Blog News

Time Oot Video Ready to Premiere!

Time Oot – Toonspeak’s summer show – was a fantastic success, and we’re so proud of the more than 60 participants who made it happen. The show was filmed and we’re putting on a fancy screening for the cast and crew on Saturday 7th September. At the same time we will be premiering the film on Youtube, so you can watch and comment live. Afterwards the show will remain on Youtube so you can watch it again and again, and share it with anyone who wasn’t lucky enough to see it in person.

The show will go live on Youtube on Saturday 7th September at 11am at:

The whole cast of Time Oot
The whole cast of Time Oot
Blog News

Paid Opportunity for Young People

5 x Youth Facilitators Needed for Toon In Speak Out (TISO)!

We are looking for 5 Youth Facilitators who will work over September-November to plan and deliver TISO, our annual Youth Consultation event.  The TISO event is a vital part of our Toonspeak planning, it is our opportunity to gain feedback about the work Toonspeak does and gather ideas for the future.  For the first time ever we are offering paid positions to Toonspeak Young people to plan, deliver and evaluate this full day event for 80 Toonspeak participants.

This opportunity is open to current or previous Toonspeak Participants up to the age of 25 years.

The post holders will work together as a team with support from Toonspeak staff to plan and deliver the full day consultation event.

Payment: £9 per hour

Hours/Terms: 32 hrs between September and November including planning, delivery and evaluation of TISO. Hours will include evening and weekend work.

Location: Toonspeak Offices, Barmulloch, Glasgow

We are able to make this opportunity possible through grateful support from The Listening Fund Scotland.

Deadline for applications – Sunday 1st of September

TISO Event: Sunday 27th October

To apply please fill out an Online Application Form here:


Toonspeak are recruiting a Funding Officer

We are currently seeking a talented, reliable person to fill the post of Funding Officer.

The post holder will lead on key aspects of fundraising for Toonspeak. The core purpose of the role is to generate income to sustain the company and the pioneering projects and programmes Toonspeak delivers across Glasgow.

For more information, go here!


Word of Mouth and Sonnet Youth

Word of Mouth, facilitated by Cathy Forde and Cat Hepburn, present a night of original writing performance in conjunction with Sonnet Youth!

Find this inspiring and awe-striking event in the basement of Stereo Cafe Bar on Monday 24th of June, 7PM-10PM.

On the night you will hear original writing performance from young people as well as some curated acts from Sonnet youth!

FREE and unticketed! 14+.

Accessibility: Unfortunately the venue is not wheelchair accessible as the event is held in the basement of Stereo Cafe Bar.

Facebook event:


Toonspeak are recruiting Young Production Artists

Toonspeak are looking for 10-12 young people (16+) to be trained and to work on our exciting musical: TIME OOT! You will have an incredible opportunity to be mentored and learn over the summer with an outstanding team of creative professionals.

These trainee positions include many interesting and varied roles such as stage managers, lighting, design, wardrobe and sound.

For more information please download the documents below:

Young Production Artists – ADVERT

Young Production Artists – ROLE & PERSON SPEC

Young Production Artists – APPLICATION FORM

“TELT” at Tron Theatre – 2018

Toonspeak are Recruiting an Administrator / Participant Liaison

Toonspeak is Recruiting!

Administrator / Participant Liaison

We are currently seeking a talented, reliable person to fill the post of Administrator / Participant Liaison.

The post holder will be responsible for providing efficient administrative support across the Toonspeak programme, with a particular focus on supporting the logistical needs of our projects and the travel of our participants. 

For more info please download the documents below:


Cathy Forde is Back!

Author and Playwright Cathy Forde is returning to Toonspeak to lead Word of Mouth this April! And we are thrilled to announce that the project will now run as part of our core programme over the next 3 years!

Word of Mouth is centred on writing your own work, with the opportunity to build this into a performance each block whether that is a spoken word piece, reciting a poem you have written, or working with your peers on a short play.

Cathy creates a nurturing environment to write in, and even bakes for participants each week, which is so lovely and creates such a warm atmosphere. It is a safe, open space to explore your writing mentored by a professional, where you can express yourself while being supported.

The project is in partnership with Sonnet Youth (spoken word performance producers), who assist in the workshops and co-produce the event which culminates each block. This is usually hosted in city centre venue Stereo. And features performances from professional spoken word acts and musicians as well as the participant performers.

