Marie Jones' multi award-winning two-hander, Stones in His Pockets, launches a four-month UK-wide tour next month. The touring production - which will run concurrently with the West End production, now in its third year at the Duke of York's Theatre - opens at Birmingham Rep on 19 August 2002 before continuing to 14 further venues to 7 December.

Stones in His Pockets, a bittersweet tale about what happens when a Hollywood film crew moves in on a small Irish village, started life at Belfast's Lyric Theatre in April 1999 before steamrolling on to success in Dublin and Edinburgh. It was first seen in London at the fringe Tricycle Theatre before transferring to the West End's New Ambassadors Theatre in May 2000 for a limited twelve-week season and then on to the larger Duke of York's in August 2000.

The West End Stones, currently starring Lloyd Hutchinson and Kieran Lagan, is now booking up to January 2003. The play made its Broadway premiere last year and has had tours mounted across the US and internationally. Separate productions have also been mounted in Argentina, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Uruguay, Turkey, South Africa and Italy.

The play's many awards include the, Olivier and Evening Standard awards for Best Comedy and a Special Achievement Award from the Outer Critics Circle in New York. Original star Conleth Hill has also been named best actor in the Irish Times, Olivier and awards. While, as at the 2001 Oliviers, both Hill and Campion were nominated for a Best Actor Tony Award.

Stones in His Pockets is directed by the author's husband, Ian McElhinney, with design by Jack Kirwan and lighting by James C McFetridge. For the new UK tour, Charlie will be played by Robert Donovan (whose Irish stage credits include Bouncers, The Barbaric Comedies and The Glass Menagerie) and Jake will be Hugh Lee (Romeo and Juliet, Three Sisters, A Midsummer Night's Dream).

Following Birmingham, the tour will visit Richmond, Manchester, Lincoln, Brighton, Sheffield, Nottingham, Southend, Coventry, Wycombe, Cardiff, Malvern, Cambridge, Newcastle and Bath.

- by Terri Paddock