facebook play-alt chevron-thin-right chevron-thin-left cancel location info chevron-thin-down star-full help-with-circle calendar images mail whatsapp directions_car directions_bike train directions_walk directions_bus close spinner11
Are you missing theatre as much as we are? Support us now with Theatre Tokens and see your favourite shows when they reopen. #IMissTheatre

A Handful Of Stars

First Published 2 July 2014, Last Updated 6 August 2014

What’s it all about?

You’d be forgiven for thinking this was a tale about pool; after all much of the show’s promotional material depicts the characters, cues poised, around a billiards table. Despite the play’s setting in a rundown pool hall, the game has little to do with the action that unfolds. Instead it centres on Jimmy, a troubled young man whose tough and charming exterior gives way to a tirade of self-destruction in what becomes a truthful and gripping portrait of small-town Irish life.

Who’s in it?

It is arguably Keith Duffy’s name that will draw audiences to this revival of Billy Roche’s tale of broken dreams and teenage malaise. The Boyzone singer-turned-actor, who makes his West End debut in the production, gives a convincing performance as small-time boxer Stapler whose black eyes and broken nose are an indication of his sporting success. Yet it is Ciarán Owens’ intense and harrowing performance as Jimmy, an adolescent with plenty of charm and equal amounts of pent-up rage, which is the true gem in this Theatre503 transfer. There are stellar performances, too, from Michael O’Hagan as Paddy, the establishment’s mumbling owner with a dubious cleaning routine, and Brian Fenton as the meek and intimidated Tony.

What should I look out for?

A clever use of the intimate studio space that incorporates members-only rooms, bathrooms and hallways into the entrances and exits of the Trafalgar Studio 2.

In a nutshell?

There are more than a handful of stars in this emotion-packed revival of Billy Roche’s tale, but Ciarán Owens shines the brightest with his portrayal of an adolescent on a treacherous path of self-destruction.

What’s being said on Twitter?

@joecbrownn: People need to get to @TrafStudios and see @theatre503 production of A Handful Of Stars. What a great show and a fab press night!!

Will I like it?

The transfer of this Theatre503 production was well-deserved; its depiction of Irish life is beautifully conveyed in Paul Robinson’s carefully paced production and theatregoers should take advantage of its prolonged residency in the capital by picking up a ticket for the show’s limited West End run.

Share

Sign up

Related articles

If you click through to seat selection (where you'll see either best available or a seating plan), you will be seeing the most up-to-date prices. If this differs from what we've written on the calendar, please bear with us, as those prices will update soon.

We now sell our famous TKTS Booth discounts online here at Official London Theatre.

We are now cancelling all performances up until and including 31 May 2020 to help us process existing bookings whilst we wait for further clarity from the government in terms of when we will be able to reopen.

We are so sorry that in these testing and difficult times you are not able to enjoy the show you have booked for and hope the following helps clarify next steps in respect of your tickets .

There is nothing that you need to do if your performance has been cancelled, but we do ask for your patience.

If you have booked directly with the theatre or show website for an affected performance, please be assured that they will contact you directly to arrange an exchange for a later date, a credit note/voucher or a refund. If you have booked via a ticket agent they will also be in contact with you directly.

We are processing in strict date order of performance, so you are likely to be contacted after the date you were due to go to the theatre. However, we want to reassure you that you will be contacted, and your order will be processed, but please do bear with us.

We’d like to thank everyone who has been patient and kind in dealing with their ticket providers so far and we are sorry that we cannot process your order as quickly as we would like.

Please do not contact your credit card company as that will slow the process down and put an additional burden on our box office and ticket agent teams.

In order for us to serve our audiences the best we can, please do not get in touch with your point of sale if you have booked for performances after 31 May. Please be reassured that if we have to cancel future performances you will be directly contacted by your theatre or ticket provider. Our producers continue to plan for all eventualities dependent on the individual needs of their shows and we will provide further updates on specific shows as and when they become available.

We look forward to welcoming you back into our theatres as soon as we are allowed to resume performances. In the meantime stay safe and healthy.

While theatres are currently closed, various venues and productions are making announcements for their individual shows, including cancellations and rescheduled performances. Please check with the individual shows for details.