Brian Beacom

ORAN Mor audiences will find themselves in heaven this week while watching Lynn Ferguson’s new play, The Weir Sisters.

Comedy writer Lynn’s play is set in the afterlife, a land where steak bakes and Cadbury’s chocolate are free and we meet up with the Weir sisters, Margaret and Grace.

The pair are preparing for the arrival of their long, lost sister Dorothy.

They’re all dressed up and have set out a nice spread, and they’ve even lined up Dorothy’s favourite Very Lynn music to welcome her.

“The ladies all died at different points in history,” explains Meghan Tyler, who plays Grace, who died during the war in the forties when she was quite young.

“The older sister Margaret died during the eighties and the third sister, Dorothy, has died recently in a care home aged ninety seven.

“They haven’t been able to experience each other’s worlds.”

The three sisters - Deborah Arnott and Sandra McNeeley play Dorothy and Margaret - are connected by DNA, but have almost no shared experience.

“Grace is very much a product of the forties,” says Meghan, smiling.

“She wants to be a housewife and provide for people and make everybody happy.

“Margaret however managed to get a university degree and she’s a feminist.

“This makes for a really interesting dynamic between the two sisters as they wait for the other to arrive.

“Dorothy in fact, has lived seventy five years longer than Grace. She can trace the rise of fascism in the forties right through to modern day.”

The Los Angeles-based writer hasn’t been able to make rehearsals. But she has been able to speak to the cast.

“We spoke to Lynn on Skype,” says Meghan.

“What she got across to us is the message of the play is that death is easy, but life is hard. And that’s a lovely way to put it.

“In the afterlife, you can magic up as many sausage rolls as you like, or a Christmas tree and you can be any age you want to be.

“But life isn’t like that at all.”

What Lynn Ferguson has also captured, says Meghan, is the dynamic of how sisters relate to each other.

“Sisters can be incredibly harsh, and there’s all that sibling rivalry going on, especially when a new arrival comes onto the scene,” says the actress, offering a knowing smile.

“I can remember when my little brother was born and my little sister was a year and a half older.

“They were in the front room alone together and suddenly we became aware all had gone quiet.

“When we looked in my sister had place a sofa cushion over the baby’s head and was sat on it, trying to smother him.”

Meghan grew up in Newry, Northern Ireland and came to Glasgow to study at the RCS and hasn’t gone back.

“Luckily, I’ve kept on landing work,” she says. “I love Glasgow so much.”

Luck may have played a part but the actresses’s talent has been unmissable in productions such as The Crucible, or as Ophelia in Hamlet at the Citizens’.

But that’s not to say Meghan has been reliant upon Arthur Miller and Shakespeare to propel her onwards.

She is also a writer and a determined one at that, so much so she starred in one of her own plays in the Czech Republic.

Nothing To Be Done was based loosely around Waiting For Godot.

“It began life at the Tron,” she recalls, “and from there I lived on packets of Sainsbury’s chicken noodle soup for a year to get the money to take it to the Edinburgh Fringe.”

The chicken noodle regime paid off. Meghan’s play was picked up to run at a European theatre festival in the Czech Republic where it won an international award.

She’s still writing; a new play will feature two estranged sisters in which weird things happen.

But for the moment, all the weirdness is going on in Oran Mor.

“Playing dead is really good fun,” she says, smiling.

* The Weir Sisters, Oran Mor, until Saturday.