Old Trunk are an emerging theatre company based in Essex put together by writer/actor Sadie Hasler and director/actor Sarah Mayhew. The aim of Old Trunk is to produce original theatre, using new writing and multi-talented performers to create work that is compelling, fast-paced, and visceral. Hasler and Mayhew believe that theatre should be an enriching experience – one that should engage, transport and touch the audience on many emotional levels, using enchanting characters, strong imagery and evocative language. The talented pair have a large body of work behind us as individuals and collaborators, including shows at The Pleasance, Edinburgh and London, the RSC Stratford-upon-Avon, Bloomsbury Theatre, Soho Theatre, Leicester Square Theatre, Camden People’s Theatre, work for Channel 4, BBC, ITV, Sky, Channel 5, and UK/international tours. They met whilst performing in a Neil Simon play together before going on to collaborating in comedy, sketch shows, TV & radio. Before long, a great friendship and working relationship was born. Both wanted to produce their own plays and tell their own stories, thus Old Trunk was born!
Old Trunk’s first production was ‘The Bastard Children of Remington Steele’ featuring a plot involving an orphanage, nuns, Remington Steele and a mangy cat named Moses. The story of ‘Bastards’ was born out of the fusion of two truths. Mayhew as a child wistfully imagined that Remington Steele was her father, & this inspired Hasler in her writing to explore her own issues with her father – his presence, absence, & legacy. The result is an enchantment for adults, with a dark underbelly. The play premiered at the Camden People’s Theatre in August 2012, being hailed ‘Pick of the Fringe’. Old Trunk’s second production was a prequel to the first play and called, ‘The Secret Wives of Andy Williams’. For the Sundown A.O.T.R tour, Old Trunk present a short piece which originally started life as a one-woman show but has been adapted to fit Arts On The Road. Hasler describes it as “bastardised biographies of famous dead women”. Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes write to each other from the next room, Katharine Hepburn and Bette Davis rip up a chat-show couch with tales of a darker Hollywood, and the Brontes lose their heads. The 30-minute production does contain strong language and is not for the faint hearted with its dark twist on these famed women! Old Trunk take brave material and give it life onstage largely due to both actors giving such strong performances in the role. There are some brilliant one-liners from Hasler showing her clear natural talent for playwriting.
Sundown was impressed with Old Trunk’s debut play and have collaborated on storytelling events together. They believe in Hasler, Mayhew and the future of Old Trunk. So come along to Norwich, Peterborough or Suffolk to check em out and get a little taster of what they do…