STILL Game star Paul Riley can smile now about Scotland's finest crashing in on him this week.

And it was deserved, of course.

After all, he was wearing a black balaclava and standing over his two kidnap victims.

Police Scotland had every right to intervene.

There was Paul, in a basement flat in Woodlands Road, wearing the uniform of the deranged kidnapper while standing over a man a woman, both handcuffed and with duct tape strapped across their mouths.

And when three woman passing by happened to look in on the scene from the pavement above, well, they had to call the police, didn't they?

"They did," says Paul, laughing. "And can you imagine what was running through their minds?

"They're looking in the window of this basement flat and seeing a couple of people kidnapped and bound hand and foot.

"And with the windows open they could hear the kidnapper talk to his victims.

"They did the right thing in getting on the phone straight away."

It has to be explained that Paul and accomplices Veronica Leer and Robbie Jack were not involved in nefarious acts at all.

The trio form the cast of David Ireland's new comedy, Trouble and Shame, running at Oran Mor from Monday.

It tells the story of Hunter Baxter (Paul), a Glaswegian with big plans for Northern Ireland.

Hunter reckons the First Minister (Robbie Jack) and the Deputy First Minister (Veronica Leer) are from opposite ends of the political spectrum and they're not getting on.

But Hunter thinks he knows how to help. The answer is to kidnap them, and hopefully get the pair to talk.

BUT we discover Hunter has his own reasons for becoming involved in politics, which soon become apparent.

"It's a great play," says Paul, who starred as Winston in Still Game and wrote and starred in sitcom Dear Green Place.

David Ireland's previous plays indicate he's most likely the best comedy playwright currently working in Scotland. And his latest work will again most likely, delight.

"As soon as I read David's play I was desperate to do it. But the rehearsals overlapped with the Festival show, Ulysses, I've been working on. I've so I had to do work on both at the same time.

"Yet, it was worth it. I pleaded to be able to do David's play.

"And thankfully, it was agreed because this play isn't just funny from the get go, it's got a morality tale attached.

"And in its own way, it all makes common sense."

And while Paul Riley may not be on the television screens at the moment, he can take great delight from working in theatre of this level.

Last year, he starred in The Wickerman, alongside Still Game's Greg Hempill.

"I've been so lucky," he says. The Wickerman was great fun. And Ulysses was fantastic to do. Now, there is interest from Russia, New Zealand, Canada and China for this play. So hopefully we could be touring early next year."

Paul Riley hasn't turned his back on television.

"I've got a couple of things in the mincer," he says, smiling of the TV production process.

"But there's nothing been given the green light at the moment. But fingers crossed..."

Now, he's excited about taking to the afternoon stage for his Play, Pie and a Pint adventure. And he's expecting some off-duty policemen to come along.

"What was really funny was when the police came rushing into the basement flat - thankfully, we'd left the doors open because it was so warm, and they didn't have to break them down - I immediately pulled off my balaclava.

"And when the cops took a look at my face one of them said to me 'Oh, it's you, Winston.'

Paul adds, laughing; "Goodness knows what would have happened if I hadn't been recognised."

The ladies who did their civic duty, Paul reveals, will be rewarded.

"Once the police were satisfied there was nothing untoward going on I ran into the street and got hold of the three ladies and told them if they come along to Oran Mor there will be three tickets waiting for them.

"All they have to do is give the box office the password 'Intimidation' and they can see the show for free."

l Trouble and Shame, Oran Mor, Monday September 2 until Saturday 7th. Mon-Tues £10; Wed £8; Thurs £10; Fri-Sat £12.50. Ticket price includes a drink (beer, wine or soft drink) plus a pie.