Stones in his Pockets

 

By Marie Jonesnorthlight theatre

Directed by J.R. Sullivan

At Northlight Theatre

In association with Utah Shakespeare Festival

Tour de force two-hander is very so Irish and funny, too!

Stones in his Pockets is a terrific story told by two dedicated and talented actors who both capture the essence of what it is to be an Irish storytellers. The show is a rollicking tale that ultimately gives hope and purpose to two lost Irish lads. Set in the late 1990’s in County Kerry before the Internet Boom, we get a glimpse of rural Irish mentality through they eyes of two lovable rascals.

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Laughs galore as David Ivers and Brian Vaughn play multiple roles ranging from two down and out Irish lads working as extras on an American film to a female film star and a pompous English director to an assortment of Irish villagers and film personal. The result is a master class on comic acting while playing multilevel roles. Ivers and Vaughn were fantastic as they delivered the story with a hyper infectious energy. These two guys delivered the essence of the Irish wit and contradictory characteristics deftly written in Marie Jones clever script.

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The show engages us from the start as we quickly relate to Charlie Conlin (Brian Vaughn) and Jake Quinn (David Ivers) as they sign on to be extras on an American film shot in a rural village. The pair get 40 quid a day plus 3 meals and they get to be close to Hollywood super-star Caroline Giovanni (played effectively by Vaughn). Soon the two Irish mates get disillusioned with the nasty side of film making as we see the complicated story told through the dozens of characters played sharply by Ivers and Vaughn. They move back and forth between the characters almost instantly with a slight change of body language, vocal tones or accent or by putting on a cap or jacket to ease the transitions with such stellar craftsmanship that the audience has no problem following the story. This is an amazing  acting achievement.

These two superb actors deliver the  wit, biting humor and canny satire inherent in Jones writing. We also experience the sadness and despair of life in rural Ireland. I related to the satire of modern movie making as the play aptly blows open the movie myths that the Irish have toward American film stars.

As the story progresses, we learn to love the characters, hate the hypocritical American film makers and we feel the pain as we hear about the desperate action of one young lost Irish soul. Humor and heartbreaking situations give Jones’ script depth. You’ll laugh and be amazed at the stage craft of David Ivers and Brian Vaughn – they even do some expert Irish dance steps!

Highly Recommended

Tom Williams

Talk Theatre in Chicago podcast

Date Reviewed: March 15, 2012

Jeff Recommended

For more info checkout the Stones in his Pockets page at theatreinchicago.com

At Northlight Theatre, 9501 N. Skokie Blvd. Skokie, IL, 847-673-6300, www.northlight.org, tickets $25 – $72, Tuesdays thru Thursdays at 7:30 pm, Fridays at 8 pm, Wednesday matinee at 1 pm, Saturdays at 2:30 & 8 pm, Sundays at 2:30 & 7 pm, running time is 2 hours, 10 minutes with intermission, through April 14, 2013