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A few of my favourite things: 1001 Nights director Douglas Rintoul

India, ''Good Bye Lenin!'' and the Barbican feature in this week's 'Favourite Things'

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Douglas Rintoul is a theatre director who has conceived, devised and directed 1001 Nights, a collection of some of the greatest folk tales ever told, re-imagined by Shahrazad – a lively young girl who, torn between her old home in the East and her new life in England, re-tells the extraordinary stories of her childhood to her new-found friend, who understands not a single word she says…

The show played the Unicorn in 2013 and has returned this month for two weeks as part of a UK tour which continues until 5 July.

So Douglas what is your favourite...


Good Bye Lenin! It's a clever, funny and poignant 2003 German movie about Berlin in the early 1990s. It's a beautiful parable of a fast changing world and shifting identities. It combines satire of the communist state with a love story: a boy's love for his mother. The music by Yann Tiersen is heart breaking.

Place to hang out in London?

I love the Olympic park. The meadow planting is lushous and it's a nifty running route for me - I now have miles of uninterupted green from my house up through the River Lea via the park.

Restaurant? (What would you order?)

Loving the simple vibe of Crate Bar and Pizzeria on the fringes of the Olympic Park in Hackney Wick. Has great canal views, good beer, top hand-rolled pizzas with unusual flavours - the sweet potato and stilton one's pretty good.

Holiday Destination?

India always. I've been eight times and there's still so much to see. The diversity of the country (landscape and people) is staggering. It's such a beautifully chaotic place that you just have to let go.

Play/Musical that you have seen?

One of the most surprising things I've seen in ages is Something Very Far Away. It's a touching tale of loss, loneliness and the cosmos for all ages. Fantastic, imaginative and moving storytelling using puppetry, music, sound and live animation to create a unique and beautiful performance. Back at the Unicorn Theatre soon I believe.

Theatre to visit?

My favourite theatre is La Cartoucherie in Paris - the home of Le Théâtre du Soleil. It's a converted ammunition factory in a wood on the east-side of Paris. It was taken over in the late 60s by the seminal and revolutionary theatre maker Arianne Mnouchkine. Her work stands head and shoulders above most others for its innovative form and sociopolitical content. The whole thing is totally immersive, I have had my most enjoyable and profound theatre experiences there.

Theatre to Work in?

The Barbican. Although it's a total maze and a majority of it is underground, the theatre's programme is the most inspiring in the UK. The programming staff is pretty bloody lovely too.

Part of 1001 Nights?

The story of Abu Hassan who exiles himself to India because he let out an enormous fart during his wedding ceremony.