Absolutely Frank began life as a one-act play called A Man of Letters, commissioned by Alan Ayckbourn for Scarborough's Stephen Joseph Theatre. It has now been expanded into a full-length piece, with Barry McCarthy (who appeared in Firth's "Kinky Boots" and "Notes on a Scandal") playing the title role of a man who is head of installation for a company that puts up giant letters on the sides of buildings. But he also has dreams and much prefers writing spy thrillers set in Leningrad to his day job in Yorkshire.
Also in the cast is Rowan Schlosberg as Frank's work experience apprentice Alan.
The play is directed by Matthew Lloyd, formerly artistic director of the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester who has previously directed Firth's play The Flint Street Nativity at Liverpool Playhouse. Other credits include Philip Ridley's plays The Pitchfork Disney (Bush) and The Fastest Clock in the Universe (Hampstead), as well as Charlotte Eilenberg's Olivier-winning play The Lucky Ones (also Hampstead).
Firth is best known for his 2003 film "Calendar Girls" (which he is also adapting for a stage version to open at Chichester Festival Theatre this summer). His previous plays include Neville's Island (seen at the West End's Apollo Theatre in 1994) and The Safari Party (Hampstead Theatre); he has also written the TV series "All Quiet on the Preston Front" and "Once Upon a Time in the North" as well as the film "Kinky Boots." He scripted the Olivier Award-winning musical Our House, set to songs by eighties pop group Madness, that begins a national tour at Birmingham at the end of May.
For tickets contact the box office at 01708 443333 or visit www.queens-theatre.co.uk.