“From the first time I joined at the beginning of Word of Mouth a few years ago, I could say the project gave me the only way I could ever write how I felt, share it and express it. It’s a bit therapeutic, writing away deep thoughts and getting feelings out your system. A fab place to meet wonderful and amazing people. It is an honour working with Cathy Forde, to have professional help and guidance from her on how to write anything you wish and to become an inspirational journey. Meeting other inspirational writers/ performers like Kevin, Cat and others gives you the courage to write/ perform and have faith in yourself with your piece.” – Shona Stout, participant

“Within the last 5 weeks, I came up with a script based on bullying in my high school. I got to write all my emotions down and perform on stage. I shouted, let angry out and fear out of bullying. Love Word of Mouth. I went from writing a spoken word piece to a short script. Word of mouth is a mix of young people trying to create something. Something funny, lovely and emotions on stage through script, monologue, poem or words. I can’t wait to come back again and see what I create and express on stage next time.” – Debs Lilley, participant

Handing my final-ish draft script to my cast was a surreal experience. Having my work judged when it’s not quite ready made me feel vulnerable and exposed. I’d only known these guys for a few months at most, and it was the first time my work was up for discussion in this way. It was the first time I had shared a work-in-progress to a larger group.
I was relieved when they gave me good feedback. One girl was really drawn to playing Sarah, which I was so happy about.”
– Excerpt from Jen Hughes blog about her experience writing her first short play at Word of Mouth (READ MORE HERE

“It has been an extraordinary few weeks with a very hard-working and focused group who worked so well together. All of them take the process very seriously and it’s a joy to see the fruits of their creative labour so well received by an audience like last night’s. I am privileged again- as I say every time you have me in- to get to engage with these young people. Last night was a treat.” – Cathy Forde after the last block of Word of Mouth

Would you like to join this wonderful project?

Are you age 14+ with a passion for writing, or do you have something you want to say?

Even if you are just looking for a really positive group to be with once a week get in touch.

Sessions run on Monday nights from 6pm – 8pm at Toonspeak, Barmulloch.

The next block starts on April 15th and will run every week until June 24th. Everything we do is free, and we also have transport available.

To sign up/ find out more

Call 0141 552 0234/ Email Text 07796718132

Or connect with us on social media @Toonspeak

Facebook/ Twitter/ Instagram


Announcing Toonspeak New Chief Executive

Toonspeak are delighted to announce our new Chief Executive is Hazel Wotherspoon.

Jodie Wilkinson (Toonspeak Chair):

Year of Young People 2018 was a special year for Toonspeak. We marked 30 years of the company with continued production of high quality work created by and with our superb, talented and wonderfully curious participants and celebrated significant recognition in being chosen to be a Regularly Funded Organisation by Creative Scotland, which pronounced our abilities to further thrive as a leading example in the youth-led arts sector. 

2019 proves to be no less significant as on behalf of the Board, staff team and participants, I am delighted to announce the appointment of Hazel Wotherspoon, Toonspeak’s new Chief Executive. Hazel is a recognised leader in Scotland’s Arts sector and brings to Toonspeak her immense experience of the Scottish theatre sector along with a keen passion for youth arts and significant experience in developing talent artistically, socially and educationally.

Hazel believes in people, their present and potential and so in acknowledging her reputation for supporting and inspiring, I feel wholeheartedly excited to see what Hazel brings to the organisation in this new role for the company’s evolution. The Toonspeak board are acutely aware of how hard the organisation works and are privileged to collaborate with a fantastic staff, freelance team and a growing faction of ambitious young people who all keep the beating heart of Toonspeak strong.

We see Hazel’s appointment in the team as a vital enhancement to build on the great work already achieved and to keep our heart beating louder and for longer.  Together we will flourish and collectively, we never stop believing that when we trust the young, great things happen.

A word from Hazel:
I am absolutely delighted to be joining such a vibrant organisation at this pivotal time in their development. Toonspeak share my commitment to the involvement of young people not only as participants but as leaders. I’m really looking forward to getting started.

Hazel will start on Monday. We look forward to sharing the future with her and introducing her to all the wonderful young people and staff we work with.

Current General News

Toonspeak Young Company Announced

Toonspeak has dreamed of having a Young Company for over 10 years, and thanks to RFO funding from Creative Scotland we are finally able to make this dream a reality.

