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I’ve Never Met Anyone Quite Like You Before - Fringe Interview

Ive Never Met Anyone Quite Like You Before is the debut play by Stirling born writer, David Scotland. Heavily autobiographical in nature, the piece explores what it means to be an artist and the impact that this has not only on the artist themselves but on everyone around them too.

The play tells two concurrent stories. In one, we see Dave struggle to navigate the minefield of modern LGBTQ+ relationships with his boyfriend Art in a series of vignette style scenes. In the other, a collection of monologues explore Daves relationship with everyone from his mum to his (prospective) agent. Travelling from a gay club to a church, a coffee shop to a cemetery and incorporating movement and music throughout, this play is as funny as it is poignant and as universal as it is personal.

In 2022, David was selected as a participant on the Traverse Theatre’s Breakthrough Writers: Launchpad programme; the result of which being Ive Never Met Anyone Quite Like You Before. The play has been further developed with director Amy Allen (Jury, Park Theatre OnComm Award 2020) and actor Daniel Annoh (The Recruit, Netflix) and was most recently presented as a rehearsed reading at the Golden Goose Theatre, Camberwell. The Edinburgh Festival Fringe staging will be the first for the team under the new banner of quite like you Productions.

Ahead of the show running at the Edinburgh Fringe from 21st to 26th August I caught up with David to discuss the show.

What inspired your show and how did you develop it?

In 2022, I was selected as a participant on the Traverse Theatre’s Breakthrough Writers: Launchpad programme. Led by the wonderful playwright Stef Smith, the course was aimed at first time writers and promised to take you from the germ of an idea, to a full first draft of a play.

When I started the course, I had no idea what I was going to write about, but Stef encouraged us to think about the ‘central questions’ we would like to form the heart of our piece.

Prior to the pandemic, I was very fortunate to be a working actor, perhaps the most successful I had ever been and suddenly it was all taken away from me.

That prompted a lot of self-reflection: Who am I? Why am I an artist?, How does that inform how I move through the world? How has it coloured my relationships? Why am I where I am?

By the start of 2022, I was still sitting in the hangover of all those thoughts and so they very much became my jumping off point.

When the course was over and I had my first draft, I had the odd realisation that this mammoth task that I had imagined in my head – WRITING A PLAY – was actually just the first step in a huge chain of mammoth tasks if I ever hoped for anything to happen with it.

The first person I shared the play with was my best friend Amy Allen who also happens to be an extraordinary artist, creator and collaborator. I couldn’t believe my luck when she expressed her interest in directing it, should the opportunity ever arise.

Since then, we have been on an amazing journey which has included a table read and a rehearsed reading.

We had the privilege of developing the role of Art with a fantastic actor, Daniel Annoh, who sadly cannot join us for the Fringe but the great news is we have the equally wonderful Robert Strange joining us for Edinburgh and we can’t wait to see what he brings to the piece too!

Do you find writing an autobiographical piece easier than writing a piece of fiction?

When I started, it certainly wasn’t a conscious decision that I would be telling my own story – it’s just what came out when I sat down to write. I guess, in a way, that means it was easier.

It’s funny because when I was at school, we’d be asked to write a short piece about what we did during the past weekend. I was never satisfied with what had actually happened and so would often make something up instead (I think I once wrote on a Monday morning with two perfectly functioning arms that I had broken one of them on the Saturday).

To now be sharing my own story in such a personal is, I guess, a testament to how far I have come.

How did you decide to tell the two concurrent stories?

The inspiration for the romantic relationship depicted in the play was me wondering, ‘what would my relationship with art look like as a living, breathing human relationship’ and as a writer, I felt that worked so much better as its own story.

Of course, having rubbed alongside, the two stories have very much bled into each other and in some ways the relationship now tells the story of my life and my life story explores my relationship with art.

What do you want an audience member to take away from seeing the show?

The lovely thing that has come out of the small sharings that we have held so far is that everyone finds part of themselves in it somewhere – all in different places, but somewhere.

I guess a takeaway from that is that we are never alone in our pain, insecurity, struggle and vulnerability – in fact, it is in these states that we are at our most relatable!

And as an extension of that, I hope that by sharing my experience as an artist, the audience will be able to recognise the healing power of art, both for the artist and the audience.

Can you describe the show in 3 words?

Frank, Physical and (full of) Feeling!

I’ve Never Met Anyone Like You Before plays at theSpace on the Mile from 21st to 26th August at 8.45pm. Visit for tickets.

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