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It takes just two actors and some extremely deft switching in tone and posture to populate the rural Irish village where a Hollywood crew is on location filming the latest romantic blockbuster.

Marie Jones’ 1996 hit combines the comic with the tragic as 80 euro a day extras Charlie and Jake are temporarily caught up in the multimillion dollar world of glamorous make-believe before being brought back to earth to face the bleak economic reality of a countryside existence under threat.

Under Indhu Rubasingham’s assured direction Jamie Beamish and Owen McDonnell do an impressive job bringing to life not only the two locals whose lives haven’t gone according to plan, but also (among others) a flirtatious American superstar, an English director, his bossy young assistant and a stooped old-timer who claims he was an extra in The Quiet Man back in the early 50’s.

Tricycle, Kilburn High Road, NW6 7JR.
Tube: Kilburn
Until Feb 4.

- Louise Kingsley


Stones in his pocket, Tricycle - theatre review
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