A Young Company is a smaller group of participants who meet regularly to explore new work and develop their own material. They will have the opportunity to take their work to festivals and more, bridging the gap between youth theatre and professional work and opening up creative license to make theatre that is relevant to them.

Directed by Toonspeak Associate Artist Steven Leach with Co-Director Jasmine Main, the first members have been selected through audition process. There was a high demand, we met so many amazing young people, some of whom we already new but we also met some newbies.

We are so super thrilled at the group chosen, they meet weekly at Toonspeak on Saturdays, showing a great level of commitment and they are getting wired right in!

Shelby Johnston
Rebekah Watters (on right)
Alexis Mulholland
Katelyn Mulholland
Aodhan Collins
Kaja Ciuchta
Robbie Innes
Robyn McLaughlin
Kyle Stephen

We are laying the foundations of the Young Company with the following group, and there will be more spaces opening up further in the year.

Watch this space for updates!

Want to get in touch?

You can email / Call (0141) 552 0234 / Text 07796 718132

Or alternatively connect with us on Facebook/ Twitter/ Instagram @Toonspeak

General News

Theatre Critics is BACK!

Watch professional theatre performances with a new perspective! Theatre Critics is an amazing way to develop skills in reviewing all types of theatre productions.

Every Friday the group will meet at Toonspeak to learn critiquing skills with professional reviewer Gareth Vile and you will go to see shows together that night.

We are all booked up to see ‘Glasgow Girls’ ‘War Horse’ and ‘Rambert’!

The workshops kick off January 18th and run every week up until March 22nd.

For young people age 14+

All tickets & transport covered

To sign up email paula@toonspeak or Facebook message ‘Paula Erin Morgan’

General News

Young Company Auditions Announced

Toonspeak Young Company.

A group of 10 experienced, passionate young performers will be selected through audition process to work together regularly and intensively to create & perform new work led by Associate Artist Steven Leach.

If you have lots of drama experience and want to take it to the next level,
are passionate about a career in the performing arts and are actively seeking work experience, are a positive, confident, motivated self-starter and love working with like minded people, then maybe this is for you. 


Toonspeak, Saturday January 26th, 10am – 5pm 


  • Toonspeak will arrange transport to the audition day
  • A register will be taken on arrival
  • Brief introduction from leaders
  • Everyone will take part in a workshop together
  • Everyone will be given their 15 minute slot for the afternoon
  • Lunch will be provided
  • Individual auditions will take place after lunch
  • Toonspeak will arrange travel home


  • Everyone will be given a 15 minute slot to perform an audition piece from a play
  • This audition piece will be chosen and rehearsed by you and will last between 2-3mins
  • During your 15 min slot we will also have a short interview to find out more about who you are and why you would like to be part of the young company
  • Everyone will be expected to have learned the audition piece and perform it without the script 

To sign up or ask any further questions email or Facebook message ‘Paula Erin Morgan’


Toonspeak is looking for a Chief Executive

Important News 

Toonspeak is looking for a Chief Executive 

For full details download the Advert and Job Spec below. Closing date: 4th February, 5pm

Current General News

Toonspeak Participating in #givingtuesday

#GivingTuesday takes place on the Tuesday following Black Friday and Cyber Monday and is a day to give back and do good.
This year it falls on 27th November.
#GivingTuesday is powered by CAF (Charity Aid Foundation). Last year 1 in 10 people in the UK did something on the day and it was the UK’s number one Twitter trend which is amazing! The campaign holds the world record for the most money raised online for charity in 24 hours, and last year raised $64 million globally! This is the first year that Toonspeak will be participating and we would be so grateful if you chose to support us.
There are many ways you can give on #GivingTuesday whether that be your time volunteering, donating food or clothes to a charity that helps those in need, or by giving money towards a cause.
What we would ask for is a donation, if you can, towards something that is key to what we do…….

