AS play titles go, Stones In His Pockets has to be one of the most grimmest I’ve ever heard, with a underlying theme of a suicide and its impact on a cast of extras taking part in a Hollywood blockbuster film.

The theatrical phenomenon visits Bath for the first time in ten years when it makes a welcome return to the Theatre Royal for eight performances to Saturday, March 16.

It has previously been performed there in March 2009, June 2004 and initially in December 2002 as part of its first-ever UK tour.

Along the way, Marie Jones’s ingenious comedy has won numerous awards including two Olivier Awards, an Evening Standard Theatre Award, a New York Outer Critics Circle Award, together with three Tony Award nominations.

Lindsay Posner directs the 2019 revival of this witty, thought-provoking and sharply observed drama about the making of a historical blockbuster by a major Hollywood film studio in a small village in rural Ireland, as seen through the eyes of local extras Charlie Conlon and Jake Quinn.

Set in a village in County Kerry where many Hollywood movies have been shot - including most famously The Quiet Man starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara in 1952 - Stones In His Pockets poignantly explores the aspirations of these young men, together with the inevitable clash of cultures between the local population and the incoming actors and crew.

As village life is turned upside down it becomes clear that Tinseltown’s romanticised depiction of Ireland is a long way from reality, particularly when the extras want to take a day off as filming prepares to wrap to attend the funeral of Sean Harkin, a local whose stones in his pockets are there to weigh him down as he walks into the nearest river.

The comedy is brought to life by actors Owen Sharpe and Kevin Trainor, who between them play 15 different roles, effortlessly slipping from one character to another, including the extras, the spoilt American star Caroline who is struggling with her Irish accent, the film crew and Old Mickey, the only surviving extra from The Quiet Man.

Tickets are on sale at the Theatre Royal box office on 01225 448844 or book online at

John Baker