England’s Trump Card

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Francis Beckett appreciation

Francis Beckett

Francis Beckett joined TSL after I’d given a talk to Player-Playwrights in Kilburn, London. His joining TSL was rather a surprise – he’s been around the block a few times, especially in the world of theatre. But, as he explained – TSL Drama fills a gap which few other publishers do.
The challenge for script writers getting published is that most publishers want tried and tested scripts whilst producers and directors often want new material. This leaves fringe theatre and similar playwrights in limbo getting their work published. It’s this gap that TSL fills.
Better known for his reviews and columns in The Guardian these days, in years gone by, such as when I was teaching A-Level History, Francis was better known as an author on British Labour. So, it’s no surprise that he has a play based on Clement Attlee – who, when Prime Minister of Britain, oversaw the introduction of the welfare state and NHS.
Francis’ political stance is clear – if yoy need further evidence, try his England’s Trump Card, a collection of short stories taking a sideways (or other angled) look at British politics around the time Donald Trump was president of the USA. You don’t need to have a particular political view to enjoy the humour and quirky takes in England’s Trump Card, although a basic awareness of how politics works would be more helpful than not.
While most authors these days want images on their script covers to ‘catch the eye’ or make the script stand out from the others, Francis prefers the traditional approach – and one I fully understand – let the title do the talking. Some traditions are worth keeping, and this is one.
In addition to helping us see the humourous side of politics, Francis has supported other authors in their journey – finding the best fit for their work (some have joined TSL as a result) and assisting with marketing. A true gentleman- a characteristic shared with most male TSL autbors.