After a successful run of Rob Is at last year’s Fringe, Trent Burton and Trunkman Productions are back with a new play, The Twenty Minute Policy, which premiered at the Etcetera Theatre on Monday 2nd August. Writer Trent Burton and director Melinda Burton, also husband and wife, were pleased with the play’s reception when I spoke to them after the performance, in the Oxford Arms.
I asked how the play came about; what sparked the idea? Trent explained that the seed of the play was the idea of a conversation between two people where they have nothing to do eventually but talk to each other and there is really only thing they can talk about. “It mattered less where they were”, whether prison or not, than that they weren’t “free”. The physical circumstances of the characters, although intriguing, are “not as important as that feeling of being stuck – of having to be told by someone what’s going on”.
Trent said that this was the first time in five years that he hasn’t also directed a play that he has written. I asked how he found the experience of taking a back seat and he replied, “I’m not one of these writers who go around saying ‘No – I wrote it like this’”. And it helped that he knew the director well, of course.
Both he and Melinda encourage input from the company. Melinda picked up this thread and stressed that she particularly enjoys working collaboratively. She was enthusiastic about the actors who she said were a “dream cast”.
There may be some TV work lined up next for Trunkman Productions. A documentary is at the pitching stage, and maybe a podcast. And of course there are always a few things in the bottom drawer waiting to be worked on.
There are no plans at present to take the play touring or to develop it further after this run so the first week of the Camden Fringe really is the only opportunity for people to see it and I urge them to do so. Performances are every evening at 7.30pm, at the Etcetera Theatre until Sat 7th August.
Interview by Carmel Shortall.