PLAYING the part of Donald, a man with learning difficulties devastated by the death of his mother, is “a massive challenge” for Glasgow actor Andrew Agnew.

After all, this is the man who will always be cheerful PC Plum from Balamory to a generation of CBeebies viewers, or community centre worker Walter, if you’re a Scot Squad fan.

“Oh I loved being on Scot Squad,” he beams. “It was very different because of course, it was improvised, so you weren’t working from a script.

“It was a bit scary the first time – I remember worrying I was just going to sit there like a lemon while everyone else got on with it, but once you were in amongst it all it was great.”

He has fond memories of Balamory too, he says.

“It was the 20th anniversary recently, and it was lovely to have the chance to chat about the show,” he explains. “I’m still close friends with Juliet [Cadzow, who played Edie McCredie] and Julz (Julie Wilson Nimmo, who played Miss Hoolie] and we see each other all the time.

Glasgow Times: Andrew is making his debut A Play A Pie and A Pint appearance.Andrew is making his debut A Play A Pie and A Pint appearance. (Image: Colin Mearns/Newsquest)

“We’re all so proud of Balamory, we did it with great love and we have a great deal of respect for it.”

He adds, with a laugh: “And it is very possible some of the children who know me as PC Plum might be sitting in the audience at A Play, A Pie and A Pint. Although that does make me feel a bit old.”

Andrew plays Donald in Quietus, the final instalment in Matthew McVarish’s Life and Death trilogy of plays.

He is a man living on the spectrum with a crippling fear of the outside world, who gets assigned a carer determined to help him despite Donald not wanting to help himself.

“His mother was everything to him, did everything for him, and he is now in a place where he can’t really understand why he should continue without her,” explains Andrew. “Her death has left a massive void in his life.”

“It is intense, but nicely intense. He is a likeable character, I think, and it is beautifully written.”

Glasgow Times: Andrew on Balamory as beloved PC PlumAndrew on Balamory as beloved PC Plum (Image: BBC)

Andrew admits the role has been a “bit of a rollercoaster” to play.

“Getting under the skin of a character who is grieving is hard but all of us have had to deal with grief in our lives, and all actors have darker places they can call upon when required,” he explains.

“It’s not nice to tap into those places, of course, but sometimes it’s necessary.”

He adds, smiling: “It will get some laughs too, though – it’s well-structured. Plenty of light and shade. I’m really excited for people to see it.”

The play also stars Ruairidh Forde, community associate director at ShowWorks Theatre, as his carer, and it is directed by Maggie Kinloch.

Andrew will shortly be directing an episode of CBeebies show Olga da Polga, starring his former Balamory co-star Julie Wilson Nimmo.

“I can’t wait to work with Julie again, that will be really fun,” he says. “I really enjoy directing, it’s good for me to be exercising a different part of my brain.”

For now, however, Andrew is focusing on Quietus which is, surprisingly, his debut appearance at A Play, A Pie and A Pint.

“It’s my first time, so yes, there are nerves, but it’s really exciting,” he says, smiling. “I’ve definitely got the bug.”

Quietus is at Oran Mor until May 13 before moving to The Gaiety in Ayr from May 25 to 27.