New Vic gets round to pocketing legendary comedy

Published: 30 June 2013
Reporter: Steve Orme

Paul Warrick returns to Newcastle-under-Lyme’s New Vic after an absence of six years to direct Marie Jones’s comedy Stones in his Pockets.

Described as “one of the funniest and most moving plays of the last 20 years”, Stones in his Pockets started its life as a low-key production in Belfast and has since become a global phenomenon.

Gathering awards along the way, it has now played in more than 30 countries where its underlying theme of the clash of two very different cultures resonates as deeply as it did when it first opened in Northern Ireland.

Warrick directed the theatre-in-the-round’s show Laurel and Hardy by Tom McGrath in 2007.

He said, “Stones in His Pockets is something of a legend, having come from a small village hall in Ireland to take both the West End of London and then Broadway by storm.

“It's exciting to be mounting a production of it at the New Vic as it's just the kind of comedy that works well in-the-round, like Laurel and Hardy did.

“Marie Jones's script is also timely. Whitehall is telling us we need to build an ‘aspiration nation’ and the play asks questions about things to which we aspire and why.”

He added: “I’m absolutely over the moon about returning to the New Vic. This theatre, this audience and this town are very special—it's a joy and a privilege to be back.”

Former Hollyoaks actor Glen Wallace, who was nominated for best actor in the 2010 British Soap Awards for his portrayal of Malachy Fisher, will be joined on stage by Colin Connor who this year has appeared in both Phil Vasili’s Tull and John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men at the Octagon Theatre, Bolton.

Stones in his Pockets runs at the New Vic from Friday (5 July) until Saturday, 27 July.