Playwriting Fundamentals

A playwriting masterclass with james ley

Date of Activity: April 2024
Location: Glasgow
Age Range: 17-25

A line of young people sit on chairs. They all look intently towards their laps where they are writing with pens in notebooks. One person is using a phone. One person is listening to something through white earphones.
A young person with long brown hair, wearing a white t-shirt and denim jeans sits facing away from the camera. On the back of the chair is a black North Face puffer jacket. The gesture with their right hand, holding a pen, in the air. A notebook sits on their lap
A man with dark hair and a beard sits on a metal chair with his legs crossed and a notebook on his lap. He gestures towards the camera with a pen in his right hand. He is wearing dark jeans and a dark grey t-shirt.
3 young people sit on chairs in a line with their legs crossed, smiling and looking intently at a figure out of focus in the foreground. The all have their arms crossed over their torso with notebooks on their lap.

Stuck on a particular character, catalyst or conclusion? Needing some inspiration to unpick your own world?

Playwriting Fundamentals was an unmissable one-day workshop that took place at Townhead Village Hall for aspiring young playwrights based in Glasgow and the West of Scotland. During this masterclass, award-winning playwright and screenwriter James Ley guided participants through practical playwriting techniques; how they embrace their absurd ideas and discover exciting ways to bring new stories to life. 20 aspiring young playwrights had the unique opportunity to collaborate with James, peel back the layers of his creative process and get advice on how to build a career in the theatre industry.

James Ley is a playwright and screenwriter living in Glasgow. His plays include Wilf (Traverse Theatre), Ode to Joy (Stories Untold, Summerhall), Love Song to Lavender Menace (Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh, Summerhall and SoHo Playhouse, New York), Emma and Gill (Catherine Wheels, Lung Ha), I Heart Maths (A Play, A Pie and a Pint), and Spain (Glasgay!, Citizens Theatre). Ode to Joy, which James wrote and directed, won a Fringe First at the Edinburgh Festival 2022. James was Writer on Attachment to National Theatre of Scotland in 2022. He was selected for the 2019 Edinburgh International Film Festival Talent Lab and the 2019 Stowe Story Labs in Vermont, USA. His feature adaptation of Love Song to Lavender Menace is currently in development, produced by John McKay/Compact Pictures, funded by the Scottish Film Talent Network.

KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR More fundamentals masterclasses coming throughout 2024.

A young person with long brown hair and large, thin-framed glasses sits on a chair with one leg crossed over the other. They gesture in a chopping motion with their right hand to two other people facing them. They are wearing a multi-coloured skirt, a colourful striped jumper and checkered purple socks. Two other young people in the foreground, out of focus, also chat with each other intently.

“Knowing I have a network of writers with very different perspectives and styles who are keen to give me insightful feedback… emboldens me to write more, and makes me feel more confident in taking the work further than just the page.”

Lara Delmage, textLAB participant

Special thank you to Townhead Village Hall for hosting the masterclass.


CREative team

Lead Artist – James Ley


Supported by

CMS Charitable Trust


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