Solar Bones to be released on RTÉ.ie/Culture

October 30, 2020

Your chance to see one of the theatrical highlights of the year from the comfort of your home...

Stanley Townsend's tour-de-force performance in the world premiere of stage adaptation of SOLAR BONES  By Mike McCormack In an adaptation by Michael West, presented by Kilkenny Arts Festival and Rough Magic

See it free on, 5th November 7.30pm 

In August, socially distanced audiences in Kilkenny got to witness one of this year's most memorable theatrical performances, when world renowned Stanley Townsend performed the world premiere of Mike McCormack's award-winning book, Solar Bones.   

Presented by Kilkenny Arts Festival in partnership with Rough Magic, in association with Watergate Theatre this production was presented as part of Kilkenny Arts Festival X. Working within Covid-19 regulations this production was brought safely to the stage for 6 performances.

Audiences and critics were blown away by this moving work; brought to stage in the most challenging of circumstances, with a determination to find a way to bring Solar Bones to a bigger audience and filmed a performance before the final curtain fell. 

Today it was announced that, teaming up with and supported by Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport & Media, audiences both in Ireland and across the world will have a chance to see this filmed performance on  November 5th, when it streams on 

Minister Catherine Martin T.D. said: "In a difficult time when we increasingly turn to culture for our wellbeing, I am delighted to support the broadcast of the stage adaptation of Irish novelist Mike McCormack's "Solar Bones." I know the themes of the performance will particularly resonate with our shared current circumstances and I am sure that it will, above all, be entertaining."

Director Lynne Parker on Solar Bones: “People who saw Solar Bones talked about how fitting and resonant the story is for these days, as we watch a lost soul in the void desperately trying to keep going, to wrestle meaning out of chaos, to defend the human against the political, to find the basic goodness that anchors us in the middle of a nightmare. What a time to be making this grave, beautiful, essential work

Praise for the production: 

"A moving adaptation of an award-winning novel is spellbinding in its simplicity."  Sunday Business Post 

"This compassionately crafted adaptation of Mike McCormack’s 2016 novel takes you by surprise, plunders your emotional register and reminds you what you love the theatre." The Sunday Times 

"...the result is riveting theatre. Toweringly that is down to Stanley Townsend in a performance of extraordinary naturalism under Lynne Parker's seamless direction.” Irish Independent


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.  Adapted by Michael West, Solar Bones is directed by Lynne Parker with Set & Lighting Design by Zia Bergin-Holly, Sound Design by Denis Clohessy and Costume Design by Kathy Strachan.  

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. 

Originally developed by Something Different in association with Mermaid Arts Centre 

 Kilkenny Arts Festival is particularly grateful to its principal funder, The Arts Council; Kilkenny County Council, as well as Fáilte Ireland, for their ongoing engagement and support.

The Festival would like to sincerely thanks all its sponsors, the local business community, volunteers, friends and audiences for their continued support and commitment in these challenging times.