I have been a professional writer for over twenty years and write poetry, short stories and plays. I teach writing and drama to teenagers and adults. After being made redundant from engineering in the 1980s, I became a punk rock bassist then street performer and eventually an actor which started my ongoing career writing for theatre. I was one of the team who created the Arches Theatre in Glasgow in 1991 under some old railway arches under Central Station and have performed and taught all over Europe. As far as qualifications go, I have a 1st class Honours in Scottish Literature from Stirling University and I am also a fully qualified English teacher.
About writer's work
Although most of my work is in theatre, I am a regular contributor of prose and poetry to Scottish arts quarterly ‘The Drouth’. I am also extremely interested in how writers use literary devices. In 2016, I designed ‘The Metaphoric Table’, a wallchart that presents the most important devices used. The posters were originally published by the Drouth and I wrote an accompanying article to explain the chart. Since then, I have delivered a series of workshops for groups in which I explain how the table can be used and give the participants a chance to try some of them for themselves.
Over the years, I have completed more than fifty play commissions. These range from Theatre in Education pieces for school kids tackling subjects such as children’s rights and bullying, to many written solely for adult audiences. These include, ‘Spurt’ which tackled genetic engineering, ‘Whatever Happened to Benny Hill?’ which investigated sexism and ‘Cardinal Sinne’ which looked at corruption in the church.
Websites featuring the authorRaymond's websiteHopscotch TheatreDrouth Magazine
Current events and projects
I am available for residencies, writing and poetry workshops. In workshops, I always encourage each participant to create something of their own during the session.
Most recently I have been delivering a presentation and workshop relating to the Metaphoric Table. In the presentation I explain the theory behind the table and how the literary devices relate to one another. Examples are provided from literary history and modern sources in a light-hearted atmosphere. This is followed by a workshop in which we select a few of the terms and use them to inspire the participants to jump start a bit of creative writing of their own. The wallcharts are made available to the participants after the workshop.
I have also been working on an autobiography workshop for older participants. This focuses on the cultural value of personal stories and how even the most unlikely voices from the past can be a fascinating asset in the future. The group discuss intended audiences, what to include/ exclude and where to begin. The main task of the workshop is to get people started and uses a variety of techniques and games to get people active in sharing their own stories.
At present, I have three plays in production for Hopscotch Theatre Company. ‘Think Global - Act Local’, ‘Rights of the Child’ and ‘This is My Life’ for the Edinburgh Fringe.
One recent teaching project was working with a group of teenagers (10 – 14 yrs.) from Easterhouse and Shettleston who had very little experience in writing or drama. We started with blank paper and over ten weeks created a screenplay which we then shot and had shown at the local Cineworld in Glasgow.
I also recently worked in collaboration with Baldy Bane productions for Glasgow’s Southside Festival to create and perform ‘Unpaved Waters’, a piece of international theatre using text and translation from refugees which was then performed at the Tramway.