This completely immersive performance, commissioned by The Lowry, asks the audience to become holidaymakers in Guantanamo Bay.
As each audience member arrives they are handed a Cuba Libre cocktail to sip on and encouraged to relax in their very own beach deckchair. The ‘tour guides’ from 2Magpies Theatre will ask spectators to take off their shoes and feel the sand underneath their feet. This really is a multi-sensory night at the theatre, Last Resort is a work of menacing fiction inspired by entirely unimaginable fact.
The Last Resort offers an alternative future for Guantanamo Bay – no longer a US military base, but a luxury spa resort where the reps are not all they appear to be and the leisure facilities convey an alarming resemblance to enhanced interrogation techniques.
Drinking games begin to blur into waterboarding. Popular music abruptly snaps into unbearable white noise. Seemingly serene pilates classes become tests of endurance.
This is a two-hander from Tom Barnes and Eve Parmiter and both artists work tirelessly throughout the 60-minute duration to pull a veil of serenity over the terrors in Guantanamo Bay. Impressively Last Resort was developed through a research process that brought together artists, academics and human rights organisations. Both performers share impressive credentials in relation to human rights and international relations – and it is this expertise and skill which harnesses the show.
No amount of distractions can disguise the goings-on at the edge of a sun-drenched island. At a time when everyone is talking about Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror television series – Last Resort offers a live performance which generates the same uncomfortable feelings. Question your perception of what is right.