It was 2003. It was London. It was an average theatre night for me. I had booked my tickets for Stones in his Pockets at the Duke of York’s theatre well in advance and was looking forward to seeing this bout of Irish madness on stage. My company for the evening was a German colleague who although quite fluent in English was embarking on a personal challenge to see whether or not he would understand Marie Jones’s script.
All was well. I had the tickets in my diary and had stopped for a meat pie before meeting up with yer man Klaus. When I went to pay for my pie – I had my purse. But when I went to check the tickets, I no longer had my diary. I immediately flashed back to the young lad who had jostled me coming out of the tube and loudly cursed him. My bloody diary – useless to him but priceless to me. The theatre people, obviously well used to this sort of happening, accommodated us in our seats but I was in dire need of distraction ’cause back in those days, I tended to dwell on things!
I knew little about Stones other than there were two actors who between them would play 15 characters. Set in County Kerry, a film called The Quiet Valley is in production. Two extras (Jake Quinn and Charlie Conlon) are trying their luck. Jake is local and in true Irish fashion, is related to half the village. He’s just returned from New York and is nursing failed dreams of becoming a movie star. Charlie is from Northern Ireland and is on a tour of the island trying to put a failed relationship and a busted business behind him. As the filming progresses and the play moves on, we see the two boys playing a number of roles: Caroline Giovanni – the star of the film, who is having trouble with the Irish accent; Old Mickey, a local famous for being the only surviving extra from The Quiet Man, which was also filmed in the area; Dave, a rigger on the film who has a supply of drugs. Fifteen in all. The versatility this requires of the actors is quite something.
Next week, Friday, 16th March, as part of the St Patrick’s festivities in Budapest, Madhouse actors Matt Devere and Mike Kelly will once again stage Stones in his Pockets at the International Buda Stage (IBS) over in District II at 1021 Budapest, Tárogató út 2-4 (Tram 61 between Akademia and Kelemen László utca). Tickets : 2,500 Ft. Students 2000Ft. Student Groups (10+) 1800 Ft.
It’s been years since I first saw this production and it’s stuck with me. I even kept the programme! If you want a night of excellent theatre by two lads who regularly sell out their Complete Works of Shakespeare (Sör), then book your tickets today. A good night guaranteed.