In week ten, something rather special is happening in V/045. That thing is ‘Trimble’, but exactly what it is we’re not quite sure. To try and glean some more information, Nouse spoke to producer John Wakefield. If he’s not fibbing, it might just be the best, funniest free thing you go to see at 5.30 this Monday.
So what exactly is ‘Trimble’? “‘Trimble’ is a fantastic new Film Noir sitcom from Ed Greenwood in which he’s brilliantly taken the genre and torn it apart with incredible one-liners and intriguing yet ridiculous cases”. Sounding a little like a walking talking press release (but hardly surprising considering he’s the producer), Wakefield definitely gives the impression that he really thinks Trimble’s very good: “We were all crying with laughter in our read-throughs. I’ve been pretty lucky throughout my time at URY to be able to get some of the finest performers at the Uni for our projects and Trimble is no exception”.
Lewis Chandler takes the lead as ‘Trimble’ with a supporting cast including Joe Williams as the old alcoholic Chief, Harry Whittaker as a succession of naive and disposable Rookies, Stephanie Bartlett as Trimble’s long suffering secretary and there’s villains including the delightful Roseanna Brear and the suave Greg Ebdon to name but a few. But it’s hard to imagine the characters without at least a slight grasp of the story itself. John lets a few details slip: “Trimble’s been thrown out of ‘the force’ for reasons we never quite know about and has ended up as a P.I. His cases aren’t that interesting – lost pets on the whole – but when Mr. Fluffy comes through his door something might be about to change. ‘Trimble’ along with the help of a cast of characters and a live jazz band (The DeLions Septet/ Dandy and DeLions) will be solving a number of cases in the show all to get him back on the force but there maybe something more sinister at work”.
The addition of a live band for a radio sitcom is rather unique, and is something Wakefield’s particularly proud of and excited about: “The band are not just there for background music, they’re essentially a character and I can’t think of any recent radio sitcom, either amateur or professional that’s used live music in exactly this way. Especially when the cast are going to be bouncing off them I think its going to raise the bar for the whole show. The band have some fantastic musical gags that they’ve been working on and I cannot wait to see those performed”.
But a live band is not the only element of spontaneity he’s looking forward to. “We’ve made sitcoms before, one of which is even being looked at by the BBC, but none of which we’ve ever had the nerve to put in front of a live audience before. The cast are all immensely entertaining people without a script so when in the hands of a writer like Ed I have no worries that the crowd will be in hysterics, I just hope the band will be able to stop laughing long enough to play their instruments!”
But if you’re worried about a radio sitcom lacking a bit of physical oomph for the live crowd, worry no more: “People worry that a radio recording might be a bit stale – just a load of people speaking into microphones – but we’re making a real show of it. The whole cast is going to be up on stage in full costume performing their hearts out”.
With the amounts of blood, sweat and tears going into a project like this it’s a rare treat to be able to sit in for nothing more than bringing along a set of lungs and a disposition to be entertained: “It’s going to be free so there’s really nothing stopping everyone coming along… we’re recording the show on Monday Week 10 at 5:30 in V/045 and we’d love to see as many people there as possible. URY has been nationally acclaimed for its comedy and drama by the BBC and Global Radio for years now but this is one of the few chances people will get to be part of it. Without their laughter the show is nothing and we’re so excited to share it with anyone who can make it. We’d love to see you all there.”