The production, which opened at the New Ambassadors Theatre on May 23, 2000, was an instant smash. A play with a cast of two featuring no big names, by an all-but-unknown writer, surprised everyone by capturing the imagination and affection of audiences around the world for nearly four years. At a time when cautious producers are banking on stars and known titles to make money, theatre-watchers took heart from Stones’s success. Although the story tells of the impact of a big Hollywood film being shot in a small Irish community, the show’s selling-point was always the virtuoso turns of its two leads – who are called upon to play 15 roles between them. The current London cast comprises Rupert Degas and Hugh Lee.
However, the closing of the London production (produced by Paul Elliott, Adam Kenwright and Pat Moylan) is far from the end of the road for Stones. Although it only played just over six months on Broadway in 2001, a second US tour has just ended and a new UK tour will begin in January. A film version will start shooting in August 2004.