A DRYSTONE wall crumbles away in one corner of Peter McKintosh’s simple but beautifully designed set, writes Lawrence Sach.

The grass is as green as in any advert for Irish butter, and in an instant we are transported to the location of Marie Jones’ play.

The arrival of a Hollywood film crew has set alight the expectations of a rural Irish town, especially as it brings with it opportunities for employing extras.

However, when tragedy strikes a clash of values emerges between the film’s obsessive director and the emotional needs of the community.

Owen Sharpe and Kevin Trainor play Jake Quinn and Charlie Conlon, two local men with roles as extras on the film and who narrate the story for us.

With no more than a simple turn - as well as amazing skill and dexterity - they portray a host of vivid characters.

There’s Nick, the brash American director who cares only for the film’s completion, and Caroline, the film’s American star struggling to achieve a half-convincing Irish accent. There’s camp Ashley, always trying to keep the extras emotionally charged and ready for the next take, and young Sean whose tragedy adds emotional resonance to the story.

Stones in His Pockets is an engrossing play that’s both funny and touching by turns, and Sharpe and Trainor provide an object lesson in acting and stagecraft.

It is a play about a clash of values, but above all, it is first rate, entertaining theatre.

Until July 20

Box Office: 01325 405405