Laurence Olivier Award-winning actor Matthew Kelly will star in Tim Firth’s Sign Of The Times at the Duchess theatre next month, alongside Shameless star Gerard Kearns.
Directed by Peter Wilson (Charley’s Aunt, Dial M For Murder), the Calendar Girls playwright’s comedy will open on 11 March, with previews from 7 March, and play a limited season until 28 May.
The two-hander tells the story of Frank Tollit and his quest for happiness in unpredictable times. Tollit has put up giant letters on the sides of buildings for over 25 years but harbours fantasies of literary greatness. 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 was awarded a Laurence Olivier Award in 2003 for his performance in Of Mice And Men at the Savoy. The actor, who became a household name presenting ITV’s Stars In Their Eyes, has worked extensively on stage with credits including Waiting For Godot at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, Comedians at the Lyric Hammersmith and Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf at the Trafalgar Studios. On television he has appeared in Cold Blood, for which he won a Television Society Award, Bleak House and Agatha Christie’s Marple.
Having spent four years playing Shameless’s Ian Gallagher, Kearns will make his West End debut opposite Kelly. The actor’s other screen credits include TV programmes Honeymooner, Red Riding and Foyle’s War, and Ken Loach’s acclaimed film Looking For Eric.
Sign Of The Times follows Love Story at the Duchess theatre which confirmed earlier this week it would close on 26 February.