YEARS OF SUNLIGHT – Theatre 503

In London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by Aleks SierzLeave a Comment

Theatre 503, London – until 18 February 2017

The new writing year has started slowly. Apart from a couple of obscure fringe shows, there have been no openings of brand British new plays worth discussing. So while television is buzzing with imaginative, well-written and well-filmed drama, it’s hard to see any good new plays on the horizon. Or is it? At first sight, Michael McLean’s new one, Years of Sunlight, looks very promising. The playwright started out at the Liverpool Everyman and has also been a member of the Royal Court’s young writers programme. And his play is about an important contemporary issue: how some young people, and indeed some communities, have been “left behind” in the brave new not-very-much-thank-you.

The story starts in 2009 with Paul, a fortysomething professional who works in computing, returning to his home town, Skelmersdale, a 1960s overspill from Liverpool. Now living in Dublin, he’s come to see his mother,