No not Will Smith, although how cool would it be to get in the Fresh Prince!!!!
Nope we are raising money for TAXIS.
There are so many key reasons why we provide taxis for our participants. Safety being at the top of the list
It enables us cover a bigger area geographically so that if people don’t have a centre in walking distance they can still get to Toonspeak. Taxis have proven to ensure regular attendance over the years. Everyone having access treats everyone the same. Removing any worry about money in order to get there. Supporting any young carers who can’t be out the house for too long, the list goes on……
But taxis are one of the hardest things to get funding for.
This #GivingTuesday you can help us by donating what you can to our taxi fund and enable young people to get to Toonspeak and access to all the amazing FREE projects we provide.
You can do so by making an online donation – we are very grateful for any donation large or small.
You can also donate by text. Just text TOON25 and then the amount you’d like to donate (any amount e.g. ‘TOON25 £5′) to 70070
You can also make a small monthly online donation to Toonspeak if you felt like you would like to contribute more
Toonspeak is a charity registered in Scotland, registration number SC022150.
We truly appreciate any help you can offer. 
Current General News

Toonspeak Young Company Open Day

OPEN DAY to learn more about Toonspeak Young Company kicking off January 2019!

A group of 10 experienced, passionate young performers will be selected through audition process to work together regularly and intensively to create & perform new work led by Associate Artist Steven Leach.

– If you have lots of drama experience and want to take it to the next level.

– If you are passionate about a career in the performing arts and are actively seeking work experience.

– If you are a positive, confident, motivated self-starter and love working with like minded people.

..Then maybe this is for you. 

We are hosting this Open Day at Toonspeak for you to learn more about what this is all about, at which you will also take part in workshops so that we can to meet you and see what you can do.

Official auditions will take place in January. If you can’t make the Open Day don’t worry this is not a requirement.

Here is Toonspeak Associate Artist Steven talking more about the Young Company and his own experience working in the sector

1pm – 4pm
BCDC, 54 Quarrywood Road G21 3ET

This is an open invitation to any individual –
even if you have never worked with Toonspeak before. 

To sign up/ find out more:-

Call (0141) 552 0234
Text 07796 718 132

Transport available on request.


Summer Show 2019 starts in JANUARY!


Toonspeak are changing things up in 2019 and starting development for the summer show in January.

In our annual feedback day Toon In Speak Out (TISO) you said that you wanted more time to work on the show, that you wanted to do another musical and that you wanted to know what the show is about earlier. Thanks to Creative Scotland funding we are able to start everything earlier and do things as requested.

In fact there are two writing days in December that we are looking for YOU to sign up for. Looking for 12 participants to start writing YOUR script!

So! We are doing a MUSICAL, and bringing back John Kielty who was Musical Director on ‘Ma Bit’ (summer show 2017) who will now also be directing and is over the moon to be returning to work with you all. The amazing Steven Leach as Associate Director who will be working closely with John developing the show, devising with you all and developing your performance skills. We have another ‘Ma Bit’ favourite David Cosgrove as Writer, who is also delighted to be back.

They have already been reading over your ideas from TISO about what you’d like next years show to be about and they are really excited to meet you and start turning them into a script!



WRITING DAYS working with David, John and Steven you will create the synopsis for the show using Toon In Speak Out feedback as a starting point. In January this will be presented to young people across our theatre makers groups to start development with everyone. We need focus, drive, positive energy, excitement, enthusiasm, openness and team spirit.

Sunday December 1st • 10am – 4pm

Sunday December 9th • 10am – 4pm

(Hosted at Toonspeak, transport and lunches provided)

To sign up either Facebook message Paula Erin Morgan / email / call (0141) 552 0234 / text 07796 718 132

From January you will work in your groups with the lead creative team, on writing, songs, script, performance skills, dance and movement.

Even if you have never been in a show before, you can join. 

Next term starts January 14th and week one will be most important as the creative team will all be there to present their ideas and we need you to guide them.

All workshop details on the website coming soon!


Current News

Young Leader Training Opportunity

Year 2 of partnership with Youth Theatre Arts Scotland (YTAS) and Ignite Theatre, you will be representing Toonspeak and working alongside four other youth theatres.

Toonspeak is looking for three young people aged 14+ to take part in a residential training course to become our newest young leaders for 2019!

In February next year you will all be going on residential to the stunning Wiston Lodge in Ayrshire where you will take part in a training course to embark on a journey as leaders in youth theatre culminating in a conference at the end of 2019 to share your experiences.
Friday 8th – Monday 11th February 2019
(Prior to this there will be an induction at Toonspeak with your facilitator tbc)
All costs for residential will be covered including food, accommodation and travel
Send a PRIVATE message via Facebook 
Paula Erin Morgan
Tell us
  • What do you think makes a good leader?
  • Why you would like this opportunity?
  • You MUST confirm you are available for the residential dates
DEADLINE: Friday 30th November 
ANNOUNCED: Monday 3rd December
Any questions you can either Facebook message Paula Erin Morgan / Call (0141) 552 0234 / Text 07796 718 132 / email
Good luck!


