For those of a certain age, it can be difficult to come to terms with the fact that society’s great disruptors of the past transform themselves into eminence grises. As it happens, that term can be something of a misnomer, since Mark Ravenhill is more of an eminence shaved. Either way, his wisdom is not in doubt.

Younger readers may not be aware of the impact that In-Yer-Face Theatre had in the 1990s. This was a genre coined and documented by Aleks Sierz with the likes of Sarah Kane, Jez Butterworth and Ravenhill to the fore.

It could be argued that Ravenhill had the greatest influence, in that the title of his play Shopping and Fucking outraged conservative media outlets, even though the vast majority of those opining probably never got round to purchasing a ticket.

Amusingly, that was struggling itself. This critic entered a kind of telephonic black comedy, when the person in the box office felt obliged to sell a ticket to “Shopping and cough-cough-cough-ing”, somewhat mirroring the signage outside the Royal Court, which replaced some of the offending letters with stars.

30 years on, Ravenhill is a highly respected playwright well into middle age, who reached the mainstream subsequently wowing and unsettling audiences at the National Theatre, no less, with Mother Clapp’s Mollyhouse. He later became an Associate Artist at the National and then writer in residence at the RSC.

He has now generously decided to share his wisdom and experience with aspiring playwrights. To that end, the playwright has instituted an online project entitled 101 Exercises for Playwrights. It isn’t clear whether irony was intended, but one presumes that the course, which is currently nine exercises in, will run up to the designated number, as well as borrowing from a favourite American term for introductory lessons in any subject.

The Ravenhill mission statement is clear. “Exercises to get you starting writing a play, keep you writing a play, redrafting a play, starting the next play. For beginners through to old timers. A practical exercise in every newsletter.”

So is the methodology. In the past, this playwright has introduced metatheatre into his work and therefore it isn’t the biggest step to move forwards by helping budding playwrights through practical advice that should help to get their creative juices flowing.

One can almost recognise a playwright’s pain in the brief summation of what he is to offer. For many, the idea of writing anything seems impossible. For those who are tempted to write plays, it might feel like an easy option compared to penning a 500-page novel. However, that is not necessarily the case since, as his summary suggests, there are innumerable pitfalls.

Writer’s block prevents some from starting a play, inertia can lead to stopping forever, while a new initiate will almost certainly not realise that by the time they have delivered a play and started working with the director, their attempt at perfection might need to go through a long series of ever more tedious drafts.

For many, the obsession will become even more fervent after delivering a debut, then each of these impediments might be replicated every time, to a greater or lesser extent. One quick sample says it all: “reading hundreds of unsolicited scripts as a baby script reader, I began to notice a consistent pattern. You could start reading the majority of unproduced scripts on page seven and you’d miss absolutely nothing!”

The good news is that, rather than having to shell out vast sums to purchase worthy but often unexciting books or attend courses, many of which offer contradictory or impractical advice, there is an alternative.

Judging by the small sample so far, 101 Exercises for Playwrights is practical, helpful and, best of all, fun.