Educating Ronnie- Edinburgh Festival
Assembly George Square
Thursday, August 2, 2012 - Sunday, August 26, 2012
A World Premiere. Created by Joe Douglas and Gareth Nicholls
Produced by macrobert and Utter in association with HighTide Festival Theatre
‘Brother, I need £20 to stay in school. Help?’
Tickets: £8-£12. £6 (previews)
Winner - FRINGE FIRST 2012 AWARD
FOUR STARS - The Scotsman, Whatsonstage, The List, The Independent.
Written and Performed by Joe Douglas
Directed & Dramaturged by Gareth Nicholls
Set Designed by Lisa Sangster
Video Designed by Tim Reid
Composed and Sound Designed by Michael John McCarthy
Meet the Playwright
Tell us in a sentence why we should see Educating Ronnie.
Because I did this weird thing, in giving money to Ronnie, and I’m not sure whether it was always the right or wrong thing to do, but I reckon our story’s interesting and it will make you feel and think.
Why did you decide to become a writer?
I don’t really think of myself as a writer – I’m a theatre director by trade, so its weird to call myself a writer. But I wanted to make a show out of this autobiographical story and I was the only person who could write it. The first thing I did was get a director on board who I could trust, someone who’d give it to me straight. Gareth Nicholls is the ideal collaborator. He won’t sentimentalise my relationship with Ronnie, nor will he dismiss it as naive. Finding someone as curious as me in the subject matter was key.
What inspired you to write this play?
My relationship with Ronnie and the emails and texts he sent me about his life there. I’ve wanted to make a show that questions the inequalities between our lives in the UK and life in much poorer countries, like Uganda – using this small, personal story seemed the best way to explore bigger issues.
Who inspires you and how do they inform your work?
Great theatre directors and innovators, people who take on big, bold ideas in their work and communicate them truthfully and beautifully; favourites include Peter Brook, Annie Castledine and Thomas Ostermeier. Working in Scottish theatre and with the artists there has given me an appreciation of a more populist style and audience, without diminishing the quality of the work. And artists with a strong moral conscience but who tell a good yarn with it, like George Orwell, Bill Hicks or Jeremy Deller.
Read about the Made in Scotland 2012 programme in The Herald.
Tickets can be booked through the Assembly website here.
N.B There will be no performance August 13 and 20.