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The Last Motel - Jeremy Fletcher Interview

Writer Jeremy Fletcher brings his latest piece, The Last Motel, to the stage with a UK Tour this September and October.

The piece is described as a psychological thriller somewhere between Fargo and Inside No. 9 and head of the tour, I spoke to Jeremy to dissect the piece.

Explaining about the piece Jeremy described "Initially, it presents itself 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."

For Jeremy his the inspiration goes back to his days as an A-level student "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."  

What does Jeremy want an audience to take away from seeing this thrilling play? "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."

The piece has been well-received in its previous staging and during that time it's allowed Jeremy to develop the piece further "The original version was written long before my own home flooded in 2019, 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."

Placing real-life issues into the work is something that hugely matters to Jeremy with him explaining "My work is rooted in themes of grief, trauma, mental health and the vulnerability of the human condition. I try, as much as I can, to draw on personal experiences and be honest. I spent many years struggling with my own mental health and I’ve written couple of plays, including one which was largely biographical, about related issues."

In describing The Last Motel in three words he said "Claustrophobic, surprising, thought-provoking."

I've asked all my interviewees the same question and I posed to Jeremy what does that mean to you? He said "For me, it means shining a light on a change that is required in a way that is engaging and entertaining. That could be anything from attitudes to mental health to the need to address and keep a focus on the climate crisis."

Our chat wrapped up with Jeremy explaining why he thought an audience should come and see the show "Someone told me I open a warped window on the world, if that sounds like your thing please pop by! We’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. Whilst that’s more than flattering (hopefully not everyone who said those nice things is delusional) it hopefully gives a sense of what you’re in for."

The Last Motel is touring in September with the following dates currently:

13 Sep – 19:45: Cast, Doncaster                                              30 Sep – 19:30: Seagull, Lowestoft
14 Sep – 19:45: Cast, Doncaster                                              04 Oct – 19:45: Everyman, Cheltenham

15 Sep – 19:30: Seven Arts, Leeds                                           06 Oct – 19:30: Acorn, Penzance

17 Sep – 19:00: Oldham Library                                               07 Oct – 19:30: Tolmen Centre, Falmouth

20 Sep – 19:30: Wells Maltings                                                08 Oct – 19:00: IntoBodmin

21 Sep – 19:30: The Place, Bedford                                        13 Oct – 19:30: Bay Theatre, Weymouth

23 Sep – 19:30: Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds                  15 Oct – 19:30: Electric Theatre, Guildford

28 Sep – 19:30: The Garage, Norwich                                    16 Oct – 18:00: Black Cherry, Boscombe

29 Sep – 19:30: Corn Hall, Diss

You can find out more from Sheepish Production's website or by following on social media:

Twitter: @lastmotel @sheepprod @fletchjj

Facebook: @thelastmotel

Instagram: sheepishprods

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