A SUCCESSFUL playwright has told how he turned his back on the bright lights of London to teach drama in his home town of Gourock.

Adam O'Brien studied at the prestigious Academy of Live and Recorded Arts in the capital and became a scriptwriter.

The 31-year-old was chosen to perform at the Sam Wanamaker Festival in the world-famous Shakespeare's Globe Theatre.

But now he has come back to his roots and is helping to set up a group to celebrate Gourock's rich history.

He said: " I attended writing groups at The Royal Court and Soho Theatres, and I moved back home because I wanted to get more involved in the Scottish theatre scene, which is quite separate to the one down south.

"I was brought on board as part of Gourock Heritage and Arts to lead this new group.

"We're looking at an improvising set piece about Gourock which explores different topics, including the history of women in the area.

"We're taking inspiration from local history, folklore and heritage from such topics as witches, Polaris, fishermen's wives and the famous 'beast' supposedly buried under the old St Ninian's Primary school pitch."

Adam is writing a play drawn from improvisation work over the 10-week course and it will be performed in May.

He previously penned 'Dear', a drama, as part of the £5,000 Coming Home initiative to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the Great War, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Now the actor turned teacher is getting rave reviews from his students at the drama sessions, which are funded through Inverclyde Council's voluntary grants programme.

Helen Patrick, 69, said: "I really look forward to the classes with Adam.

"It's amazing what you can do with a few words.

"With three words, you can find out interesting character traits about each other."

Cath Bristow, also 69, added: "I'm just loving the classes.

"When you leave, you feel you're on a high."

Pictured from left are Cath, Helen and Betty Turner.