Sunspots is a poetic, musical, and visual journey from the birth of the Sun, through its long and eventful life, towards its ultimate death.

Is the Sun a god, a man, a woman, or simply a giant ball of hydrogen? Why does it tell fibs about its favourite painters? Is the Sun afraid of dying? Does it get depressed? And what does it really think about us, and the solar system it is bound to care for?

Simon Barraclough (Poet in Residence at the Mullard Space Science Laboratory) is your guide on a journey that mixes fact, fiction, horror, humour and joy. This hour-long show fuses words, film and songs that vary in style from the infectiously poppy to the broodingly intense. Simon (words, music, vocals, trumpet), Oliver Barrett (music, instruments and arrangements) and Jack Wake-Walker (film) have created an exciting and moving experience that reinvigorates and reimagines our neighbourhood star.


Simon Barraclough illuminates solar science with a poet's gaze. His words conjure the epic journey of a photon from the Sun's heart to the retina of the eye, the blaze of sunshine in a Van Gogh canvas or the daily slide of shadows over Stonehenge and Manhattan. Sunspots is a love letter from the third planet to its parent star.
Dr Marek Kukula, Public Astronomer, Royal Observatory Greenwich

Performance dates

6 June 2015 LONDON Keats House (Preview)
2 October 2015 LONDON Southbank Centre
8 October 2015 READING South Street
9 October 2015 MANCHESTER MHC
13 October 2015 BOURNEMOUTH Arts Festival
6 November 2015 HULL Humber Mouth Festival
25 November 2015 YORK St John University
7 December 2015 LONDON Kings Place
11 January 2016 OXFORD Playhouse (BT Studio)
26 January 2016 NOTTINGHAM Lakeside

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