My first play was a student production performed in Newcastle in 1984 and was called The Heatwave Lovers. For effect, genuine hashish was smoked on stage so that the audience could smell but not touch the atmosphere. This was followed by a madcap production of Lally Land, and an even more outlandish production at the Gulbenkian Theatre called Crabs (Misty Haven). To improve my chances of employment as a playwright, I moved to Somerset and worked with Gog Theatre Company and Arabella Churchill’s Children’s World. This produced the North-South Divide septet The Play Menu and a charming kid’s play What Do You See At The End Of The Rainbow. I think Sheepdip performed my Northern Country Girl but I can’t be certain.
On moving to Glasgow in 1989, I produced and directed Madam T which got me struck off the Arts Council list, wrote and produced Up From Sauchiehall Street which totally impoverished me, and wrote, directed, and produced a people’s operetta Glasgow Girl’s which totally finished me off. The East Kilbride Unemployed Centre staged my period drama James I in tee-shirts and thereafter I vowed only to work with puppets.
Then in 2006, having forgotten all that, I staged Speechless in London. I must have been crazy. I realised my mistake after several weeks and vowed not to do it again. However, some of my plays have been made into films.