Binge Fringe Magazine

INTERVIEW: A Digital Pint with… Montel Douglas, Bringing Powerful Drama About the Windrush Crisis to EdFringe 2023 with ‘One Way Out’

Four friends stand on the cusp of adulthood, with ambitious goals ahead. As they take their first steps towards independence, a world-shattering event turns one of their lives upside down forever. No Table Productions, Theatre Peckham’s first resident company, have arrived at EdFringe with their show One Way Out to tell a unique coming of age story set amongst the pertinent throes of the Windrush Crisis.

Supported by Underbelly and New Diorama’s Untapped Award, the show aims to offer up a powerful insight into the deep ramifications of race, nationality, and identity in modern Britain. We caught up with the show’s Writer-Director Montel Douglas for a pixelated pint.

Catch One Way Out at Underbelly Cowgate – Belly Button from today, August 3rd, until the 27th (not the 14th or 21st). Tickets are available through the EdFringe Box Office.

Jake: Hi team! Your show One Way Out follows four young friends on the cusp of adulthood, before a world-shattering event leaves futures hanging in the balance. Tell us a little about the inspiration behind the show’s story and its’ relevance today.

No Table: One Way Out celebrates working class boys from South London, their joy and friendships, all whilst coming of age, and realising the different ways the world views them and treats them. Representing the untold story of how the Windrush crisis has affected young British Caribbeans, intergenerational conversations in migrant families and the ways identity affects the way the world treats you. The play explores an examination of the UK immigration system, and how younger people affected by the Windrush Scandal have been treated. This was inspired by the experiences my cousin had when she was 19 years old.

Jake: The piece explores young British Caribbeans’ experiences of the Windrush crisis – tell us a little bit about the process of piecing that story together and bringing it to life on stage.

No Table: I think it is so easy to view issues that directly affect one specific community, in this case British Carribbeans, as something that touches only members of that community. The magic of South London is that you are so entrenched in so many immigrant communities that it is almost impossible not to be touched by things that technically exist outside your identity.

Although, the topic matter may come across as heavy, we explore this story through comedy and a light heart approach. If you are laughing then you are listening and once we know that, then we can inform you with the young British Caribbeans experience.

The show started life as a short radio play during lockdown, it’s first time on stage was a short 15 minute extract as part of No Table’s first ever event No Table: Scraps at Theatre Peckham in 2021. We then performed a W.I.P of the show as part of their Young, Gifted and Black festival last October, and was the highest selling show of the festival. I’ve continued to develop the show with Soho Writers lab, and we were nominated for the Pleasance Charlie Hartill award, and are the winners of the New Diorama Untapped award.

Jake: This show is Theatre Peckham’s resident company debut at Edinburgh – what are you hoping the audience will take away from it all?

No Table: I hope the audience takes away a  truthful reflection of a few experiences of growing up in South London. In the past we have been villainized, portrayed as criminals and violent, if we’re even there at all. I wanted to show my real friendships on stage, the jokes, the conversations, the need for connection and a sense of belonging. The deep connections you build with your friends from school are so universal and the fear of being at an age where so many life altering changes are happening around you, your friendships are really all you have. I wanted to tell the story through my lens, and the cast and creative team’s lens. These are people we all know and love, and represent our whole team’s experiences.

Ultimately I want them to leave with a question to answer… Can we determine our own fate, or is it already set in stone? In other words is there only ‘one way out’?

Jake: Tell us about your relationship with Edinburgh and the Fringe – have you been before and how are you feeling about it all now we are a month away?

No Table: We’ve never been before, so we are really excited to experience Edinburgh & the Fringe. We can’t wait till we perform and give Fringe a fresh south London feel. the closer we get to the shows, the more adrenaline builds.

Our connection with Fringe is brand new, and being Untapped winners this year feels surreal. We only started our company 2 years ago, so to see where we are on this journey is exciting. The support from Underbelly, New Diorama, and Nouveau Riche has been enormous, and the hype has grown even more. This feels like a tremendous privilege.

Jake: Given the themes of Binge Fringe, if your show was a beverage of any kind (alcoholic, non-alcoholic – be as creative as you like!), what would it be and why?

No Table: A CHILLED (has to be chilled!) glass bottled Nigerian Fanta with no ice!! as its punching with sweet tangy flavour and energy!

Tickets are available through the EdFringe Box Office.

Jake Mace

Our Lead Editor & Edinburgh Editor. Jake loves putting together reviews that try to heat-seek the essence of everything they watch. They are interested in New Writing, Literary Adaptations, Musicals, Cabaret, and Stand-Up. Jake aims to cover themes like Class, Nationality, Identity, Queerness, and AI/Automation.

Festivals: EdFringe (2018-2023), Brighton Fringe (2019), Paris Fringe (2020), VAULT Festival (2023), Prague Fringe (2023-24), Dundee Fringe (2023)
Pronouns: They/Them