IAN Pattison’s writing is almost a guarantee of laughs, acute insight and a powerful sense of shared experience.

This week, Oran Mor audiences can expect all of that when the Rab C. Nesbitt creator unleashes his new play, Love and Death In Govan and Hyndland.

Stephen Clyde stars as Ivan, a writer suffering from writer’s block, who takes a call from his brother ten years to the day his mother died.

The call takes Ivan back in time, to reflect on his own journey.

What prompted the playwright – this is Pattison’s fifth Oran Mor outing - to take on a subject matter that many would find difficult to negotiate?

“It came about the same way other ideas emerge,” he says.

“Here’s how it goes; your mother becomes ill. It’s the start of an intense and bumpy journey. When you get to the end of that journey - her death- you take a breath, let time pass then pull a few fig leaves of fiction over the experience and write about it.

“In so doing you’re thinking this is something all of us must go through, therefore it’s worth noting.”

Was the experience of writing about loss cathartic? “I can’t speak for anyone else but I don’t find writing cathartic, though I do find it satisfying.

“Maybe that’s the same thing. If I’ve done a good job, whatever the subject, and drawn a full bucket from the well, that’s where whatever importance there is lies for me.”

Did drawing from the well produce painful memories?

“In terms of anecdotal memory there was nothing new to me but what’s mysterious is the passage of time. Memory, as we all know, becomes unreliable.

“If you’re not careful, the rust of sentimentality can corrode an experience, as can the need to embellish it in order to turn a good story.”

He adds; “There’s something Harold Pinter said; ‘There are some things one remembers, even though they may never have happened.’

“We simplify the past in order to understand it and we need to understand it in order to control it.”

Ian didn’t see the story of his mother’s passing as play, at least not initially.

“I don’t even know if it is a play so much as a story I wanted to tell.

“Again, I can’t speak for anyone else, but as I get older, the fabric of the mask that as a scribbler I habitually wear grows thinner and more of the self is revealed. I find that – in the right piece of work – liberating.

“Now you may say bully for you but then ask what’s in it for the audience? Well I hope people will be interested in and entertained by what they see. “After all, as I’ve said, experiences don’t come much more universal than your mother croaking.”

Will it be strange to see someone on stage playing himself?

“Stephen Clyde is an actor I’ve long admired and we were lucky to grab him. Stephen isn’t playing me though – I said the masks grow thinner, remember, I didn’t say they no longer exist.”

Ian Pattison can’t be unconnected to comedy, you suggest.

“Yes, you’re right but I’ve written lots of other stuff for television as well as four novels and, I think, eight stage plays.

“The novels, incidentally, were all written in the first person. One is about a gangland enforcer, another a script writer turned murderer.”

He adds, smiling; “I’m not either of those things so it’s best not to confuse ‘I’ with ‘Me.’

Ian Pattison’s last Oran Mor play in 2014 saw queues around the block waiting for tickets. Does that success fuel expectations?

“I don’t have any,” he shrugs. “None of us can ever tell what will happen when we step out the front door and a play is like that.

“You do your best, put the work out there and the rest is in the lap of the gods. I think there are a few laughs in there but how the hell should I know? I’ve never known what will make people laugh.”

He adds, grinning; “It’s best just to write the words, eat your pie and shut up. That’s the sensible approach.”

* Love and Death In Govan and Hyndland, Oran Mor, until Saturday.