Lucas Anders and Michael Gurney star in this weekend's performances of Stones In His Pockets at the Lester Centre.

‘Stones’ arrives on Rupert stage

Lucas Anders and Michael Gurney hit the Lester Centre for 'Stones in his Pockets'

PRINCE RUPERT – “We’re lunatics.”

The phrase could describe its speaker, Michael Gurney, and his Stones In His Pockets fellow cast member Lucas Anders on any given day on the North Coast, but Gurney was specifically referencing this Saturday, Dec. 12, where he and Anders will perform the marathon comedy Stones In His Pockets to the Prince Rupert audience twice in one day.

While it’s not unheard of for stage productions to be performed in an afternoon engagement with an evening performance, this particular challenge brings some unique tasks for its two sole actors in the production.

With a performance already under their belt from Thursday night and three more on Friday and Saturday, the two are on stage for the entire two-hour duration of the play, with intermission being the only much-needed escape complete with water breaks, catching their breath and generally staying sane.

That last task may be tougher than expected because not only are Gurney and Anders performing as the sole duo in the production, but between the two they’re switching back and forth among 15 different characters.

“It has its challenges for sure – a lot of work in the background to make the flow between characters seem fluid,” Anders said in an interview three mere days before their first show.

“In theatre you typically lose yourself in a character. The challenge here is just when you’ve lost yourself in a character, you have to lose yourself in another character and lay aside all those feelings and frustrations and take on another accent or another gender,” Gurney added.

The two will be tackling Irish, American, Scottish, French, Cockney English and even female roles ­— often at the blink of an eye.

The subject matter of Stones In His Pockets are what drew Anders to the production in the first place.

“I first saw this play about 10 years ago in Edmonton at the Citadel Theatre and it was just one of those plays that really spoke to me … When I saw it, it just changed me. It was a really transformative experience in terms of something that moves you in a way you aren’t really anticipating. It speaks to the dreamer in a lot of us,” Anders said.

“It’s very similar to Prince Rupert in that there’s a lot of outside forces coming in and working against people and there’s this conflict between industry and life.”

Gurney immediately saw the connection as well when Anders informed him of the plot back in late summer.

“I tracked down the script and was immediately enraptured. Like Lucas, I saw connections with Prince Rupert, specifically between the idea of traditional ways of life and how those are affected, change and grow to adapt along what is in this play, capitalism … So there’s tension there and in the midst of that, it’s a story of friendship and overcoming emotional odds and the junk that life throws at you. In the end, friendship triumphs over that conflict between these major outside forces,” Gurney said.

“It’s a comedy deeply rooted in the human experience, where sometimes bad things happen, but like all human beings, we can laugh about these things.”

This duo is not stopping with entertaining North Coast audiences. Gurney and Anders are Edmonton-bound next August to participate in the prestigious Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival.

The event takes applicants from the city, around the country and even beyond Canada’s borders — and Rupert’s own Harbour Theatre duo have made the cut.

“It’s something that’s not easy to get into. I’ve applied three times and this is the first time we’ve been accepted,” Anders said.

The two will have to fine-tune their comedy to fit the 90-minute time limit of the festival, but they’re already excited to wow audiences on an even bigger stage.

The duo is also grateful for all the hard work of their supporting crew behind the scenes to help bring the play “from two peoples’ idea to a reality.”

You can catch Stones In His Pockets this Friday, Dec. 11 at 7:30 p.m. and again Saturday, Dec. 12 at 2 p.m. or 7:30 p.m. at the Lester Centre of the Arts.

Tickets are available at Cook’s Jewellers or the Lester Centre box office.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

North Coast home-grown ice talent Carly Edwards from Haida Gwaii and Prince Rupert takes centre ice on TV competition show Battle of the Blades Thursday nights at 8 p.m., with her partner NHL partner Kris Versteeg. (Photo supplied)
Local figure skater spotlights on TV show’s center ice

Prince Rupert’s Carly Edwards is featured on TV competition show Battle of the Blades

A deer was spotted in October 2020 in Prince Rupert, B.C., with a bright pink yoga ball stuck in its antlers. (Kayla Vickers/Chronicles Of Hammy The Deer Official Page)
PHOTOS: Hammy 2.0? Prince Rupert deer spotted with bright pink yoga ball stuck in antlers

The BC Conservation Officer Service is aware of the deer roaming around the city

B.C. Ferries is still providing ferry service between Tsawwassen and Victoria, 60 years later. (File - Black Press Media)
Ferry sailings cancelled for Oct. 29th and 30th

BC Ferries announces technical difficulties on Northern Expedition

Technical difficulties with the recording and broadcast of the Oct. 26 Prince Rupert City Council meeting mean residents were unable to watch on TV or online happenings in the meeting. (The Northern View file photo)
Technical difficulties leave public unable to access City Council meeting

Summary brief of Prince Rupert City Council meeting

Requests for proposals for the first stage of a water treatment facility project have been issued by the City of Prince Rupert on Oct. 26. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Water treatment facility project in Prince Rupert enters first phase

Prince Rupert seeks proposals for assessment of water quality supply and treatment options

A woman wears a face mask and plastic gloves while browsing books as a sticker on the floor indicates a one-way direction of travel between shelves of books at the Vancouver Public Library’s central branch, after it and four other branches reopened with limited services, in Vancouver, on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
B.C. reports 234 new COVID cases, 1 death of senior who had attended small birthday party

Roughly 5,700 people are isolating due to being exposed to a confirmed case

Burnaby RCMP responded to a dine-and-dash suspect who fell through a ceiling in March 2020. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Suspected dine-and-dasher falls through ceiling of Burnaby restaurant

A woman believed to be dashing on her restaurant bill fell through the kitchen ceiling

A can of Canada Dry Ginger Ale is shown in Toronto on Thursday Oct. 29, 2020. The maker of Canada Dry Ginger Ale has agreed to pay over $200,000 to settle a class-action lawsuit launched by a B.C. man who alleged he was misled by marketing suggesting the soda had medicinal benefits. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Joseph O’Connal
B.C. man’s lawsuit over marketing of Canada Dry ginger ale settled for $200K

Soda’s maker, Canada Dry Mott’s Inc., denied the allegations and any liability

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Vancouver Island-based Wilson’s Transportation has expanded to fill some of the routes left unserviced by Greyhound as of Nov. 1, 2018. (Black Press files)
B.C. bus companies say they need help to survive COVID-19

Like airlines, motor coaches have lost most of their revenue

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Kelowna Mountie hit with 2nd lawsuit in 2 months for alleged assault

Const. Julius Prommer is accused of breaking a woman’s knee during while responding to a noise complaint

Hirdeypal Batth, 24, has been charged with sexual assault and forcible confinement in relation to an incident in August 2020. (VPD handout)
Man, 24, charged with sex assault after allegedly posing as Uber driver in Vancouver

Investigators believe there could be more victims outside of the Vancouver area

B.C. Premier John Horgan and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee arrive for annual Cascadia conference in Vancouver, Oct. 10, 2018. They have agreed to coordinate the permanent switch to daylight saving time. (B.C. government)
B.C. still awaiting U.S. approval to eliminate daylight saving time

Clocks going back one hour Nov. 1 in Washington too

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shakes hands with US Vice-President Joe Biden on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, December 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
A Biden presidency could mean good news for Canadian environment policy: observers

Experts and observers say even a U.S. outside the Paris agreement may ultimately end up in the same place

Most Read