AS an undisputed member of Scottish acting royalty, Maureen Beattie has been there, done that and dazzled in everything from Outlander and Casualty to Doctor Who and Liz Lochhead’s Medea.

Her latest role, however, in A Play A Pie and A Pint’s latest lunchtime offering at Oran Mor, has taken her breath away.

“It’s a wee miracle, this play,” says Maureen, sounding a little in awe. “Really, I have been around for a long time – I graduated 50 years ago - and I don’t think I have ever come across anything quite like this before. It's a gem."

Glasgow Times: Maureen in rehearsal for DisfunctionMaureen in rehearsal for Disfunction (Image: Tommy Ga-Ken Wan)

Disfunction, which opens on Monday, October 16, is a brutal comedy about two sisters, played by Maureen and Maureen Carr, who end up back in the family home, living with their goddaughter Tanya (played by Betty Valencia).

The sisters have perfected a board game, called Disfunction, over many decades and when they are at risk of losing their home, Tanya persuades them to think about selling the idea to investors.

However, things take a darkly hilarious turn, as Kate Bowen’s clever play, directed by Lu Kemp, looks at how the need for money and stability can destroy families, and the parallels between a housing market with tantalising rewards and the addictive nature of modern entertainment.

“The first hook for me with this play was Kate,” says Maureen. “You know when you meet someone and you just think – I like the cut of your jib? That’s how I feel about Kate, she is a great young woman.

“And the play is wonderful. The whole Play Pie Pint phenomenon is fantastic, really, particularly for writers, who can ‘hone their craft’ in this intense two-week rehearsal period. We’re all learning all the time at PPP, which is an experience that is just worth its weight in gold.”

Glasgow Times: The cast of Disfunction in rehearsalThe cast of Disfunction in rehearsal (Image: Tommy Ga-Ken Wan)

She adds: “There is always a great atmosphere too – and the crew is brilliant. We went to see the musical Stay, recently, and when the lights came up, we could have been in any theatre in London’s West End.”

Maureen is the daughter of legendary Scottish actor and comedian Johnny Beattie, who sadly died in 2020, and model and agent Kitty Lamont - so performing was in the genes.

“Becoming an actor, for me, was partly about showing off, there is no doubt about that,” she says, with a laugh. “But also because it’s one of the few jobs you can do where you really never know what is going to happen next.”

As a former president of actors’ union Equity – she was only the second woman and second Scot to hold the position – Maureen campaigned for women’s voices to be heard in the industry.

“It is true that there is less work as you get older, and when you are an older woman, even less,” she says. “I know really clever actresses who have made certain people lots of money in the past, who haven’t worked in three years.

“I have been incredibly lucky, I know that, at my age [she turned 70 this year] to keep moving from one thing to the next. Generally, I think it is getting better for women - but there is still a long way to go.”

Kate Bowen, who is delighted to have both Maureens and Betty bringing to life the “warped world” she has created, says her play “explores what happens when who you really are is the opposite to the role you were given as a child, or the persona you had to adopt to survive in your family.”

She adds: “The two siblings’ tactics to manage being with each other are so extreme, and have been going on so long, that they’re (I hope) compelling, shocking and darkly funny to watch. I couldn’t have asked for a better director or more incredible cast.”

Disfunction is at Oran Mor from October 16 to 21.