Douglas Rintoul - Theatre Director/Playwright

IN BASILDON | Queen's Theatre Hornchurch 2019


**** The Evening Standard


"What an inspired piece of programming it is for Hornchurch to stage the

first revival of David Eldridge’s punchy and immensely enjoyable family

drama. In Basildon (2012) was one of the jewels of Dominic Cooke’s reign

at the Royal Court and now here it is, taking up proud residence in the

area of which it speaks with such witty profundity.


As Len lies on his deathbed in the house his working-class parents bought

decades ago when they moved out from the East End, his fractious,

fractured family gathers anxiously. Sisters Maureen (Lucy Benjamin)

and Doreen (Beverley Klein) haven’t spoken for 20 years and are unlikely

to bury their grievances now it is revealed Len has recently changed his



Douglas Rintoul’s confident production is peppered with fine performances.

Eldridge’s skill is to make us care enormously about this worried brood,

while also sketching wider themes of generational shifts — in expectation

and education, for starters — as well the increasing difficulty of buying

a home of one’s own. It is impossible to watch this now and not

consider what made certain communities vote for Brexit."



ABIGAIL'S PARTY | Queen's Theatre Hornchurch/Derby Theatre/

Salisbury Playhouse 2018


**** The Guardian


"Alongside this spinoff is a revival of Abigail’s Party, directed by

Douglas Rintoul, which sticks faithfully to Leigh’s period setting,

from the pineapple sticks to Laurence’s handlebar moustache and

Lee Newby’s exquisite retro set (flock wallpaper, clashing carpet

and a drinks unit).


The result is not a pale imitation of the original but a production

of awful, cringing brilliance


It also shows how well Leigh’s tragicomedy has endured. It encapsulates

a time and place – two upwardly mobile couples in the suburbs of the

1970s – yet feels utterly relevant, modern and savage today in its

dark assessment of power, victimhood and tyranny within marriage.


Melanie Gutteridge plays Bev with such pitch perfection that the

character feels, finally, freed from Alison Steadman’s formidable

legacy. The play was originally shown at Hampstead theatre, but this

staging, in the Essex suburbs, feels like a more apt setting.

Gutteridge’s Bev is a manicured Essex matriarch, pointing her commands

at Laurence and holding the attention of the room with louche posturing,

aggressive shimmying and a backless dress. She remains, in Gutteridge’s

hands, one of the most monstrous – and magnificent – creations of contemporary




ROPE | Queen's Theatre Hornchurch/New Wolsey Theatre 2018


**** The Stage


"Assertively directed by Queen’s Theatre’s artistic director Douglas Rintoul...strongly performed"



DARDANUS | English Touring Opera 2017


"Profoundly touching" **** The Guardian


"Pure delight" **** The Express


"A work of dazzling intensity" **** BachTrack


"Rintoul draws attention irresistibly to the characters’ conflicts and predicaments....a creditable production of a musical masterpiece and demonstrates this repertoire’s dramatic and psychological richness"

**** Classical Source



THE CRUCIBLE | Queen's Theatre Hornchurch & Selladoor 2017


"A timely and powerful production of The Crucible. It's good to see Hornchurch's Queens's Theatre putting itself back

on the map for serious theatre, seriously done."

**** Mark Shenton in The Stage


"Gripping production" **** What’s On Stage


"An atmospheric feast for the senses… Douglas Rintoul’s direction is resplendent and thought provoking" - **** West End Wilma


"Grips like a vice" ***** Reviews Gate


"This production feels fresh and the tension is tangible and profound"  


"Ingenious staging, almost cinematic at times" Evening Express


"A spectacular piece of theatre with which I cannot find fault" Stage Talk Magazine



MADE IN DAGENHAM | Queen's Theatre Hornchurch 2016


“It wins us over — in its rousing calls to arms, its salute to solidarity and sheer gutsiness.” The Times


“This musical…has made a triumphant homecoming with a feisty new production…Essex audiences are loving it” **** Daily Mail


