Peter Grant talks to one of Wirral's acclaimed writers whose work 'Cuckoo' is coming to the Liverpool Everyman next month.

BIRKENHEAD born ... now that is an introduction Michael Wynne is proud of.

The Olivier and BAFTA award-winning playwright and screenwriter won much acclaim for his first work The Knocky about the Birkenhead estate.

He has since gone on to a stellar career with his work notably at the Royal Court in London - a haven for new writers and talent.

But Michael has never forgotten where he came from and that is clearly a driving, inspirational force for him.

Cuckoo is a production set in Michael's hometown with a formidable, all-female cast and characters we can all relate to.

Michael, who returned to Birkenhead in early August, to see family and friends told the Globe: ''Cuckoo follows three generations of a matriarchal working class family as they try and live their lives in what can feel like difficult and crazy times.

"We see the family cope with financial insecurity, economic decline and the all-pervasive technology and the potential impact of climate change."

Oh, and a few other things.

As you can see it is a dark comedy.

Michael adds: "I am interested in exploring how different generations discuss issues and how having opposing opinions has become much more fraught - even within close families."

Michael says the past few years - especially with the arrival of Brexit and Covid - have taken their toll on all of us in different ways.

And the writer has come across a term that resonates with him - 'historical narcissism'.

He continues: "It forces us to question whether this really is the worst period of modern times, or is it just the way we are living our lives - with news flashes pinged to us at all hours, etc, or are we lacking in perspective."

But before you start to think Michael has gone ultra serious on his audience, he adds; "This might sound quite heavy but, fundamentally, it's a comedy about a family trying to get on with their lives and each other."

Like his literary mentors Willy Russell and Alan Bleasdale, Michael writes about what he knows and 'family' is a big part of that.

It seems Merseyside writers such as wordsmith Jonathan Harvey (last seen at the Everyman with Our Lady of Blundellsands) all have a gift for dialogue and observation - especially when it comes from writing about childhood.

Birkenhead is never far from Michael's thoughts and he points out with real pride about his homeward-bound play: "We are taking Sloane Square to Birkenhead and it's great having the Liverpool dialect on stage with a fully authentic all-Scouse cast."

The versatile actresses include Michell Butterly, Emma Harrison Jodie McNee and former Brookside star Sue Jenkins.

While he was back home Michel talked fondly of two other Birklenhead leading lights who have helped put the town on the map - Glenda Jackson and Paul O'Grady.

"They both did so much for Birkenhead in their own unique, extraordinary ways.

"They helped spread awareness of Birkenhead through their work on stage and screen."

He was extra proud, too, of Liverpool's success at hosting the Eurovision Song Contest.

Michael is clearly delighted to return to the Everyman - the scene of one of his other successes - Hope Place. That moving play officially reopened the world-famous venue after it was dramatically re-built.

At the Playhouse he continued his creative collaboration with director Gemma Bodinetz on the musical tribute The Star about the theatre's 150th anniversary and its music hall roots.

Indeed, roots are important to Mr Wynne.

He is currently working on various projects including an exciting new play at Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas called Disco Show set in a 1970s New York dance club.

That's next Summer sorted.

For now, however, he is relishing the curtain up on Birkenhead - a world, a special place he knows and loves so well with name checks for Claughton and Oxton and other familiar locations.

Welcome home to Wirral, Michael.

Cuckoo is at Liverpool Everyman from Wednesday, September 6 to Saturday, September 23.

Tickets available here or 0151 709 4776.