Toonspeak’s Artistic Director, Rachel Aisling Smith has resigned after a period of ill health.

Rachel worked with Toonspeak for six years and in the first three years as Creative Learning Director oversaw a shift-change in the company’s ways of working towards a more embedded youth engagement approach and broader, more targeted inclusion, alongside esteemed colleagues. As Artistic Director, Rachel collaborated with young people, staff and Board to create the company’s new long-term strategic plan, resulting in RFO status to secure Toonspeak’s future as a significant force for change in terms of progression opportunities for marginalised young people.

As Artistic Director, Rachel created the original concepts for major productions at the Tron Theatre, co-creating Ma Bit with David Cosgrove, John Kielty and Libby McArthur, and TELT alongside Mark Murphy, both holistically informed by the input of young people from initial consultation to final production.

Rachel has formed and nurtured fruitful partnerships for Toonspeak and been a passionate advocate both for the company’s work and for the voices of young people as artists and cultural leaders.

Rachel would like to thank the Board, all staff and artists, partners and funders, and especially our exceptional young people who made her job such a joy and a privilege.

Toonspeak wishes Rachel all the very best as she looks forward to new adventures.

Jodie Wilkinson

Chair, Toonspeak Board of Directors



Bronze Arts Award PASSED!

Today we had a moderator for Trinity College London at Toonspeak to assess our Bronze Arts Award participants work, and we are delighted to announce everyone passed!


Declan Mundy
Dominika Gresle
Grace McLeish
Holly Paterson
Holly wood
John Wilkie
Morgan Healy
Patrycja Jusis
Paul Nolan
Peter Carter
Sophie McLeish
The project started last October and ran to March. Participants came along each week to work with Stevie and Sarah, talking about their arts inspirations, researching their favourite artists, and bringing along their hidden talents, which is what the awards are all about.
In order to achieve their award the young people have all collected evidence of their experiences of:
  • actively participating in any art form
  • at least 1 arts event and their review of that event
  • researching the career and work of an artist/ crafts person 
  • passing on an arts skill
Our lovely freelancer Sarah has been working hard over summer to make sure all the participants work was ready for moderation. We also had Domi in to talk about her experience doing the award, who is now moving onto Silver, which is fab. Massive thanks to them both, and to all the young people whose hard work and dedication has really paid off.
Arts Awards are regulated by Trinity College London and are on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF). If you move all the way up to Gold you can achieve 30 UCAS points to go towards college or university.

If you would like to know more about Arts Award or any of our other projects

You can call 0141 552 0234/ email/ Facebook message us

Check out our What’s On page for all events.




General News

Autumn/ Winter Term Workshops 2018

Our glorious summer is over, but don’t fret Toonspeak is back on soon and we have an exciting term ahead of us, we can’t wait to see you all again to get started!

Each of our weekly workshops will get the opportunity to create their own Christmas Show to be performed at Crimbo Cabaret on December 8th, which will have two showings this year due to high demand.

If you would like to join, check out which workshop is closest to you and which one is for your age group.

Monday Toonheid Speaks ages 8-12 (Townhead)

Tuesday Wee Ones ages 10-12/ Tuesday Big Yins age 12+ (Barmulloch)

Wednesday North West Theatre Makers age 12+ (Near Maryhill)

Thursday North East Theatre Makers 12+ (Royston)

Full details listed on our What’s On page.

To get an idea of what you’ll be doing, here are some pics from last years show!

Photo credit: Kevin Main

All of these workshops are free and are drop in, which means you can just show up, but if you’d like to talk to us about joining you can call us on 0141 552 0234/ email/ Facebook message Paula Toonspeak






TELT! Competition Time!

TELT! is Toonspeak’s brand new show for 2018 in association with Tron Theatre and world class director and creative lead of Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, Mark Murphy.

To win tickets we’d like you to share a picture or a video of your favourite Scottish word using hashtag #TELT! 

There are 4 tickets up for grabs!

Closing date: 30th July

We will publish the winner on Facebook July 31st!

You can share via Facebook, Twitter or Instagram @Tooonspeak

If you don’t want to risk missing out