Posted on 4 February 2011


From the writer of the hit show Calendar Girls, Tim Firth’s comedy, SIGN OF THE TIMES, starring Matthew Kelly and Gerard Kearns, opens at the Duchess Theatre, London on 11 February (with previews from 7 March).

This production is directed by Peter Wilson, with design by Morgan Large, lighting by Tony Simpson and sound by Gareth Owen. The full cast is Matthew Kelly and Gerard Kearns.

Frank Tollit has put up giant letters on the sides of buildings for over twenty-five years. From forty-foot yellow IKEAs to five-foot red COMETs, Frank has done them all. It’s been his talent… but not his ambition. That involves a very different sort of letters – literary ones. But lack of literary success is driving him to the edge. However, not even in one of his wildest plots could Frank have dreamed that salvation would turn up in the shape of a clumsy teenager on work experience.

SIGN OF THE TIMES is an acutely-observed human comedy about the art of achieving happiness in unpredictable times.

Tim Firth is one of the country’s most popular playwrights. He is perhaps best known for being the writer of CALENDAR GILRS, one of the most successful British films of all time, as well as being a hugely successful stage show. His theatre credits include NEVILLE'S ISLAND (Nominated for Best Comedy - Evening Standard & Olivier Awards 1994), THE SAFARI PARTY, the musical OUR HOUSE (Olivier Award for Best New Musical 2002) and THE FLINT STREET NATIVITY. Tim's stage adaptation of CALENDAR GIRLS is currently on tour in the UK and worldwide. It was nominated for an Olivier and won the 2010 Whatsonstage Best Comedy Award. His film credits include BLACK BALL, CALENDAR GIRLS (British Comedy Awards, Best Comedy Film 1993) and KINKY BOOTS (Sundance Selection, Best International Feature, Florida Film Festival). For television his credits include MONEY FOR NOTHING (Writer's Guild Awards - Best Television Film), THE ROTTENTROLLS (BAFTA Award, Best Children's Entertainment 1997), CRUISE OF THE GODS, THE FLINT STREET NATIVITY, PRESTON FRONT (Writer's Guild of Great Britain Best Original Series; Comedy Awards, Best Comedy Drama, RTS Awards Best Series, BAFTA nominated Best Drama Series). Recently Tim co-wrote a tour of words and original songs with Willy Russell called THE SINGING PLAYWRIGHTS.

Matthew Kelly has worked extensively on stage, in television and as a TV presenter, and is perhaps best known for presenting STARS IN THEIR EYES. In 2003 he won an Olivier Award for his performance as Lennie in Birmingham Rep’s production OF MICE AND MEN at the Savoy Theatre. In 2008 he won a Royal Television Society Award for Best Performer in Drama for ITV’s acclaimed series COLD BLOOD and in 2010 he appeared alongside Sir Ian McKellen and Roger Rees in WAITING FOR GODOT at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. Recent theatre credits include, COMEDIANS at the Lyric Hammersmith, WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOLF at the Trafalgar Studios and TROILUS AND CRESSIDA at Shakespeare’s Globe. He also recently starred in the new musical version of LEND ME A TENOR at Plymouth, and as King Arthur in SPAMALOT in Birmingham. In 2008 he appeared alongside his son, actor Matthew Rixon, to appear in OH WHAT A LOVELY WAR at the Octagon Theatre Bolton, Samuel Beckett’s ENDGAME at the Liverpool Everyman and as the ugly sisters in CINDERELLA at Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre. For television his credits include, COLD BLOOD (ITV), BLEAK HOUSE (BBC), EGYPT (BBC), WHERE THE HEART IS (ITV) and Agatha Christie’s MARPLE (ITV).

Gerard Kearns is known to millions as for his role as Ian Gallagher in the hit TV series SHAMELESS and for his role as Ryan in Ken Loach’s acclaimed film LOOKING FOR ERIC. Other film and TV credits include, HONEYMOONER, RED RIDING, THE MARK OF CAIN, THE 10th MAN, THE COMMANDER: WINDOWS OF THE SOUL, and FOYLES WAR. SIGN OF THE TIMES is Gerard’s stage debut.

Peter Wilson’s numerous directing and co-directing credits include, CHARLEY’S AUNT (West End), DIAL M FOR MURDER (West End), ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD (West End), TARTUFFE, HABEAS CORPUS, FORTY YEARS ON, THE CRUCIFER OF BLOOD, SLEUTH, DEATHTRAP, Monteverdi's L’ORFEO, COSI FAN TUTTE, LUDUS DANIELIS, ACIS and GALATEA, THE INDIAN QUEEN, TWELFTH NIGHT, and many others. As one of the West End’s leading producers, he has produced over 100 first-class productions in the UK, USA, Australia and Japan.
Recommended 10+