Page: 1

New Show For The Duchess, Sign Of The Times

MamasDoin'Fine Profile PhotoMamasDoin'Fine Profile Photo
MamasDoin'Fine
Broadway Legend
joined:9/28/08
Broadway Legend
joined:
9/28/08
New Show For The Duchess, Sign Of The Times

'Sign Of The Times' a new comedy by Tim Firth.

Duchess Theatre, London.
Opening 11th March 2011.
Previews from 7th March.
Closing 28th May 2011

Cast includes Matthew Kelly, Gerard Kearns,

Directed by Peter Wilson.
Designed by Morgan Large.

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.

Matthew Kelly is perhaps best known for presenting "Stars in Their Eyes".
London stage credits include "Waiting for Godot" at the Haymarket in 2010; Troilus and Cressida at the Shakespeare Globe 2009; "Who's afraid af Virginia Woolf?" at the Trafalgar Studios 2 in April 2009; "Of Mice and Men" at the Savoy in 2003.

Gerard Kearns, making his stage debut, is best known for his role as Ian Gallagher in the TV series "Shameless" and for his role as Ryan in Ken Loach’s film "Looking For Eric".

Updated On: 3/12/11 at 09:27 PM
MamasDoin'Fine Profile PhotoMamasDoin'Fine Profile Photo
MamasDoin'Fine
Broadway Legend
joined:9/28/08
Broadway Legend
joined:
9/28/08
Who did the tour of this last year or the year before??? Im sure this did a short UK tour?
tommyslim Profile Phototommyslim Profile Photo
tommyslim
Broadway Star
joined:5/8/06
Broadway Star
joined:
5/8/06
stephen tomkinson and tom shaw were in it. it was quite good. still had a long way to go but it was pleasent none the less. though personally i'd rather see these two again than matthew kelly and gerard kearns.
"Lateness is a choice" - Sir Trevor Nunn
tommyslim Profile Phototommyslim Profile Photo
tommyslim
Broadway Star
joined:5/8/06
Broadway Star
joined:
5/8/06
Theatre Royal Windsor
March 31-April 4 2009
Playhouse Liverpool
April 6-11 2009
Devonshire Park Eastbourne
April 20-25 2009
Richmond Theatre Richmond-upon-Thames
April 27-May 2 2009
Arts Cambridge
May 4- 9 2009
Grand Blackpool
May 11-16 2009
Theatre Royal Norwich
May 18-23 2009
Everyman Cheltenham
May 25-30 2009
Playhouse Oxford
June 1- 6 2009

were the tour dates. I caught it in blackpool.
"Lateness is a choice" - Sir Trevor Nunn
MamasDoin'Fine Profile PhotoMamasDoin'Fine Profile Photo
MamasDoin'Fine
Broadway Legend
joined:9/28/08
Broadway Legend
joined:
9/28/08
Early reviews are showing that he Duchess may be looking for yet another new show pretty soon.

The Guardian **/5
http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/2011/mar/11/sign-of-the-times-review

TheatreLondon
Review by Peter Brown
11 March 2011

What is funny and what is not very much depends on your point of view. The appreciation of comedy is not something that can be defined objectively. Put 10 people in a room together and you're likely to have a dozen different views - at least - about how funny something might be. So, it's no surprise that some comedy shows work, and others do not. But on this occasion, opinion was surprisingly universal.
Watching the first night of this re-worked comedy by Tim Firth, I thought I had gone to the wrong show until I realised that the rest of the audience weren't laughing either. In fact, during the entire hour of the first half, only a handful of people actually laughed. And there were cavernous, almost endless periods when no-one in the audience made any sound at all.

The story is one that Tim Firth has been working on for 20 years, apparently. It starts on a factory rooftop in Batley where installation engineer Frank is teaching Alan - a young man on some kind of work experience scheme - how to erect illuminated signs. Somehow the letters seem to have got messed-up, because Frank assumes they will spell-out the company name. While Alan is searching for the right letters, Frank, a wannabe writer, dictates bits of his latest spy novel into a portable recording machine. Cue mispronunciation of Russian words, titles such as 'The Spy Who Went into the Warm' etc. Oh dear! In the second half, the roles are reversed. Alan is now 'Trainee Deputy Assistant Manager' in an electrical store, advocating client-focused promotional activities and brainwashed with management-speak acronyms. Frank is now one of the long-term unemployed who has to get Alan to sign his work experience assessment form.

'Sign of the Times' stars Matthew Kelly as Frank and Gerard Kearns as Alan who is making his début appearance in the West End. Both do their best but, to paraphrase Mark Twain, 'the contract is too large'. A veritable herd of comedians would find it hard to get laughs from what is a trite and misconceived plot, and which resorts to platitudes such as 'As a society, we reap what we sow' and comments such as 'Basic people watch TV with their mouths open'.

It does pick up somewhat in the second half, but not in a way that has everyone suddenly rolling in the aisles. Yes, a few more people laughed, and at one stage a lot of people laughed. But by that juncture I suspect the audience were desperate to laugh at anything, or delirious. I'm not sure which. What I am sure about is that the author may well need to spend the next 20 years or so reworking his script, because the current version is dire.
Updated On: 3/12/11 at 10:29 AM