The Last Resort at Brighton Festival | Portslade Beach | 8 May 2016

After cycling along an incredibly crowded seafront on the hottest day of the year so far, I arrived at a derelict site on Basin Road for Art Of Disappearing’s, The Last Resort. If you don’t know where this location is lets just say very, VERY far away from the centre of Brighton! But when you’re looking for a good location for your piece about a desolate, abandoned wasteland then it’s a pretty good fit, not necessarily on this day but we’ll talk about that more later.

As I arrived, I was ushered into a shipping container to prepare for my ‘experience’. There were tongue in cheek warnings about contamination from the alien environment and I was given a very interesting ensemble to wear, which I have to say was a little sticky in 23 degrees!

Soon after we are sent on our way in a pair, with just a disembodied voice on an mp3 player to guide us, along with a small map.

I can’t go into too much detail here as I wouldn’t want to ruin the experience for you, but what followed is a kind of guided tour to various ‘historic’ spots where landmarks used to lie in another time. Binaural surround sound is used to create the environments as there is very little ‘set’ around the area.

Things get a little interesting towards the end when you find things are not as they seem, but i’d of liked a little more of this side of the piece as it made it much more exciting.

Overall it’s an interesting concept but some interaction from some cleverly placed actors, and more objects to interact with, would have made the piece more immersive, as at times things got a little repetitive. Also, although the spot is supposed to be empty and derelict, which i’m sure this area is in the dead of winter, on such a scorching summer’s day the presence of hundreds of sunbathers and screaming children took away some of the atmosphere of the piece.

I’d like to see the idea developed more and perhaps a new space that can be more ‘crowd controlled’ in the future, but i’d be interested to see where this piece goes.

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