Double trouble as Sean takes on two roles

Sean Scanlan admits there's a real danger he might lose track of who and where he is early next week.

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From today the actor will be starring alongside David Hayman at Glasgow's Oran Mor in the Spanish Civil War play Sins of the Father.

But he's already begun rehearsing another play, Lark, Clark and the Puppet Handy, which runs at the Tron in two weeks' time.

"It's going to be very confusing," says the actor who lives in Glasgow's West End. "I've been getting my head into Sins of the Father all last week and now I'm ready to appear, it's all learned.

"But at the same time I've now started work on my character for Lark, Clark.

"I haven't stretched myself like this since I was in my twenties, but at the same time, it's great to be working."

Scanlan is rarely not in work; producers over the years have recognised he can play the range of roles, with television ranging his incomparable Cousin Shug in Rab C. Nesbitt to Two Thousand Acres of Sky to Para Handy.

He's appeared in countless theatre and radio plays.

Right now however, he's immersed in Sins, a Patrick Harkins play set in Spain in 1938 at the time of the Civil War.

Scanlan plays a captured Republican, an academic who has been fighting against the forces of Fascism.

However, his character is mysteriously freed by his jailer, played by David Hayman

Scanlan says Patrick Harkins' play isn't an attempt to point the finger of guilt at any side of the Spanish conflict

"The play features the political conflicts between these two men, the academic and the working-class labourer, but it doesn't take sides.

"We realise there are faults with both of them.

"But it's the relationship that develops between the pair that makes it really interesting."

Both characters are Spanish, though several hundred Scots fought in the Spanish Civil War.

"That's right. But we don't speak in Spanish accents. It's not necessary in a play that's about the emotions and conflicts these men display."

Scanlan and David Hayman have worked together before.

"I played David's cell buddy in the 1979 film, A Sense of Freedom," he recalls of the film based on Jimmy Boyle's life.

"Then I appeared in the Near Room, which David directed and also appeared in.

"But it's great to work with him on stage. He's so incredibly passionate about his work and it really makes me up my game."

After the Oran Mor run, Scanlan will focus entirely on Lark, Clark in which he'll be appearing with actress wife Babara Rafferty.

"It's written by Danny Boyle who used to write the Hamish Macbeth stories, and he writes some great heightened dialogue. I'm really looking forward to it."

Or at least he will be once the Oran Mor week is over.

"There's certainly a lot going on in my head this week," he says.

"But it's a great problem to have. It's fantastic to be interactive with different people."

lSins of the Father, Oran Mor, until Saturday.

lLark, Clark and the Puppet Handy, the Tron Theatre, June 14-18.

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