An Interview with Douglas Rintoul, Director of Sharon ‘n’ Barry Do ‘Romeo & Juliet

It’s the beginning of the tech week of rehearsals for Sharon ‘n’ Barry Do ‘Romeo & Juliet’, our up-coming new everyday comedy. We had a chat with Douglas Rintoul who is directing the piece. He gives us an insight into what inspired him to direct this show now and why you should book a ticket. What inspired you to direct this piece now?  In mid-January, when we knew we were in for another long lockdown, we decided to make another small piece because we wanted to keep up a connection with our audiences. A few weeks later we were in rehearsals for something we never planned to do. This is our fourth show since the first lockdown and our third online. This lockdown has been so hard for everyone, so I wanted to make something fun and joyous – something a bit daft. I’ve been inspired by the creativity and sense of play of our community during the lockdown. One couple has engaged with lots of our digital workshops and posted pictures of themselves in costume and using props, and I thought, what would happen if they created a play in their living room? People have done and experienced things they have never had to before during the last 12 months, home schooling, DIY, fundraising, isolating, musical instruments, Zoom parties, binge-watching Netflix, baking, online fitness and workshops, so it didn’t feel far-fetched that a household was being super creative to keep themselves occupied. I wanted to make something that celebrated this collective experience and endeavour to stay engaged. During my career, I’ve always been blown away by how non-professionals can own Shakespeare quickly and can perform it with ease and freedom from the constraints of academic reverence. This has really influenced the piece. We don’t laugh at Sharon ‘n’ Barry; we laugh with them as they take claim and own Shakespeare in their own way.  I hope we imagine ourselves doing the same thing and seeing our own potential to do something daft and fun in our restricted circumstances. Why should people book a ticket? It’s fun, joyous, daft and touching – we get to hang out with two gorgeous yet familiar characters in their living room as they climb their own creative Everest.  

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