Solar Bones coming to the Kilkenny Arts Festival

Solar Bones coming to the Kilkenny Arts Festival

Rough Magic is delighted to announce the World Premiere of Solar Bones by Mike McCormack in an adaptation by Michael West.

Marcus Conway has come home to his kitchen in Louisburgh Co. Mayo. Everything seems normal, yet he is haunted by the feeling that nothing is quite right. Poring obsessively over the details of his relationships, his world and his work as an engineer brings him closer to an understanding of how the things and people he loves have come together, and how they have and must inevitably come apart.

This August, in partnership with Kilkenny Arts Festival and the Watergate Theatre, we will bring the award-winning novel by Mike McCormack to the stage for the first time. Adapted by Michael West and directed by Lynne Parker, Stanley Townsend (Spooks, Sherlock, Waking the Dead) will star as Marcus Conway with Set & Lighting Design by Zia Bergin-Holly, Sound Design by Denis Clohessy and Costume Design by Kathy Strachan.

Winner of the Impac Dublin Literary Award 2018, Solar Bones is Mike McCormack’s multi-award-winning elegy to the merits of an ordinary life, spoken from an intermediate state between memory and nothingness.

Stanley Townsend on Solar Bones

The simplicity. The isolation. One man trying to make sense of where and what he was, using all he knows, the story of his life. All he has is talk. I loved the language and the man. The lack of distraction. The searing connection I felt to him and the pain I felt for him.

I think the simple loneliness of a man haunting his life in absolute isolation will ring with people these days.

The magic of language, the empathy and connection with Marcus as we realise we are witnessing not someone with dementia or someone dreaming but a lost soul in the void desperately trying to keep going.

Michael West on Solar Bones

When I first read Solar Bones I thought it was one of the finest Irish novels published in recent years. Having worked on it for this adaptation I’m convinced it’s one of the finest novels of our time. As a piece of writing it is astonishingly achieved and sustained, and has a closing sequence to match anything you’ll ever read.

As well as being a love letter to the idea of family and community, I love that it’s also a poem to the act of writing and imagining, a pledge to hold faith with the kitchen table and the pages that emerge there. And while we always say the work is its own reward, the book is an inspiring story in itself of excellence finding due recognition — published and edited to the highest standard by a small, young independent company, Tramp Press, and going on to win the Goldsmiths and the International Dublin Literary Award.

We are extremely grateful to Mike McCormack for letting us bring his beautiful work to you. We hope our stage version will introduce it to new audiences as well as those who already know and love it — and if it encourages anyone to read the book for themselves, I envy the pleasure that lies ahead of you.

Lynne Parker on Solar Bones

What a time to be making this grave, beautiful, essential work – and what a team to bring it to the stage. As ever, our partnership with Kilkenny Arts Festival is taking us, and the whole of Irish theatre into new territory; as ever it is a joy.

Tickets go on sale on 23rd July at

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