Mike Elliston‘s ACE funded project, TRAILER/trash, spent two months in development with Artistic Director, Dominic Kelly. The project took them to the So & So Arts Club, Hot Bed new writing festival, Cambridge Junction, and is to be performed in Milton Keynes in 2016. Timberlake Wertenbaker provided her invaluable advice as the project’s mentor.

Frankie and Shyanne live their lives as if they’re the stars of their very own movie – they just don’t know it.

It’s a buddy movie without the popcorn, a road trip without a car.

Playing against type and exploring the American Dream, sexual exploitation and gender identity, TRAILER/trash is a fierce comedy that embraces the young and feisty Frankie, a waitress in a  backwater diner who hates her job, her body and longs to be a man, and an ageing Afro-American stripper, Shyanne, who dreams of becoming a star in Las Vegas but who has lived too long with a lifetime of regrets.

I call this “trash theatre”; their lives are lived out in a theatrical version of a movie set, somewhere deeply south in the USA. Despite fragments of seemingly empty lives played out in front of their imaginary audience, Frankie and Shyanne remain rich and colourful in their dreams since these represent the hope of better things to come.  It’s the American Dream, after all.

And who would argue with that?

Are you ready to ride?


An earlier version of TRAILER/trash played at the Hen & Chickens in October, 2012, produced by my own company, Slippery When Wet, in conjunction with Thin End of The Wedge and Famous & Divine.  It was a very fine production, directed by David Verrey and starred Amanda Price as Frankie and Mary Steadman as Dottie (now called Shyanne in the revised version).  The Set Designer was Jacob Corn and the Lighting Designer was Sherry Coenen.

Research sources

I am immensely grateful to the following who have, or who are, supporting me with their generous time and information:

The Beaumont Society


The London FTM Group

The East London Strippers’ Collective

Thanks to

SJ Jacobs

LGBTQ Arts Review