Marie Jones's Olivier Award-winning Stones in His Pockets, the international hit that opened on Broadway April 1, is now on U.S. bookstore shelves, in script form, published Applause Books.
Actors and artistic directors are likely to clamor for the script, which has an introduction by Mel Gussow. After its Broadway life ends (the run at the Golden Theatre is open-ended), regional theatres are likely to compete hungrily for the rights to the two actor Irish tale in which the performers play an entire community.
Not only is the play rich with theatrical storytelling, showing the impact a film crew has on location in a small Irish town, its two actor cast makes it affordable for resident troupes to produce.
On Broadway, the two-man play features the original London stars, Conleth Hill and Sean Campion. Hill won an Olivier Award for his performance, beating out his co-star who was also nominated.
Stones in His Pockets is seen through the perspective of Charlie and Jack, two down-on-their luck Irishmen (played by Hill and Campion) working as extras on a Hollywood film being shot in the Irish countryside. The close-knit rural community around them is uprooted and in some ways destroyed by the arrival of the Hollywood cast and crew. Among the characters Hill and Campion portray are Caroline Giovanni, the spoiled and horny American diva; Mickey, the last remaining extra from "The Quiet Man"; and Clem, the hunchbacked director. The play was inspired by Jones' own experience as an actor in films shot in Ireland, including 1993's "In the Name of the Father," starring Daniel Day Lewis. Jones' other plays include A Night in November, Women on the Verge of HRT and the sequel Women on the Verge Get a Life.
Hill and Campion were both unknowns before Stones. Hill appeared in Andrew Hinds' The Starving in 1998 and on "Blue Heaven" in the UK and both performed together in Waiting for Godot in Belfast, but Stones has made both actors into stars.
Ian McElhinney directs in the U.S. as he did in London. Also an actor, the Belfast born McElhinney played Barnardo in Kenneth Branagh's "Hamlet," did a stint with the Royal Shakespeare Company and has several roles in British TV and film.
The Broadway run is not the American premiere for the play. Stones finished off the Magic Theatre in San Francisco's 1998-99 season. There, the Stones leads were played by Kurt Reinhardt and Mark Phillips. The Broadway production had a previous engagement in Toronto before moving south.
Tickets are $30-$65. For reservations, call (212) 239-6200.