Sign of the Times

Stalwarts of the Henley Fringe Festival, Falcon Grange are back for their seventh year with another smooth show.

Inoffensive, it certainly is a crowd pleaser and shows how life changes and how easy it is to forget ourselves when work takes over.

A two-hander set in the world of business, Frank and Alan sit at opposing sides of the table. One world-weary and laconic and the other fresh faced and ready to face anything. Frank sees his goal with Alan to teach him what he can about life and instruct him with lessons that will serve him well. Alan’s natural artistic ability measures against Frank’s wanting of talent. It transpires that it is actually Alan that teaches Frank a few lessons and makes him see life from a different perspective. The master teaches the apprentice but may also learn from him too.

As the play unfolds, Alan has become another rat in the corporate machine and almost loses sight of his former self, but for Frank reappearing and making him remember who he used to be.

The production is generally very good; the audience is certainly in safe hands with Falcon Grange although the play seemed a little on the slow side and could have done with a small injection of pace at times to save it feeling slightly laboured.

The two actors do a fine job and whilst Daniel Creasey is talented, he is maybe a touch too young for the part of Frank. Adam Tucker is definitely watchable and plays Alan sensitively and adroitly.

The comedy issues in spurts; it is not a side-splitting show but is scattered with observational moments of humour. Inoffensive, it certainly is a crowd pleaser and shows how life changes and how easy it is to forget ourselves when work takes over.

Dreams are not always wasted and talents should always be encouraged. Those with talent aren’t always the ones that need to carp on about it.

Reviews by Greg Smith

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The Blurb

FalconGrange return for their 7th year having delighted audiences with a variety of sell-out comedies including last year’s triumph Men of the World.

This year they bring you Sign of the Times, a brilliant comedy by the Olivier Award winning author of Calendar Girls.

The play follows wannabe-writer Frank who has worked most of his life for the same company, fitting signs to the sides of buildings. Suddenly his whole life is changed by a teenager on work experience. Frank simply isn’t prepared for what his apprentice is about to teach him and neither one is prepared for the surprises in store at their next high-level meeting.

Deliciously funny, affectionate and touching, Sign of the Times is an acutely observed human comedy about the art of achieving happiness in unpredictable times.