Andrew Sheridan is a winner of The 2008 Bruntwood Playwriting Competition. He is an actor and has appeared in award winning TV, film and theatre. Winterlong is his debut play - set in Manchester, it explores what happens when a baby is discarded a few nights before Christmas. Sheridan has just been named by The Observer newspaper as one of the “hot talents to watch” in the Arts 2011 and Winterlong opens at the Royal Exchange next month.



The writer on his play:
It’s a play that wears its heart on its sleeve. There’s no bullshit with it. It doesn’t pull any punches. It’s direct. It’s like Mancunian people. We’re direct. There’s no flannel.

The writer on his writing:
I’m Mancunian. I write with a Mancunian voice. It’s important. It always has been. It comes from a tradition, a history of having to search for beauty in the ugly. It has to be shiny and bold and revolutionary. Full of vibrancy and expectation. It has to speak louder than other voices not because it wants to but because it has to. It doesn’t have a choice.

The writer on the director:
Sarah Frankcom is without doubt one of the most important directors working in British theatre. She has such an understanding of me as a writer. She has always believed in my play and the characters that populate it. She has never wavered in her support and vigour to direct my play with truth and honesty and daring. I would trust her with my life. She can do no wrong. Hallelujah! I am a believer!

The writer on the cast:
Everyone of the actors in Winterlong are the best there is. They are quality. End of. They all bring an amazing amount individually and collectively to it. I’m so lucky. They’ve all clicked into that Manchester vibe of thinking regarding the play and how they feel about it. “We’re all doing this and we don’t care if you like it or not. We’re doing it.”

The writer on the Exchange:
The Exchange is where I saw my first play. The Exchange is where I got my first acting job. The Exchange is the theatre that will premiere my first play. I can’t tell how much this building means to me. It creates some of this country’s strongest and daring theatre and all the people that work there the best there is. They are all totally sound.



Andrew Sheridan was speaking to Glenn Meads

Winterlong is at the Royal Exchange Studio from 2 - 19 February.