lamps was strung from post to post to give the impression of seaside illuminations.

You can see an outline plan of this below:


This combination of lighting enabled us, for the sunset, to have a light blue sky fade to amber, turn deep red and move to midnight blue. As it did so the lampposts lit up and finally the rope string was illuminated. With the cast arrayed  in silhouette along the prom, this was a very nice moment for such a stark set.

Since each colour was wired independently along the rope string we also used this to good effect in the disco scene as well as flashing colourwashes. The central performance space was where most of the action took place. We, therefore, divided this into three separate areas which could be independently lit: stage right, stage left and centre stage. We could also light the whole of the performance space and the upstage "prom" area. this gave us considerable flexibility enabling actors to leave one area whilst others moved into the next If the set was relatively unimportant in The Last Resort, this was balanced by strong use of lighting and sound.

To maintain the flow of the action the cast remained on stage most of the time, sat on the folding chairs positioned around the stage but out of the light (very Brechtian!). These could then be moved swiftly to become beach sets, cars, recording studios and even the legs of the donkeys! Do not use deck chairs! they are too tricky to set up and can be difficult to get out of. Use either aluminium or steel folding chairs or plastic patio type chairs.