“Douglas Rintoul’s lovely, lively production bubbles with ebullient good humour, but isn’t afraid to let the bad times

have their moments too” **** Evening Standard


“So heartfelt and sincere… Terrific cast” **** The Stage


“An entertaining, heart-warming reminder of an important battle in the struggle for women’s rights” **** Reviews Hub



MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING | Queen's Theatre Hornchurch 2016


"Douglas Rintoul’s inaugural Hornchurch production is a polished affair". The Stage



THE DEEP BLUE SEA | Watermill Theatre 2015


‘The Watermill’s production portrays The Deep Blue Sea's exploration of love and marriage with sharp clarity and with a fantastic cast this is a production well worth seeing.’  **** The Public Reviews



'In this impeccable production from The Watermill Theatre, skilfully directed by Douglas Rintoul, the very core of the meaning of love and marriage is exposed.' British Theatre Guide



THE SUMMER BOOK | Unicorn Theatre 2014


'It will have a resonance with anyone who has a deep bond with theirown grandparent. Just beautiful' SOUTH LONDON PRESS *****


‘The on-stage chemistry is delightful: in high dudgeon, Sara Kestelman’s ‘grandma’ really rocks that Julie Andrews/Angela Lansbury cut-glass English sourpuss vibe to perfection. Director Douglas Rintoul has managedto get serious mileage pitting the confident pink-cheeked naivety of Sammy Foster’s Sophia against the canny, gimlet-eyed sagacity of ol’ grandma. Insolence, hubris and moral ambivalence are expressed in surprising ways and out of surprising lips. It’s bright, pacy, funny and just the right balance of nourishing for kids and thought-provoking for adults.' TIME OUT ****



ALL MY SONS | Watermill Theatre 2014


'Deftly directed by Douglas Rintoul, this timeless classic is a highly accomplished production and is thoroughly recommended.' BRITISH THEATRE GUIDE


'a very welcome companion piece to Douglas Rintoul’s version of another great 20th century American text, Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, staged at the Watermill in 2012. Both shows have set the bar very high, and it will be fascinating to see what Rintoul delivers next.' ***** THE GOOD REVIEW



AS YOU LIKE IT | Transport UK Tour 2013


'Innovative and evening full of inventiveness and brilliant surprises' D'LETZEBUEGER LAND


'A quiet masterpiece' STAGE & SCREEN INSIDER


'Bold and ambitious...exciting and innovative' BRITISH THEARE GUIDE


'Enough innovation to excite and an energy of spirit that lifts the audience with them...certainly one [As You Like It] to remember'  **** ONE STOP ARTS


'By far the most inventive, and in some ways the most magical As You Like It this season' PUBLIC REVIEWS


'Transport's new production of As You Like It, directed by Douglas Rintoul and produced by Transport Theatre, throws itself into Shakespeare’s words with a beautiful set piece. A duke is overthrown and banished by his treacherous brother, and his three loyal courtiers sweep him away in an exquisitely choreographed moment. The scene is a poignant foreshadowing of the production that follows. The choreography, lighting and melancholy piano come together breathtakingly. It’s moments like this that help make the production stand out.' STAGE & SCREEN INSIDER



1001 NIGHTS | Transport/Unicorn Theatre 2013/2014




'Warmly recommended' THE STAGE


'If this does not warm your heart then I don’t know what will.' A YOUNGER THEATRE


'Directed by Douglas Rintoul, it’s simply but ingeniously presented, rustling bits of junk into myriad props, harnessing its audience’s imagination in a continuous game of let’s-pretend and holding everyone, young and old alike, quite spellbound. An utter delight. **** THE TELEGRAPH




