Japes, Bouncers & Stones Announce ExtensionsDate: 9 March 2001
Theatregoers looking for a non-musical evening out in the West End will be pleased with the news of three extensions announced this week – Simon Gray's Japes , John Godber's Bouncers and Marie Jones' Olivier Award-winning Stones in His Pockets have all announced new booking periods.
Japes, which opened at the Theatre Royal Haymarket on 7 February (previews from 1 February), has extended by four weeks to 12 May. The drama, set over 30 years, concerns two brothers who share both a house and a woman. Directed by Peter Hall, it stars Toby Stephens, Jasper Britton and Clare Swinburne.
The extension should be some vindication for playwright Gray whose previous West End assaults have been rather doomed. His last play, The Late Middle Classes, lost its season at the Gielgud in favour of the musical Boyband, while the earlier Cell Mates ended its West End engagement prematurely when its co-star Stephen Fry walked out. No matter how successful, however, Japes won't be able to carry on much beyond its current booking period, at least not with the current cast. Britton stars as Macbeth this summer at Shakespeare's Globe, where previews begin on 27 May.
Hull Truck's 21st anniversary production of John Godber's comedy about nightclub bouncers opened at the Whitehall on 2 February (previews from 20 January) for a "limited" eight-week season - which has now been extended by six weeks up to 5 May. In Bouncers, four actors play a cast of some 40 characters on a night on the town. The West End production originally featured the author himself in the cast, but it continues without him.
Stones in His Pockets, Marie Jones' two-hander following the effects of a Hollywood film crew on a small Irish village, meanwhile extends its run at the Duke of York's by another six months, opening booking up to 27 October. The hit play last month won two Oliviers for Best New Comedy and Best Actor for Conleth Hill (distinctions repeated in our own Whatsonstage.com Awards). After a sell-out run at the New Ambassadors, it transferred to the Duke of York's on 21 August 2000. Louis Dempsey and Sean Sloan currently play the cast of 15 characters, after Stones' original stars - Hill and Sean Campion - left in December to take the show to North America. It opens on Broadway on 1 April.
- by Terri Paddock