Jones' Stones Hit Extends at Duke of York'sDate: 27 October 2000
The year's biggest surprise hit, the Irish comedy Stones in his Pockets, has announced a new booking period. Marie Jones's two-hander opened at the Duke of York's on 21 August - after a sell-out 13-week season at the New Ambassadors Theatre - and had been booking to 6 January 2001. It has now extended its run by up to four months and is taking bookings up to 28 April 2001.
The comedy takes place in a village in County Kerry where a Hollywood film crew has moved in to shoot a new blockbuster, with the villagers serving as extras and baffled bystanders. The two stars - Conleth Hill and Sean Campion - play 15 different roles between them, including the principals Jake and Charlie, the film's spoilt American starlet, the director, other members of the crew, extras and various locals. The play is inspired by Jones' own experience as an actor in films shot in Ireland, including 1993's In the Name of the Father, starring Daniel Day Lewis.
Stones in his Pockets was originally seen at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast. Prior to the West End, it had two runs at the fringe Tricycle Theatre in north London and a run at last year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe. It transferred to the New Ambassadors Theatre in May of this year for a limited twelve-week season, but proved so popular that its run there was extended by a week before finding a new home at the Duke of York's. It continues to play to capacity - and often star-studded - audiences. The production is expected to transfer to Broadway in the new year.
The play won the award for Best Production at this year's Irish Theatre Awards, where Hill also scooped Best Actor for his performance. Hill and Campion both made their West End debuts in the production. They recently performed together in Belfast in the Lyric's production of Waiting for Godot. The alternate cast for Stones in his Pockets features Louis Dempsey and Sean Sloan.
Marie Jones' other plays include Women on the Verge of HRT and the sequel Women on the Verge.Get a Life. Her latest play, Ruby, based on the life of Ruby Murray, will open at the Opera House Belfast in October. Stones in his Pockets is directed by Ian McElhinney, who also directs Ruby. It is designed by Jack Kirwan with lighting by James C McFetridge and costumes by Anne Whittaker.