Stones in His Pockets comes to Tron Theatre
Marie Jones play pits rural County Kerry against Hollywood
Marie Jones may be one of Ireland’s most lauded living playwrights, but her works remain underperformed in the UK. In fact, Stones in His Pockets – which won Olivier and Tony Awards in 2001 – has never had a Scottish production. But thanks to the enthusiasm of Tron artistic director Andy Arnold, that will be rectified in July.
‘It fits in perfectly with our desire to stage more comedic pieces in the summer,’ explains Arnold, who also directs the play. ‘I love Irish theatre as well of course, and Marie Jones is a brilliant writer. I just feel it’s the type of play we can do particularly well if we get our actors involved.’
The play focuses on a rural community in County Kerry, which is chosen as a filming location for a Hollywood movie that seeks to portray a deeply romanticised version of Ireland. Everyone, from movie stars to local villagers, is played by just two actors – here, Robbie Jack and Keith Fleming, who starred in the Tron’s pantomime Mister Merlin last Christmas.
‘It’s a great challenge,’ admits Arnold. ‘I’ve never quite done a piece of theatre like it, where it’s going from one character to another at such a speed, yet making sure we take the audience along so they know exactly who they are at every moment. It’s very cleverly done. Robbie and Keith work brilliantly together so that’ll bring a lot to it.’
As will Arnold’s evident passion for the piece. ‘What’s beautiful about it,’ he says, ‘and it’s in the best plays always, is that you have a wonderful balance of tremendous humour – it is very funny – with very sad, poignant moments. It is as sad a piece as it is a funny piece, and that’s juxtaposed very cleverly. It’s very well done.’
Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Thu 5–Sat 21 Jul