Matthew Kelly and Gerard Kearns to Star in Tim Firth's Sign of the Times in London

News   Matthew Kelly and Gerard Kearns to Star in Tim Firth's Sign of the Times in London
Matthew Kelly and Gerard Kearns will star in Sign of the Times, a new comedy by Tim Firth, who wrote the recent hit stage version of Calendar Girls based on his own screenplay. It will begin performances at the West End's Duchess Theatre March 7, prior to an official opening March 11, for a season that is booking through May 28.

Sign of the Times follows the musical Love Story, which shutters there Feb. 26.

The play is described in press materials as a human comedy about the art of achieving happiness in unpredictable times. Frank Tollit has put up giant letters on the sides of buildings for over 25 years. From 40-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 a lifelong lack of 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.

Kelly won an Olivier Award in 2003 for his performance as Lennie in Birmingham Rep's production of Of Mice and Men that had transferred to the Savoy Theatre. More recent theatre credits include Comedians (Lyric Hammersmith), Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Trafalgar Studios), Triolus and Cressida (Shakespeare's Globe), Waiting for Godot (Theatre Royal, Haymarket) and a new musical version of Lend Me a Tenor at the Theatre Royal, Plymouth. He is best known for his long stint presenting TV's "Stars in their Eyes" and in 2008 won a Royal Television Society Award for Best Performer in Drama for the ITV series "Cold Blood." Other TV credits include "Bleak House," "Egypt" and "Where the Heart is."

Kearns, who is making his West End debut, is best known for his role as Ian Gallagher in the TV series "Shameless." Other film and TV credits include Ken Loach's "Looking for Eric," "Honeymooner," "Red Riding," "The Mark of Cain" and "Foyles War."

This production is directed by Peter Wilson, with design by Morgan Large, lighting by Tony Simpson and sound by Gareth Owen. Wilson, who is also a West End producer whose shows include the long-running Woman in Black, has directed West End productions of Charley's Aunt, Dial M for Murder and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, amongst others. Playwright Tim Firth's West End credits include Neville's Island, the book for the musical Our House and Calendar Girls (now on a UK tour). Other plays include The Safari Party and The Flint Street Nativity. His film credits include "Blackball," "Calendar Girls" and "Kinky Boots." For TV, he has written "Money for Nothing," "The Rottentrolls" and "Preston Front."

To book tickets, contact the box office on 0844 412 4659, or visit

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