one of our ain

In a piece of ‘ground breaking theatre, in a unique performance‘ Sandra Brown, OBE and former Scotswoman of the Year, shares with the audience the story of her childhood growing up in a small community profoundly affected by the disappearance of one small child Moira Anderson.

‘From the moment she stepped on to the stage Sandra had the first-night sell-out audience eating out of her hands’ . [Evening Times – Glasgow]

In 2006 I created an oral performance for Sandra Brown OBE titled ‘One of Our Ain1  about her life living as the daughter of a paedophile. Sandra asked me to turn her book, Where there is Evil, into an oral communication performance that she could deliver live to different audiences around the UK and beyond. 

She had a difficult story to tell her audience (people of all ages involved in child protection or interested in Sandra’s past) about paedophilia and her own childhood. She has spent all her adult life working in child protection and has written a book about the disappearance of one little girl and her life as the daughter of a paedophile. 

The material the performance was based on whilst controversial was well researched.

Sandra had a very definite idea as to what she wanted her audience to understand about paedophilia and Sandra Brown. We spent many hours together extracting the important messages from her book she wanted included in the performance, the storying process, each being performed over and over again until Sandra was happy with what the audience would hear and see. Each audience being very different on each platform Sandra would be performing the piece. It was therefore important when storying Sandra’s material to ensure this relational flexibility was factored into the performance.

I created for Sandra a way of delivering a powerful tale (living with a paedophile) she could tell with confidence: an incredibly difficult piece of material the audience responds positively to every time.

Sandra Brown has performed the piece of work in Soho – London, Airdrie – Scotland, the home of Moira Anderson and Sandra herself, Oran Mor – Glasgow, The Lowry – Manchester, the Edinburgh Festival – Edinburgh, to name a few,  with great success. 

‘Humorous… harrowing… heart stopping’. (Janey Godley, writer and comedienne)

‘I was totally captivated – it’s mind blowing’. (Carol Laula, award winning Scottish singer/songwriter)

© 2014 Pamela Neil all rights reserved. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Pamela Neil with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


  1. I persuaded Sandra to use One of our Ain as the title of the piece of work, after a visit to Sandra’s charity in Scotland. We were talking to one of her staff about the importance of the piece of work being performed in Airdrie, the community Moira had been part of and with a very strong Scottish accent she said, ‘she was one of our ain’, inferring that they had lost one of their own. I knew then that that was the title of the piece of work we were creating

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