THEATRE TALK - NORTHERN DAILY LEADER - STONES IN HIS POCKETS
A comical tale of an Irish town is coming to Capitol Theatre Tamworth on Tuesday, April 4 at 8pm.
Stones in his Pockets, having played all over the world, including a five-year run in the West End, is a multi-ward winning comedy by Marie Jones.
The play is an hilarious and moving tale of a quiet Irish community turned upside down by the arrival of a Hollywood movie shoot.
The story of a budding romance between a rich girl and a local farmer within the film being made is counterpointed against the actual growing friction that develops between the locals hired as extras on the film and the Hollywood big shots.
The story deals with serious themes of rural isolation and alienation, degradation of local community in a global context, industrial relations and exploitation of locals by large corporations (in this case Hollywood) and also youth suicide. It deals with the notion of who has the power to tell someone else’s story, shifting values away from agrarian economies globally and the notion of the value of community versus capitalist ideologies.
However, it does all this in a highly engaging and entertaining context, using comedy and theatricality to make the story accessible.
This new production of Stones In His Pockets was created by Critical Stages with the express intention of regional touring.
Over a dozen characters, including the extras, are played by just two actors, throughout the production. This involves lighting fast character transformation, often from one word to the next, with only minimal props and costume shifts possible to support these transformations.
The production involves a simple but evocative set that involves a two-tiered clothes rack and a series of road-cases.
The top level of the clothes rack imaginatively creates an Irish vista using the colourful arrangement of costumes on a clothes rack to create the skyline, while the lower level involves fully fleshed-out costumes for each of the characters portrayed by the two performers during the show. This assists the audience to visualise each of the ‘extras’ and assist in embodying each of them, as well as providing a point of interaction for the performers.
The road-cases are swung around the stage by the performers, rearranging to create the multiple locations such as the film set, the dressing room, a bus, a pub, a church and the Hollywood starlet’s trailer.
Stones in his Pockets is suitable for audiences 14 and over. There is occasional course language and mature themes.