Stones in his Pockets

Previewed 23 May 2000, Opened 24 May 2000, Closed 19 August 2000 at the Ambassadors Theatre
Opened 21 August 2000, Closed 12 July 2003 at the Duke of York's Theatre
Previewed 14 July 2003, Opened 21 July 2003, Closed 1 May 2004 at the Ambassadors Theatre
Previewed 1 November 2006, Opened 6 November 2006, Closed 2 December 2006 at the Duchess Theatre in London

Following Broadway, world wide tours including the US and Australia, Marie Jones' Award winning and acclaimed comedy Stones in his Pockets returns to London for a strictly limited season - See what happens when a major Hollywood film studio descends upon a small village in County Kerry in rural Ireland, through the eyes of two aspiring Irish movie extras Jake and Charlie. In Stones in his Pockets two aspiring movie extras and a host of other extraordinary characters are brilliantly brought to life by just two wonderful actors. Winner! Olivier Award - Best Comedy - Winner! Evening Standard - Best Comedy

Prior to the original West End run, this staging of Stones in his Pockets was presented for two seasons at the Tricyce Theatre in London from August to September 1999 and from April to May 2000. The original cast featured Sean Campion and Conleth Hill.

"In Stones in His Pockets the brutal, ruthless, soupy, sentimental business of film-making is seen from the stance of the extras: a worm's-eye view that produces surprisingly rich results. The play is about rural poverty, cultural exploitation, the widening gap between winners and losers in the Western world, and the damage wreaked by dreams and the dream industries. It is also a funny yet sombre two-hander with roles for a dozen or so people, and so gives a pair of extraordinary Irish actors every chance to display their bravura talents. The set consists simply of an enlarged strip of film covered with clouds and sky and, weirdly placed in front of it, enough period and contemporary footwear to keep you mindful of the many and various characters being created for us. Do Jones and Tom McElhinney's cast earn an ironic ending and a quintessentially Irish mini-lecture about the dangers of allowing wish, hope, fantasy and film to distract you from the everyday boredom and bleakness of your life? Yes, certainly they do. If there is a more cleverly constructed, enterprisingly acted play on offer in London right now, I cannot think of it." The Times

"Stones In His Pockets is that comparative rarity: a play that after rave reviews on the Edinburgh and London fringe triumphantly survives its West End transfer. The subject of Marie Jones's comedy is the multinational heritage industry, and the local cultures that are forced, through poverty, to play up to its distorting desires. Jones has hit on a simple dramatic device that gives her play both its warm, knockabout theatricality and its political edge. Jones swivels the proceedings around so we see the starry main attraction from the perspective of a pair of bit-players - here two literal deadbeat "extras", the feckless Charlie and Jake who earn pounds 40 a day playing downtrodden peasants. A wonderfully enjoyable evening." The Independent

"Marie Jones' delightful bittersweet confection Stones In His Pockets, now deservedly entering the West End after successful outings in Ireland and at the Tricycle. Jones astutely fingers the industry of 'Irishness' as she portrays a Hollywood location film shoot in Co. Kerry as seen through the eyes of a couple of locally recruited extras. As Jake and Charlie mug their way through their scenes, looking suitably 'dispossessed' as period peasants, we are gradually shown the various ways in which operations like this, rather than sustaining local communities either economically or spiritually, in fact destroy their various hopes and dreams. Just as Jake's abortive seduction of the lead actress proves to be coldly calculating on her part, Charlie, fleeing from a ruined business in his native North Antrim, eventually has his illusions crushed about the dog-eared screenplay he carries in his trouser pocket. Jones is a dab hand at alternating her emotional registers: the comedy always comes along to relieve the sombreness, but never undermines or devalues it." The Financial Times

Stones in his Pockets in London at the Duchess Theatre opened on 6 November 2006 and closed on 2 December 2006.