VAULT Festival 2023
Intruder / Intruz
Sat 28th January 2023, 19:45 / Tickets
July 8, 2022
Originally published during its premiere run at Edinburgh Fringe 2022.
Following his dream, Remi moves to Scotland to become an actor. But an ugly and vicious attack almost ruins his life.
Hi Remi, thank you for taking the time to talk with The New Current, how does it feel to be heading to Edinburgh Fringe and Summerhall - Demonstration Room this year?
First of all, thank you very much for the interview. It’s a dream come true to premiere the play at the Fringe, let alone Summerhall, as it’s such an iconic venue. The piece is also about following your dreams. So it’s like a dream within a dream. Regarding Demonstration Room I knew it was the perfect space for the piece once I saw it, but why? Well, you’ll need to come and see it.
As well as being shortlisted for the Adrian Pagan Playwriting Award at London’s King’s Head Theatre (2013), you got to the final shortlist in the BBC Writersroom Drama (2017). What did it mean for you to get this type of recognition for your play?
I couldn’t believe it really. I still can’t believe it. English is my 2nd language so it never even crossed my mind that I could get any recognition for it. It’s amazing to be recognised but for me it is all very subjective as it depends on who reads it and what they like and don’t like. I’ve been very lucky and I’m grateful to all the readers in these competitions.
The premiere of Intruder takes place on August 4 at Summerhall, will there any nerves ahead of your run?
Surely there will be but I’m not thinking about it yet. For me it’s all very exciting as we’re in rehearsals now and I’m not thinking about the premiere yet. Maybe if you asked me a question in August the answer may be different.
The 13 year journey you have been on with Intruder has been incredible and truly inspiring, how did you maintain your focus, as well as sanity on this project and never give up?
I never thought of it in this way really. Perhaps because this is my first project I can’t compare it with any other ones. I was doing other things at the same time as well, so I wasn’t only focusing on the play. I wrote some bits for a deadline e.g. playwriting competition and then came back to my regular job.
I worked on other things as well such as a project with dreamthinkspeak, and then go back to my day job as a F2F interpreter. When I had some free time I would worked on the play. Interpreting was also a big source of inspiration as I interpreted for a few people who went through similar experience to me. I’ve always enjoyed coming back to the piece, and I still do, it makes me laugh a lot so I was never bored with it. With time I accepted the fact it would take longer, especially when the director of the play and my dear friend Amanda Gaughan passed away or when I needed to learn how to write a funding application and a crowd funder.
Can you tell me how Intruder came about, how important was it for you to create a bilingual show?
I was never planning on writing a bilingual show, life was planning a bilingual show I think. The trigger for the show was a violent incident that took place in Edinburgh one Saturday evening in 2009. The following day out of frustration I put it down on paper, not to create a show, I actually never wanted to come back to it. As for bilingualism, as I’m Polish and also worked as an English teacher for many years, my mind processed the whole event in both languages.
Did you have any apprehensions about creating a show that came from such a deep personal place?
To be quite honest, it never even crossed my mind.
"I thought that maybe I’d like to share Intruder’s journey with others and inspire and motivate other theatre makers to work on their plays or projects."
Has the experience of writing and performing Intruder been somewhat cathartic for you?
Talking about the piece with the late Amanda Gaughan, director, and Catherine Grosvenor, playwright, during our R&D in 2012 felt very therapeutic. It was very interesting to see how others perceive events or incidents in one’s life. 13 years is a long time been but I think that journey was needed for me to perform it. As for writing it, yes, it was very cathartic.
Where did your inspiration come from to create the Intruder podcast?
I had an extremely creative pandemic during which I wrote a lot. As an extension of this creative current I thought that maybe I’d like to share Intruder’s journey with others and inspire and motivate other theatre makers to work on their plays or projects.
Will you allow yourself much flexibility once the show is running or will you prefer to stick to the show as you have written it?
I’d rather stick to the script.
What has the experience been like working with your director Marcus Montgomery Roche and how important is the collaborative nature between writer/performer and your director?
I loved working with Marcus. Absolutely loved it. We’re now in rehearsals and it’s been going very well. I’ve known Marcus for a long time and I have always wanted to work with a Scottish director and I’m glad and grateful that Marcus connected with the piece. What I love about our collaboration is that we try so many different things and bring various ideas to the rehearsal room to see if they’re going to work. And it’s been exhilarating.
Where did you passion for theatre originate and what made you want to explore this passion for theatre in Scotland?
As far back as I can remember I’ve always wanted to be an actor. When I was in primary school we went on school trips and it was then I got the opportunity to go to the theatre. I started learning English when I was 15 and I loved it so much I wanted to act in English. After being somewhat discouraged in Poland I decided to move to Scotland to pursue my dream of becoming an actor
What has been the most valuable lesson you have taken from this whole experience?
Do you have any advice, tips or suggestions you would offer fellow theatre makers?
If you have dreams remember to keep going. Life is full of surprises and you never know what’s destined for you.
And finally, what do you want your fringe audiences to take away from Intruder?
To feel uplifted, motivated and inspired.