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Irish community turned upside down by a Hollywood movie shoot

Stones in His Pockets is a two-hander written in 1996 by Marie Jones for the DubbleJoint Theatre Company in Dublin, Ireland. It was first shown in Belfast in 1996 and went on to have a successful run in London’s West End. The original cast of Conleth Hill and Sean Campion later took the show to Broadway. Having won the Irish Times/ESB Irish Theatre Award for Best Production in 1999, the play also won two Olivier Awards in 2001 for Best New Comedy and Best Actor (Conleth Hill).

This production of Stones in his Pockets is brought to us by Critical Stages. It is an hilarious and moving tale of a quiet Irish community turned upside down by the arrival of a Hollywood movie shoot. The film’s story of a budding romance between a rich girl and a local farmer, is played out in stark contrast with the growing friction that develops between the locals hired as extras on the film and the Hollywood big shots.

Alternately riotously funny and deeply moving, the play is universally loved by all who see it.

The show features virtuosic performances by Jamie Oxenbould (The Dapto Chaser, The Literati, The Spear Carrier) and Sean Hawkins (Best Actor: Sydney Theatre Award for Howie the Rookie) who play 15 characters between them – from the two Irish extras looking for a brighter future on the silver screen, to the young local, bitter about being rejected for a job on set, to the gorgeous Hollywood superstar. Often switching gender and voice with swift dexterity and the absolute bare minimum of costume changes – a hat here, a jacket there. Comedy also derives from the efforts of the production crew to create the proper “Irish feel” – a romanticized notion that often conflicts with the reality of daily life.

This slick new touring production is brought to life by award winning director Chris Bendall (Thomas Murray & the Upside Down River, The Magic Hour)and sure to have audiences rolling in the aisles. Bendall says that the play focuses on that “The film extra, the person on the background or the fringes of the story, and by telling the story from this perspective (with comedy and a great deal of theatricality) the play highlights intimate and confronting narratives that are often left out of our histories.”

Schedule this for a St Patrick’s Day catch-up with friends.

Book now for the 18th March – 2 performances only 2.15pm and 7.30pm

★★★★ Irish Daily Mail

★★★★ The Evening Standard

★★★★ The Guardian

★★★★ The Irish Times

★★★★ It’s a delightful piece, offering a chance for two actors to display their virtuosity as they play 15 different characters. But though it is often richly funny, there are sudden glimpses of anger and emotional depth in Stones in his Pockets, too.” The Telegraph

WINNER – Best New Comedy – Laurence Olivier Awards

WINNER – Best Play – The Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards

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