Traversing a 30-year friendship born within the confines of a weird and wonderful hinterland, Years of Sunlight is a lyrical and haunting cry for those left feeling shipwrecked from their old communities and abandoned by the post-industrial political system.
Haunted by the past and memories of his closest friend Emlyn, Paul returns to the ashes of his childhood home in a Liverpool overspill estate and implores his mother to leave it all behind.
Envisaged by the government as social utopias in the 1960s, New Towns like Skelmersdale promised visionary housing and opportunities for thousands of Liverpudlians uprooted from their overcrowded city.
Lisa Spirling said today, “I’m thrilled to have Seared Productions and this exquisite play opening my first ever season as Artistic Director at Theatre503. Amelia Sears has gathered around her an extraordinary cast and creative team for McLean’s powerful ‘Years of Sunlight’ and we’re very excited to see it take shape and share it with our audiences.”
Seared (production company of actor Alex Waldmann) returns with its first world première in London following critically acclaimed sell-out revivals of Brimstone and Treacle and Home at the Arcola Theatre.
Michael McLean’s previous play The Ducks was produced by Seared at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. He started out as a member of the Liverpool Everyman Young Writers Group. He spent a year on the Paines Plough/Channel 4 Future Perfect Scheme and was a member of the Royal Court’s Invitation group. His work has been performed at Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse, Shakespeare’s Globe, Trafalgar Studios and Soho Theatre. His previous plays include The Electric Hills, Grotesque Chaos, Athlete Agonistes, High Altitude and All Saints. For radio his work includes The Tony Kay Scandal.
John Biggins plays Bob. For theatre, his credits include Neville’s Island (Hull Truck Theatre), and for the National Theatre include Port and Husbands and Sons (also at Manchester Royal Exchange). For television, his credits includeDrifters, Life’s Too Short, Law and Order, Lead Balloon, The Thick of It, The Vice and Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps; and for film, Before You Go.
Bryan Dick plays Emlyn. For theatre, his credits include Hobson’s Choice (Vaudeville Theatre and Theatre Royal, Bath), Seminar (Hampstead Theatre), School Play (Soho Theatre), Sliding With Suzanne, Plasticine and Bone (Royal Court Theatre), Lear (Sheffield Theatres), The Life of Galileo and The Alchemist (National Theatre), Amadeus (Chichester Festival Theatre), Tinderbox (Bush Theatre) and Kursk and Public Enemy (Young Vic). For television, his credits includeCapital, Wolf Hall, The Ice Cream Girls, All the Small Things, Survival Code, Being Human, Ashes to Ashes and Eric and Ernie; and for film, Colour Me Kubrick, Master and Commander, Brothers of the Head, Blood and Chocolate, Day of the Flowers, Anna and The Numbers Station.
Miranda Foster plays Hazel. For theatre, her credits include Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, God of Soho and The Bible (Shakespeare’s Globe), Springs Eternal, The Marrying of Ann Leefe, King Cromwell and Greenwash (Orange Tree Theatre), God of Carnage (Nuffield Southampton), The Talented Mr Ripley (Royal and Derngate, Northampton), Madagascar (Theatre 503) Shaddrah (Soho Theatre), The Lucky Ones (Hampstead Theatre), Perapalas (Gate Theatre), Love you do (Bush Theatre), The Criminals (Lyric, Hammersmith), The People Downstairs (Young Vic), Blithe Spirit (Manchester Royal Exchange), Our Country’s Good and A Doll’s House (Leicester Haymarket), The Cherry Orchard (Aldwych Theatre), Romeo and Juliet (Bristol Old Vic), Gilgamesh, A Jovial Crew, Schism in England, King Lear, Neaptide, The Futurists and Pravda (National Theatre). For television, her credits include The Trial of Gemma Lang, Rosemary and Thyme, Dream Team, Where the Heart is, Brotherly Love, Cockles and The Merry Wives of Windsor.
Mark Rice-Oxley plays Paul. For theatre, his credits include Poppy + George (Watford Palace), Bright Phoenix (Liverpool Everyman), Afraid Of The Dark (Charing Cross Theatre), Tanzi Libre (Southwark Playhouse), Blood Brothers(Phoenix Theatre), Town (Royal and Derngate, Northampton), Switzerland (High Tide Festival), Much Ado About Nothing, Merchant Of Venice and Holding Fire (Shakespeare’s Globe), Pool (No Water) (Frantic Assembly), The Romans In Britain (Sheffield Theatres), The Life Of Galileo (Birmingham Rep), David Copperfield (West Yorkshire Playhouse), The Kindness Of Strangers and The Entertainer (Liverpool Everyman), Comedy Of Errors (Bristol Old Vic), Cuckoos (The Barbican), The Dwarfs (Tricycle Theatre),Workers Writes (Royal Court Theatre) and The Danny Crowe Show (Bush Theatre). For television, his credits include Nigel Farage Gets His Life Back, Whitechapel, Preston Passion, Land Girls, New Tricks, Hotel Babylon and The Dwarfs; and for film The John Lennon Story.
Amelia Sears directs. Her previous work includes The Last 5 Years (Duchess Theatre), Ant Street, Home and Brimstone & Treacle (Arcola Theatre) and Girls Guide to Saving the World (HighTide Festival). She has worked as an associate and assistant at the National Theatre, West End, Donmar and Royal Court with Katie Mitchell, Michael Grandage, Jeremy Herrin, Joe Hill Gibbins and David Hare and was also the recipient of the 2007/8 Bulldog Princep Directors’ Bursary at the National Theatre Studio.
Seared is the creation of actor Alex Waldmann (RSC, Globe, National Theatre, Donmar Warehouse, Almeida, Cheek by Jowl). Founded in 2010, Seared is an independent theatre production company dedicated to the development and facilitation of work that is provocative, politically conscious, and, above all, entertaining. Previous productions include sell-out revivals of Home by David Storey and Brimstone and Treacle by Dennis Potter (Arcola), and premières of Rose by Hywel John, The Ducks by Michael McLean and Pedestrian by Tom Wainwright (Edinburgh Fringe Festival).
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