Seared Productions in association with Theatre503 present the world premiere of YEARS OF SUNLIGHT by Michael Mclean. Directed by Amelia Sears. Starring John Biggins, Bryan Dick, Miranda Foster and Mark Rice-Oxley.
“I told you it’d happen. In this town. It’d come to fruition. It’s like rivers of blood with Scousers”
Skelmersdale, Lancashire. Haunted by 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, towns like Skelmersdale promised visionary housing and opportunities for thousands of Liverpudlians uprooted from their overcrowded city.
Traversing a 30-year friendship, Years of Sunlight is a haunting cry for those left feeling shipwrecked from their old communities and abandoned by the post-industrial political system.
Miranda Foster, who plays the part of Hazel, recently took time out to answer a few questions about her career and Hazel.
Q: With renowned acting parents who “discouraged you from following in their footsteps“. When did you get “bitten by the performance bug”?
Miranda: I always wanted to be an actor but kept it secret until I got into drama school while I was working as a temp secretary.
Q: Stage or Screen – what do you like most about each?
Miranda: Stage or screen – both. I love theatre because it’s live, and the intimacy of screen.
Q: You have performed on stage and screen alongside many notable performers, including Ben Kingsley, Judi Dench and Anthony Hopkins. Do you have a favourite production that you performed in?
Miranda: I learnt so much from Judi Dench who is a genius. She was so kind to me. I loved working with her on The Cherry Orchard and on Antony and Cleopatra.
Q: What would be your top three roles from your career to date – and why?
Miranda: Gertrude in Hamlet for the Globe because we took it to every country in the world and it was an extraordinary experience, Nora in Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, and Ariadne in a David Cregan play called Summer Again, which I did at the Orange Tree, because he wrote her so brilliantly that people screamed with laughter every night. That’s a hell of a thrill.
Q: Which is your favourite theatre to perform in?
Miranda: I’d have to say my favourite is whichever space I’m working in – so right now it’s 503.
Q: You play the part of Hazel – What can you tell us about her, and how she fits into the storyline?
Miranda: I’m playing Hazel. You see her go from a young mum to when her son is middle-aged.
Q: Why should everyone get along to see Years of Sunlight?
Miranda: Everyone should get along to see Years of Sunlight because it’s a wonderful play. And Michael McLean is an incredible new writer whose work you have to see.
Q: What next for you after Years of Sunlight?
Miranda: I don’t know what’s next!
Director – Amelia Sears
Designer – Polly Sullivan
Lighting – Joshua Pharo
Sound – Elena Pena
photograph – by Stephen McCoy from series Skelmersdale 1984
John Biggins – Bob
Bryan Dick – Emlyn
Miranda Foster – Hazel
Mark Rice-Oxley – Paul
Years Of Sunlight
by Michael McLean
25 Jan– 18 Feb