Stones in His Pockets, the Broadway-bound West End hit, won London's prestigious Evening Standard Award for Best Comedy Nov. 27. This is the first time the award for comedy has been given since 1997's prize went to Closer.
Stones, which opens April 1 at Broadway's Golden Theatre, tells of Charlie and Jack, two down-on-their-luck Irishmen (played by Conleth Hill and Sean Campion) working as extras on a Hollywood film being shot in the Irish countryside. When the men find themselves dissatisfied with the American look at their culture, they begin to construct the perfect Irish film. Among the characters Hill and Campion portray are Caroline Giovanni, the spoiled and horny American female star; 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 Women on the Verge of HRT and the sequel Women on the Verge.Get a Life. Her latest play, Ruby, based on the life of Ruby Murray, will open at the Opera House Belfast in October.
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.
Other winners at the Evening Standard Awards include Garry Mitchell (The Force of Change) for most promising playwright, The Car Man, Matthew Bourne's retake on Carmen, for best musical event and Joe Penhall's Blue/Orange for Best Drama. *
Before Marie Jones' Stones in His Pockets makes its way to Broadway, the two-man comedy will first make a stop at Toronto's Winter Garden Jan. 9-Feb. 18. The show's original London stars, Conleth Hill and Sean Campion, will travel to Canada for the play's opening there before continuing with the Stones to Broadway.
Tickets to the Toronto engagement went on sale Nov. 20. Priced $52-$35, tickets are on sale at (416) 872-1212 and (800) 461-3333.
Marie Jones' London hit, Stones in His Pockets will arrive for previews at the John Golden Theatre in March 2001. Opening night is set for April Fools' Day.
Interestingly, the Broadway run won't be the American premiere for the play. Stones finished off the Magic Theatre in San Francisco's 1998-99 season, replacing the previously announced Quills (which is now a feature film starring Geoffrey Rush). There, the Stones leads were played by Kurt Reinhardt and Mark Phillips.
Stones in His Pockets transferred to London's Duke of York Aug. 21 for an open-ended run. For further information on the London production, contact the Duke of York's box office on 011-44-20-7369-1791.