I studied drama at the Royal Scottish Academy in Glasgow, graduating in 1976. I then trained as a teacher of Speech & Drama and taught in both Primary and Secondary schools in the East End of Glasgow for five years.
In 1983 I joined the Glasgow Arts Centre as a director, writer and acting teacher. During this time I directed a wide variety of productions and created a great many unique workshops and master-classes in acting. Many of the young people I worked with at this time have gone on to become well known stage and screen actors.
As well as working as a director, acting teacher and playwright in many of Scotland’s colleges and universities, including the Glasgow University & RSAMD, I also had three books of acting workshops and exercises published to date. The ‘Actors Lab Workshops’, as they are called, have been on my publisher’s best sellers list for eight years.
In 1997 I was appointed Artistic Director of Theatre Works, a large Glasgow-based theatre company. I went on to initiate and direct highly regarded new issue based plays with this company and tour them across the Central Belt. In 1999 I won a Scotsman Fringe First for writing and directing ‘Messengers’, about a dystopian Scotland of the future.
In 2003/4 I was employed as a Lecturer in Acting & Theatre at Trinity College Dublin. During this time I directed two very successful productions in the Samuel Beckett Centre.
On returning to Scotland in 2004 I became Writer-In-Residence at the State Hospital, Carstairs. I also worked as Lecturer in Acting on the Screen and Digital Media course at RSAMD.
I joined QMU in 2004/5 as a Lecturer in Acting & Performance on the Acting & Performance programme. From that date I worked in the area of acting, on several programmes and modules. While at QMU I have continued to direct productions outwith the university. In recent years I have been script editor and director of a live comedy sketch show called ‘Sabotage’ for BBC Radio – series 1 & 2. In 2010 I directed ‘Love in the Bus Lane’ by DC Jackson, again for BBC Radio. In this year I also directed ‘The Cherry Orchard’ by Anton Chekhov for RSAMD. I have also written two collections of poetry – Ready Made Bouquets & Myself & Other Strangers - both published by Cinnamon Press.
In the last five years my poetry has appeared in most UK literature magazines, winning prizes and gathering commendations. In 2007 my poetry collection ‘Ready Made Bouquets’ was published by Cinnamon Press and launched at the Edinburgh Book Festival. In 2014 I was commissioned to write 22 poems for the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Glasgow. These poems are incorporated into graphic images and displayed in the hospital’s public areas. In 2015 my second collection by Cinnamon Press Myself and Other Strangers was launched at CCA, Glasgow.
Affiliations/Memberships to Other Organisations:
- Associate Director / Scottish Youth Theatre
I teach acting on the Acting for Stage & Screen Programme. I also direct student productions on this programme at QMU and Napier University. On the Drama and Performance Programme I also teach acting skills, textual interpretation and collaboration. I also supervise Honours students and assess dissertations.