Andrew Sheridan's debut play Winterlong was joint winner of the 2008 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting. It was first performed at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, on 2 February 2011. The production then transferred to Soho Theatre, London, on 23 February 2011.
The play takes place in and around Manchester, although 'It could take place anywhere and in any time'. The action spans fifteen years in the life of a boy called Oscar who, having been abandoned at the age of four by his teenage mother Helen and her unstable partner, is raised by his grandparents, John and Jean. But they don't want him either, as John makes clear to Oscar, telling the boy how much he hates him in a frenzy of destructiveness. In a final scene, the teenage Oscar – on his fifteenth birthday – offers help to a young stranger.
The premiere production was directed by Sarah Frankcom and designed by Amanda Stoodley. It was performed by Harry McEntire, Rebecca Callard, Paul Copley, Laurence Mitchell and Gabrielle Reidy.