IT’S a mixed blessing having your play listed in the Festival Fringe programme as being "in Scots". Yes, this attracts some – and by no means exclusively Scottish – theatre-goers. Those either curious and adventurous or else those who have already enjoyed the vigour and energy of a good demotic text delivered by a committed cast of actors who know exactly what they’re talking about and give it laldy.

But last week a friend confided that the son he’s bringing along with him today is a bit scared that he might not understand it. This son, who grew up in Glasgow till he was seven, studied medicine in Dundee and has been a GP in that gritty city with its own unique brand of Scots speech for almost two decades.

Naturally, he has no difficulty whatsoever with our Tartuffe and laughs as loud and long as the rest of them, no doubt relieved to find nothing unintelligible, obscure or antique.

Yesterday into my inbox came an invitation from Creative Scotland inviting me to “A Scots Gaitherin, a dey fir fowk yuissin the Scots leid in the airts an cultural lanscape o Scotland tae come thegither tae wurk towart developin forrit-thinkin weys tae encourage mair yuiss o Scots in creative life athort Scotland”

I’m not making this up. “Yuissin” “athort” “leid”…

I’m minded of one of the late great Tom Leonard’s wee cartoons. Of a Poster. Makars Society Gran’ Meetin’ the Nicht Tae Decide The Spellin’ o’ this Poster. Admission: Thritty Pee (A Heid)

Until I saw John Byrne’s The Slab Boys in 1978 I had no thought about writing anything in any kind of Scots. Here was this hilarious, wickedly cruel comedy about two working class, lazy, impudent, impoverished, secretly ambitious, deeply-competitive, talented, American-obsessed, Rock’n’roll-obsessed, style-obsessed, same-girl-obsessed lads of the late 1950s getting through the day in a dead end job by taking the piss out of their slightly superiors and even more out of the poor wee soul they worked with, and having the girl of their dreams wipe the floor with the both of them.

All in their own arcane and uncompromisingly precise Paisley patois,

I remember thinking the stupidest thing, which was ‘are you allowed to do that?’

In 1984 the Royal Lyceum in Edinburgh asked me if I would do a new version of Tartuffe. Would it be in Scots? No, I said, but it would be for Scottish actors to perform in their own accents. When I got going on those rhyming couplets though it was like I got taken over, inhabited, by my granny’s salty Scots tongue.

It was a hit because Moliere’s original play is so very, very funny, very outrageous, very bawdy. Puts on the table: sex. Men and women using it against each other. You have to laugh.

I’ve since become rather Moliere mad, done versions of all of his other three rhyming comic masterpieces, The Misanthrope as Miseryguts, School for Wives as Educating Agnes, and, eventually, an original play about his own rackety, funny-sad and very beyond-the-pale, very un-PC life in the theatre. I’ve done a Medea, my own Mary Queen of Scots Got Her Head Chopped Off.

I have kept writing in Scots though. Sort of. All varieties, from Scots to Scots-English to modern slangy vernacular. Sometimes. Only where it feels to be the right tool for the job.