From modest beginnings, the Irish two-hander has become an international hit. Although the Broadway production was forced to close last month in the wake of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the number of productions around the globe hasn’t slowed. Stones in His Pockets can now be seen in Australia, Argentina, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Uruguay, Turkey, South Africa and Italy, while a fresh tour of the United States will begin in early 2002.
Back in London, Kieran Creggan and Kieran Lagan currently star. They assume the roles of down-and-outs Charlie Conlon and Jake Quinn, as well as more than a dozen other characters, in the tale about what happens when a Hollywood film crew moves in on a small Irish village.
Stones in His Pockets 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 for an open-ended run. In addition to Broadway where original stars Conleth Hill and Sean Campion opened in April 2001, international productions are now also showing in Australia, Israel, Uruguay, France and Mexico.
The play's many awards include the Whatsonstage.com, 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 Whatsonstage.com awards.
Stones in His Pockets is directed by the author’s husband, Ian McElhinney, with design by Jack Kirwan and lighting by James C McFetridge. Marie Jones’ new musical Weddings Weeuns and Wakes opens in Belfast – again at the Lyric Theatre – on 12 November 2001.
- by Terri Paddock