Stones Upends Plow at Duke of York's, 21 AugDate: 26 July 2000
Irish writer Marie Jones's hit two-hander Stones in his Pockets will be sticking around in the West End. The production's sell-out 12-week season at the New Ambassadors has been extended by one week to 19 August, after which it will transfer to the The Duke of York's Theatre for an open-ended run from 21 August 2000.
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. In addition to other international productions, Stones in his Pockets will be seen in Canada next year, prior to a New York transfer.
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 productions. They recently performed together in Belfast in the Lyric's production of Waiting for Godot. During the extra week at the New Ambassadors and at some performances at the The Duke of York's, the play will be performed by the alternate cast of Louis Dempsey and Sean Sloan.
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.
The comedy replaces another New Ambassadors transfer at the Duke of York's. The revival of David Mamet's 1988 Hollywood satire Speed the Plow opened there on 29 June, previews from 21 June, and had been booking to 2 September 2000. The three-hander was seen earlier in the year at the New Ambassadors with Mark Strong, Kimberly Williams and playwright Patrick Marber making his stage acting debut. It was re-cast for the Duke of York's with Men Behaving Badly TV star Neil Morrissey, Nathaniel Parker and Gina Bellman.