Douglas Rintoul is the Theatre Director at Transport Theatre, and is currently showing a play in the Folkestone Library called: ‘The Edge.’
As part of our educational project, our students at the Kent Refugee Action Network (KRAN) interviewed Douglas to find out more.
Q: How many people are in the play?
A: There are two characters, one from Kent and one from India. It’s really about their stories from when they were kids and then it looks at their life and follows their journey until they meet. They meet here.
So one has travelled from India and it follows his story about how he has left his home because of climate change and it looks at his journey across the world to come to the UK for a better life. The other also lost her home because the sea is rising. The don’t talk to each other for about two thirds of the play but when they meet they interact – it’s looking at two very different stories and two very different cultures – so somebody who is English and somebody who is an Indian Muslim from Bengal. You think their lives wouldn’t really connect but their lives are really linked where they meet. It’s like a mirror.
Q: What is your job?
A: I’m a director of theatre. No-one ever knows what my job is! I write as well, I tell the actors what to do, so I put everything together – I take all the parts of the play and put them together.
Q: Who is working with you?
A: We are working with two actors and a team of five or six. I collected lots of stories from lots of different people, including young people in Folkestone last year where we looked at stories from the sea, about their lives and their thoughts about their environment. Then we went to India and worked with people there and collected their stories about their relationship with the sea and their environment.
In 2009 I went to the Jungle in Calais and I collected stories from there as well. So these stories have been around a long time. So I have been collecting stories from lots of different places, stories from people who have travelled on boats from turkey to Italy or Calais trying to get into England. So people that work in theatre and then just ordinary people as well.
Q: How was the life in Calais when you went?
A: It’s hard for me because I don’t live it. But life there is hard.
Q: Where is your job?
A: Sort of everywhere. I used to live in Folkestone, I now live in London but I work in lots of different places and I’ve lived in lots of different places.
This tour was started in Folkestone, we made it in London and now it’s touring all over the UK. Which is what I love about my job; I get to go around lots of different places and meet lots of different places which is what makes theatre really exciting.
Q: How long have you been working in this job?
A: 15 years but I was doing drama in school which I really loved so I’ve been making theatre since I was eight or nine.
Q: So you love your job?
A: I love my job. I’m very lucky; I get to do the thing that I love.
Q: How many days do you work?
A: It can be six or seven – at the moment I am very busy so it’s every day and I’m working from 10am until 11pm every day.
Q: How many days is the play at the Library?
A: The library is not a theatre so we have had to bring everything in there to make it look like a theatre which took a day and a half. We had our first performance on Wednesday and we will be there until Saturday.