Sunspots, the touring show (October 2015 – January 2016)
On Friday October 2nd, in the Royal Festival Hall's atmospheric Blue Room, I kicked off the Sunspots live tour to a packed, responsive audience. The event was part of the London Literature Festival and we received great support from Freddie the tech lead and her apprentice Susanna.
The Sunspots live show takes key poems from the book of Sunspots and brings them to life in a theatrical setting interspersed with original songs (co-written by myself and Oli Barrett) and films (by Jack Wake-Walker). I was very pleased with how this proper premiere went (we did a 'scratch' version at the wonderful Keats House back in June) and the very encouraging feedback I've received so far.
The next stop for the show is Reading South Street Arts Centre on Thursday 8th October where we'll be celebrating National Poetry Day and this year's highly appropriate theme, 'Light'. On Friday 9th October, we hit Manchester at the Martin Harris Centre for Music and Drama. Full details of the complete tour can be found on Penned in the Margins' website here.
Reviews of Sunspots, the book
"Barraclough does an excellent job of 'circling' the sun in different ways, using each poem as a way of examining some facet, or “Sunspot.” His knowledge of Sun-science comes through in his application of scientific concepts and language, and his poems reveal the nature of the Sun via its interaction with us and with the broader universe. This is a cosmic long view of a book."—from Miranda Barnes's review at Magma. Read the whole review here.
"At its best, this book is full of energy and wild dangers. The universe is a party, a bar, a movie theatre, a playground with children teasing and counting out the planets."—from Anja Konig's review at Sabotage Reviews. Read the whole review here.
"I like that the sun, as Simon Barraclough sees it, can be an object of scientific study, a source of power, a deity, a diva, an artistic muse – any number of things."—A leisurely, drifting email chat with Crystal Bennes at The Learned Pig.
"I think the book is too light and playful...but hang on, haven’t I just written a poem in which babies are cooked and eaten on the road?"—A chat with poet Matt Merritt on his website Polyolbion.