Photo credit: http://www.tricycle.co.uk/current-programme-pages/theatre/theatre-programme-main/stones-in-his-pockets/
Cut and pasted from the Tricycle website:
The multi-award winning play returns in a new production.
County Kerry, Ireland. A rural community is turned upside down by the arrival of an American film crew on location to capture ‘real’ Ireland for their latest Hollywood blockbuster. When locals Charlie Conlon and Jake Quinn are employed as extras for the film, they, like the rest of the village, struggle to present the Americans’ romanticised Ireland, a stark contrast to the reality of daily life.
From the local lads intent on being stars, to the film’s American lead actress, whose Irish accent leaves a lot to be desired; two actors portray a multitude of characters in this hilarious yet poignant updated production of Marie Jones’ multi-award winning play.
This play is a huge ask and a big challenge for any actor. There are only two actors in the play and they have to play a whole multitude of characters, Irish and American, men and women, young and old, the full gamut of classes. They have to switch between characters in the blink of an eye, without any help from costume or make-up. Just by their facial expressions, their body movements, their voice and their accent, you as the audience should be in no doubt what character they are playing at any given moment in time.
I thought that this production was excellent, and that both the actors in it were brilliant. They both managed to pull off the full range of characters that they were portraying to a tee.
One of the funniest lines in the play for me is when one of the characters (I think the film's Director) says that people do not go to the cinema to get depressed; for that they go to the theatre! There is quite a bit of truth in this statement! It is actually why I love the theatre - because it tackles life's rich tapestry, often focusing on the downside and individual tragedy.
The play is about many diverse things. For me, it is ultimately about following your heart and trying to live the dream. This is, at least, what the uplifting and rousing ending is about.
But is is also about the need to, and longing for, escape, and what that does to you if you cannot; the sense of belonging to a community and a place, and how it feels to be an outcast; the destruction of the countryside and its attendant livelihoods; despair and suicide; rural Ireland and its close-knit communities; the merchandising and selling of Ireland; Hollywood and Americans; the clash between town and country; rich and poor - I could go on and on!
When you find out what "stones in his pockets" refers to, it is heart-breaking. The reference comes right at the end of the first half, and changes what is a jolly comedy into a heart-rending tragedy. The tone of the piece changes in a split-second.
The play is definitely worth seeing, even if you have seen it before (as I have). Highly recommended.
For more information and to book tickets follow the link: