ALAN Bissett left Dunfermline with less than he bargained for on his last visit but that isn’t stopping him from making a return.

In fact, the proud Scottish novelist and playwright cannot wait to have a memorable night in the town this week.

They say laughter is the best medicine and that could prove to be just the tonic to erase the unwanted memory of having his wallet pinched by an “enterprising young man” when he last stepped foot on Dunfermline’s streets; leaving him £70 lighter.

That was just a couple of months ago after he performed at the Royal British Legion during Outwith Festival, a packed programme of arts and culture which attracted thousands to the town over the course of six days.

“I want to come back and balance this out by having a night to remember,” he said.

The stage will be set in La Menta Cafe Bistro & Bar this Thursday evening as the critically-acclaimed performer delivers readings from his works.

His material mixes a love for the Scottish dialect along with nods to popular culture.

‘An Evening with Alan Bissett’ has been organised by Common Weal Fife and whilst politics is not front and centre on the agenda, “there’s an undercurrent that you can detect, and it’s there for people who want to look for it,'' he states.

“First and foremost, I want to entertain, engage and ensure that people walk away feeling better than they did when walking into the building.”

Bissett has turned his hand to various forms of creativity throughout his career, notably earning awards and plaudits for his writing and plays, as well as in his documentary work.

He grew up in Falkirk - a town which served as inspiration for his debut novel Boyracers in 2001 - and he sees similarities between where he used to call home and Dunfermline.

With two appearances at Outwith Festival to date, the 44-year-old passionately feels events such as Outwith should be protected and promoted.

He said: “I think if you currently live or have grown up in a place like Dunfermline or Falkirk - two similarly sized towns with history - you look at Edinburgh and Glasgow and feel like all the culture is there. It has theatres, gig venues and festivals, and you tend to think that culture is something that happens elsewhere and it doesn’t happen for people like you and where you’re from.

“Culture belongs to everybody. It’s not something that should just belong to one or two big centres in any particular place. It should spring up organically. I think festivals are absolutely part of the lifeblood in any place, especially the smaller towns and places where people think culture doesn’t happen for them.

“When someone picks up a brochure or programme that’s arrived through their door, they stop and realise all the great things that are happening in their town.

“People who thought their town didn’t have an arts scene then realise that it does. It then becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. It continues to regenerate itself year upon year and it gains momentum.

“It’s too easy for people, wherever they live, to go and say, “this place is a dump and nothing happens in it”, and cynicism becomes their default setting.

“But when people start to experience powerful and entertaining events in buildings that they pass every single day to work, they start to feel invested in the place where they live and that has a positive knock-on effect for the confidence of a place. Maybe they’ll say to themselves, “maybe this place isn’t actually a dump, and I should be proud of this town,” and they’ll find that sense of pride and it can inspire them.

“Let’s imagine you’re a young person, or unemployed or a pensioner and you attend an event by a writer or a musician. If they’re from the place where you live, you start to think that if they can do it, you can do it. You realise they aren’t the landed gentry and they’re actually from just up the road!

“That’s how a cultural scene and a cultural confidence develops. I’m delighted Dunfermline’s got Outwith Festival - it’s a great town - and I’m delighted I’ve been given the chance to come back for this event on Thursday.”