Based on a 20 second interaction with a road worker who turns the Stop/Slow sign, A Sign of the Times is an epic comedy about depression. The dashing and charismatic Scott Irwin gives a sensational performance as this upbeat worker on the job. He lives In our world of job losses, loved-ones with cancer, relationships under stress, endless wars, iPhones and terrible traffic. Having been restructured out of his university teaching, he has decided to become “a fixed point in the universe” with this simple job to limit these variables that have taken such a toll on him. As he works, his joyful imagination takes us from the theatre, from the reality of the work site on a journey searching for the fundamental forces that create such misfortune. He delights in exploring Einstein, religion, Greek myths, literature and the very essence of theatre itself. He is also a delightful expert at his sign-turning, which he demonstrates on several occasions. But as we travel with him, we start to see a man valiantly, wittily, compellingly, distracting himself from the pain of his present sourced in events he relives in his past. He is going nowhere. In the pain of a nihilistic world, he is caught deep in the trap of inaction. It is his escape from this subtle, insidious trap that is the journey of A Sign of the Times. The end of the play sees him setting off to “act”, to take positive action to rebuild his life. Voted as one of the 5 “Best and wisest productions of 2013” by Suzy Wrong (see reviews). Features poetry by Robert Frost, Shakespeare, the Greek tragedians, Alexander Pope and T.S. Eliot. Quick bump-in and out.

Venue Format
Theatre, Hall, Black Box Venue, Outdoor
Technical Rating
D, The production can be modified to suit most venues
Touring Party

A Sign of the Times is most suitable for people from 12 years old. There is no nudity or foul language. Children younger than 12 could find some of the concepts advanced. We encourage engaging with groups as well as individuals/regular theatre-lovers as the production provides a fantastic experience to share and discuss.

THE FOLLIES COMPANY has been producing high quality, popular live theatre since 1998 beginning with the musical FOLLIES at the Sydney Opera House with the SSO. Since then, the company and its director, Stephen Helper, have been a part of numerous original productions across Australia’s capital city Arts Centres. Sydney’s Theatre Royal and in New York City including the Broadway musical SMOKEY JOE’S CAFE.

The company has begun touring productions in the last few years which has also corresponded with a new (though not exclusive) focus on creating and championing culturally diverse work for the mainstream. Its first tours have been CAFE REBETIKA! with Kultour and SYNCOPATION with Critical Stages. SYNCOPATION premieres Off-Broadway in May 2015.

Its current successes are the new works A SIGN OF THE TIMES and the indigenous production THE ADVENTURES OF NAMAKILI (developed in the NT). Upcoming productions include BLACK ELECTRIC with the Aboriginal Centre for Performing Arts at QPAC. Its exciting new country/soul musical THE NEW BLACK is in the final stages of development.

Company Website

Unique Selling Point

Cast: Handsome, charismatic, rugged star actor in a to die for performance. Star of Les Mis, Hairspray, Rocky Horror Show.

Script: Winner! Voted 1 of the 5 Best new plays of 2013.

Reviews: All raves from Sydney critics

Relevance: About a new kind of battler - a true Aussie Everyman trying to deal with the powerful, stressful forces now in everyday life.

Director: Broadway, Off-Broadway, Tony-nominated

Unforgetability: Will change your understanding of the meaning of life forever.

Quality: Of the highest possible artistic standards

Character: A true Aussie Everyman.

Resources: Reviews; Video: 30 sec, 1, 3 & 7 minute video footage, Hero image, DL flyer, Poster, Post Card layouts Production shots, Foyer display (blow-ups of reviews, very large window/lightbox poster); Your theatre image, town landmark/streetscape image can be photo-shopped onto your poster to appeal to your market. Program, dedicated website (near completion).

Community Engagement

After-show discussions with Scott Irwin; Acting workshop (no experience necessary): “How to Make the Invisible, Visible”; Pre-show discussion about philosophy of happiness (Alain Botton, etc.) Associations with Relationships Australia, Beyond Blue, Lifeline (The Follies Company is happy to help you broker these relationships).