Stones in His Pockets, Marie Jones' Olivier Award and Evening Standard Award winner for Best Comedy, will close Sept. 23 in a wake of shutterings following the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center. The play, which earned Tony Award nomination for its stars Conleth Hill and Sean Campion and for its director Ian McElhinney, transferred from a hit run in London and Toronto to open April 1 at the John Golden Theatre. As of Sept. 23, Stones in His Pockets will have played 201 performances with 11 previews.
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. Hill won an Olivier Award for his performance, beating out his co-star who was also nominated.
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. Interestingly, the Broadway run wasn't 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 was made into a feature film starring Academy Award nominee Geoffrey Rush). There, the Stones leads were played by Kurt Reinhardt and Mark Phillips.
Other Broadway shows closing Sept. 23 owing to the World Trade Center attack were If You Ever Leave Me, I'm Going With You; A Thousand Clowns and Kiss Me, Kate.
Tickets are $30-$65. For reservations, call (212) 239-6200.