ELEGY | Transport / Theatre503 2012


'Essential viewing' **** TIME OUT


'Sensitive, nuanced, superb...important and universal story' **** WOS


'Assuredly one of the most vital shows in London right now' ***** PUBLIC REVIEWS


'Quietly shocking' **** The Telegraph


'Powerful' **** The List


'Able to touch and speak to many' The Stage


'I was profoundly moved' **** The Good Review


'Intrusively powerful...see it' Gay Times


'Moving coup-de-theatre' The Scotsman


‘Elegy is also a compelling tribute to the people who died in the crackdown on liberty - one UN official believes the number of homophobic murders in Iraq was 'in the hundreds' - as well as posing questions about how we treat immigrants from areas of conflict in the UK. Created and directed by Douglas Rintoul and re-devised by TRANSPORT theatre company after its premiere last year, this hour-long monologue could seem staid and dry. But a sensitive, nuanced performance from Phillips, plus superb lighting (Dani Bish) and sound design (Helen Atkinson) which shifts us in time and place so well (whether it’s a mobile phone beep or the whirr and horns of traffic) carry us along with and important and universal story.’ **** WhatsOnStage




OF MICE AND MEN | Watermill Theatre 2012






‘As a novel that Steinbeck evidently created with a mission to write for the theatre, it is true that the dialogue and setting needs little adaption for the stage. That may be the case but it does not dilute the enormous success of this production at the Watermill, a risk-taking theatre which always rises above and beyond the challenges it sets itself.


Beautifully crafted and staged, the production team excels in creating the highly charged and emotional relationship between George and Lennie. Douglas Rintoul’s direction is stirringly powerful, Hayley Grindle’s set is strong and dramatic, Paul Anderson’s lighting is hauntingly atmospheric and Helen Atkinson provides the dominant and chilling sound compositions.

With set, sound and direction a triumph, it is equally important to have a strong cast to do the play full justice. David Ganly is excellent as Lennie and together with Thomas Padden as his long-suffering friend and carer George, the two swiftly express the deep bond between the two characters with intense credibility. Johnson Willis is pitifully emotive as Candy, Tom Berish is intimidating as Curley, Jeff Alexander is Crooks, Nicholas Hart is Whit and Ian Porter is the level-headed Slim. Carl Patrick and Siobhan O’Kelly complete the cast as the Boss/Carlson and Curley’s lonely and flirtatious wife respectively.’ **** WhatsOnStage




INVISIBLE | Transport UK TOUR 2011/12





‘That's one of the best scenes in this pungent new play by Croatian writer Tena Štivičić, which puts the flesh and bones on the statistics about transnational migration. There's another about the ache to find the gherkin that tastes of home. At times it feels a little over-familiar, but in a smart and smartly acted production by Douglas Rintoul, this play about worth and worthlessness, what we see and what we fail to see, and the dissolution of dreams, has the dislocated air of nightmare.’ THE GUARDIAN


‘Stivicic and director Rintoul have fused a crisp, punchy script with dreamy slow motion choreography and innovative lighting/soundscapes in order to present a multilayered story which builds towards an unexpected climax. Using simple artistic techniques to penetrate a complex subject, Transport has produced a highly uplifting piece of theatre. Credit, too, to the New Wolsey for once again combining talents with an up and coming visiting company.’ THE STAGE




TOUCHED |Trafalgar Studios 2009


METRO ****



‘Directed by Douglas Rintoul, it's aware of its own limitations as well as those of its star, who's never called upon to dig too deep – rather, to show how an ordinary young lass can get into a shallow groove, then stay stuck in it for decades, gradually gathering wistfulness like fluff round a record-needle. At the very least, the evening shows the world that Frost, a mother of four who – like her character – grew up in Manchester, hasn't altogether turned into a tabloid cliche, living the high life in a fancy-pants house on Primrose Hill, partying with Kate Moss, plugging her fashion ranges or make short films. She slums it here with trim aplomb – deftly changing costumes between scenes, and holding her own, inches away from the audience, as she writhes about on a bed or confides Lesley's latest misdemeanour. Lewis piles on satirical twists to match Madge's own spiralling eccentricity. While our ditzy heroine begins sensibly enough by spurning a local lad and leaving home for London, she winds up, single and childless, madly wrecking a Madonna video in New York, toying with adopting an African orphan baby and making a desperate lunge for the star across a dancefloor. At once a cautionary tale and a nostalgic trawl through the bubble-gum sounds of yesteryear, Touched proves a warming and incisive ray of light for these dark, regretful days.’ TELEGRAPH ****