Meet the Director

We talked to the Director of The Not So Ugly Duckling, Ian Cameron, to get his take on the play and find out his top picks for the Fringe.

Read on or listen to an audio version of the interview here



Image: A black and white portrait of Ian, an older white man with a salt and pepper beard, wearing a checked shirt.


How did you get involved in the show?

Jo and Maria asked if would direct it!

The show is dubbed 'A Play For Grown-Ups'. What do you think it is about this story that speaks particularly to an adult audience?

At the heart of the play there’s the theme of acceptance and celebration of who we are. When we are very young we are trying to find out who we are. As adults, we have to accept the truth of what we find, no matter how often others might try to divert us from that truth.

Jakob Bettelheim wrote that, ‘when the same fairytale is read to a child of different ages, they learn something different according to their age’. You could say that the adult audience is just a child grown up, and can still learn from this fairytale.

What can audiences expect from the show?

I would say playfulness, humour, human warmth, and expectations being challenged.

Is this the first time working with Jo and Maria?

Yes, although I had previously met Maria when I performed in the theatre venue that she ran in Angus. I also worked with her as a consultant director for her show Miss Lindsey’s Secret, which is also in the festival, at the Storytelling Centre.

What is it about the Fringe that makes it such a unique festival?

It is the sheer diversity of what goes on, and the diversity of people from all over the world, who come here to take a risk with what they have made, and want to share with other human beings. It changes Edinburgh, and it’s a celebration - which is certainly what we need at the moment!

How does it feel coming to the festival as part of a team of older artists?

In a way, being an older artist does not feel much different from when I participated in past years. My body might be older but my spirit is still young! However, there’s been something special about working with older artists, and all our combined experiences that have contributed to the creative process of making this show, which has also involved an element of forgiveness. We still have things to discover, despite our age!

What other shows are you looking forward to seeing in the fringe?

So far I’ve not been very good at getting my act together and booking things. One show I have booked for is ‘ROOM’ With James Thiérrée and his company. I love his work, I originally saw him perform as a child many years ago with his parents. He’s the grandson of Charlie Chaplin. Another show is ‘The Fantastic Life of Minnie Rubinski’ by Vision Mechanics. It is an immersive exhibition theatre installation.

And Finally, what is your favourite duck?

Hmm, one of my favourites is the tufted duck. Its look makes me smile! I saw some recently on Leith waters.

The Not So Ugly Duckling: A Play for Grownups will be at the Scottish Storytelling centre on selected dates from 11th-27th August as part of the Edinburgh Fringe and the Made in Scotland Showcase. For more information and to book your tickets click here.
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