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13 October 1964|
Warrington, Lancashire, England
|Occupation||Dramatist, screenwriter, songwriter|
Life and career
Firth was born in Frodsham, England. He spent much of his time at school writing songs and it was only a few weeks before going to Cambridge to read English that he attended an Arvon Foundation course in West Yorkshire. This was run by Willy Russell and whilst on it, Firth had to write dialogue. He wrote about the only thing he knew - two sixteen-year-olds trying to write a song. Another course participant optioned it for his production company and Firth decided to become a writer. While at Cambridge he joined the Footlights where his contemporaries included David Baddiel who later invited him to contribute music to The Mary Whitehouse Experience on BBC radio. His first plays at this time were all directed by Sam Mendes.
On leaving Cambridge, he wrote and composed music for the award winning Radio Four series And Now In Colour but was soon invited to meet Alan Ayckbourn in Scarborough and commissioned to write a play for the studio at the Stephen Joseph Theatre. His one-act play A Man Of Letters was a success and led to the commissioning of a full-length play from Ayckbourn, Neville's Island, which later transferred to the West End, has been seen in translation all round the world and has been in almost continuous production since its premiere. It was revived in the West End in 2013 at the Duke Of Yorks.
Along with his father, Gordon Firth, he created a children's audiobook for WH Smith and EMI which he would later turn into the TV series Roger and the Rotten Trolls running for four series' and winning a BAFTA. The spin off series Ripley and the Scuff also won a BAFTA and recently the Radio Times voted The Rottentrolls one of the 50 Greatest Children's TV Shows of All Time.
During two successive Christmas runs, the stage version of his TV film The Flint Street Nativity at the Liverpool Playhouse became the most successful Christmas production in the theatre's history.
His play Calendar Girls, adapted by Firth from his own film, found favour with audiences across the UK during its 2008/09 tour, and in the process broke the all time British box office record for a play and also continued to sell out during its West End residency. In 2010, the hit comedy embarked on a UK country wide tour and has since been produced worldwide.
2013 marked the premiere of Firth's first solo musical, This Is My Family for which he wrote book, lyrics and music. Directed by Daniel Evans, it premiered at the Crucible Theatre on 19 June 2013, and then embarked on a UK national tour, starting at the Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield in October 2014. This Is My Family won the UK Theatre Award for Best New Musical and Sian Phillips won Best Supporting Actress.
The Girls, directed by Tim Firth, and co-written with Gary Barlow opened at the Phoenix Theatre London in 2017, winning a Whatsonstage Award and being nominated for three Olivier awards. As Calendar Girls The Musical it will embark on a national tour in 2018.
In September 2017 Firth’s new musical The Band featuring the music of Take That, was premiered at the Opera House, Manchester, prior to a national tour. It will have a West End season at the Theatre Royal Haymarket in 2018.
In 2004 Firth released a solo album, Harmless Flirting, completing a tour of words and music with fellow playwright Willy Russell that won positive reviews at the Edinburgh Festival.
For television his TV credits include MONEY FOR NOTHING (Writer’s Guild Award), THE ROTTENTROLLS (BAFTA Award), CRUISE OF THE GODS, THE FLINT STREET NATIVITY, PRESTON FRONT (Writer’s Guild Award, British Comedy Award, RTS Award, BAFTA nomination). Tim produced a season of single comedy plays entitled TRAPPED, and wrote the Sky Arts single drama TIMELESS.
Tim’s film credits include BLACKBALL (2002), CALENDAR GIRLS (2002, British Comedy Award) and KINKY BOOTS (2004, Best International Film, Florida FF), and THE WEDDING VIDEO (2014).
In 2004, Firth became a Companion of The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts.
- The Band (2017)
- The Girls - Musical (2015)
- This Is My Family (2013) - Awarded Best New Musical - UK Theatre Awards, (including Best Supporting Actress for Sian Philips)
- Neville's Island (revival) Chichester (2013)
- Our House (2003) - 2003 Olivier Award for Best New Musical (Hilton Award for Best Musical)
- Calendar Girls (2008) - What's On Stage Award for Best New Comedy
- Sign of the Times (2009) - (developed from A Man Of Letters (1991)
- The Flint Street Nativity (2006)
- The Safari Party (2002)
- Neville’s Island (1992) - Nominated for Olivier Award for Best Comedy, 1995
Selected filmography as writer (or co-writer)
- Daylight Robbery (in development)
- The Wedding Video (2012)
- Kinky Boots (2005)
- Calendar Girls (2003)
- Blackball (film) (2003)
- Trapped (also executive producer) - Trio of comedy plays (2004)
- Cruise of the Gods - single comedy (2003)
- Border Cafe - TV series (2000)
- The Flint Street Nativity - TV comedy (1999)
- Neville's Island - TV comedy (1998)
- Preston Front Series 3 (1997)
- Preston Front Series 2 (1995)
- Once Upon a Time in the North (1994)
- All Quiet on the Preston Front (1994)
- Brennan, Claire. " 'This Is My Family' – review" The Guardian, 29 June 2013
- Hickling, Alfred. " 'This Is My Family' review – Tim Firth's warm and winning musical" The Guardian, 15 October 2014
- UK Theatre Awards" uktheatre.org, retrieved 21 February 2017
- "Annual-Review, 2010" chester.ac.uk, p. 87, retrieved 14, October 2017
- "Olivier Awards, 2003" olivierawards.com, retrieved 22 February 2017
- "Olivier Awards, 1995" olivierawards.com, retrieved 22 February 2017