Subjected to an assault at the school at which he works, more upsetting than injurious, teacher Nick walks out of both the job and his relationship with his indifferent boyfriend; having nowhere to go, a chance meeting sees him employed as a live-in tutor at a restored Georgian house in Sussex by the dried-up lake, but the past is not so easily walked away from.
A one-man show written and directed by Kit Brookman and performed by Luke Mullins, The Stones refers to both the ruins of the tenth century church which collapsed on the congregation hundreds of years before and the pebbles Nick finds left in and around his cottage across from the main house, echoes of the sinister and threatening messages he used to leave in the locker of his friend Chris from his own schooldays.
A stream of impressions and recollections, the exposed strata of memories and accumulated objects of a dead relationship, Nick questions his past, the decisions and actions of his life and career, but the children hear something else which he cannot perceive, Sophie and Marcus drawn to the deadmere and the stones overgrown with lichen saying “we heard the people singing.”
A story of regret punctuated with interjections of dread in the form of the grim facts with which Nick harassed his classmate, hoping Chris would turn to him for comfort, Mullins’ haunted performance cannot be flawed but The Stones lacks the depth and atmosphere to make the minimal production come alive, meandering through encounters with peripheral characters before simply ending rather than coming to a conclusion.
The Stones runs at Assembly Roxy until Monday 29th August