Marie Jones is a funny writer with a nice edge in irony. Stones in His Pockets is a hilarious, madcap play about two Irish men who are extras in a big Hollywood movie shooting in their home town.
The two men, Jake and Charlie, play all the characters, including the prima donna of a star, the director, the first and third AD, security guard and other extras on the movie. They leap from character to character and accent to accent in a play that’s an amazing challenge and showcase for any male actor. (Roles for women? None. Although the men have fun playing women.)
Here’s a quick example of the incredibly fast character shifts. Remember there are just two actors playing this:
SEAN: I won’t touch you I just want to look at you.
CAROLINE: Jock … Jock … I am being pestered, get rid of him.
JOCK: (grabs him) Right you out, if I see you back in here I will break your two fuking legs.
FIN: He was put out on the street, out of the pub in his own town … he sat outside on the street, I went with him.
JAKE: And then he watched me go off with her didn’t he?
The movie business gets the bulk of the digs, with plenty of laughs about its inanities and the ridiculous way the film producers try to get ‘authentic’ Irish scenes from the locals. The two main characters, Jake and Charlie, have aspirations beyond being extras. Charlie has written a film script which he’s trying to get someone to look at, and Jake wants to be an actor. They would seem to be in the ideal place to advance their goals but soon discover that local extras are most definitely second class citizens.
And the lowest of the low on this totem pole are the locals who want to be extras and are rejected, which is what happens to Jake’s second cousin, Sean. When Sean is turned down and thrown out of his own local pub, the indignity is too much for him and he walks into the ocean with stones in his pockets. The death hits Jake hard as he feels culpable. For the film crew it’s another inconvenience as the funeral threatens to delay filming.
SIMON: Aisling break the extras for the funeral … they have an hour and a half … tell them that anybody that comes back smelling of alcohol will be put off the set.
MICKEY: Holy mother a Jasis, a funeral without a drink … never heard of it happening in my life and I have bin to more funerals than the undertaker himself … a dry funeral in Kerry, what is happening to the world?
Publisher: Nick Hern Books