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Other Touring Productions

2018 - 2019

What To Bring When We Leave

A collaborative commission, culminating in a unique continuous live performance by Tom French (word) and Danny Diamond (fiddle). 

Each artist stretches the other’s narratives in spoken and unspoken airs, finding solace in the unexpected places between. Tom French’s poetry draws on the traditional arts, folklore and rural Irish life; he writes vividly about traditional music, the people who play(ed) it, and the context in which it lives. As a traditional fiddle player, music archivist and researcher, Danny Diamond’s compositions bring a corresponding unconventional sensitivity to a similar sphere that informs French’s work. 

 

Tom French

Tom French has received bursaries in literature from An Chomhairle Ealaíon/The Arts Council, Ireland, in 1999, 2009, and 2016, and his work was awarded the inaugural Ted McNulty Prize. His first collection Touching the Bones was awarded the Forward Prize for First Collection 2002. He received the O’Shaughnessy Award for Poetry in 2016, The Dermot Healy International Poetry Prize in 2015. His latest collection The Sea Field will be published in April 2020.

In Touching the Bones, his first collection of 2001, through The Fire Step of 2009, and into Midnightstown from 2014, French delves into the mysteries of family, the loss of forebears, and the intensely felt absence of what used to be immediately to hand—Ireland’s rural life. Though digitized Ireland may have supplanted rural craft, that craft lives yet in reader and poet. 

Danny Diamond 

Danny Diamond is a musician from Ireland. He comes from a renowned family of traditional musicians with a deep cultural heritage in the North of Ireland. In his work Danny plays fiddle, sings, composes, arranges and records music. 

Current projects include working as Music Co-Ordinator and performer with Teac Damsa’s multi award-winning dance theatre show Swan Lake / Loch na hEala, for which he also co-created the score. Other collaborations include the traditional fiddle duo NORTH (with Conor Caldwell). Past work includes the experimental Irish/Nordic trio Slow Moving Clouds (2014-2018), with whom he played fiddle, managed the band, released three albums and created the score for Teac Damsa’s Swan Lake / Loch na hEala. 

Seldom does a musician utterly inhabit a tradition while still expressing him or herself with such originality – Siobhan Long, Irish Times (On Danny Diamond) 
French’s ability in each of his books, is to find a way into such places, where the “beautifully executed wounds” are shown for what they are – John McAuliffe (On Tom French) 

2012

Halcyon Days

Deirdre Kinahan, Solstice / Tall Tales Theatre National tour 

Halcyon Days is a delightful play about friendship, family and love by previous Solstice Artist-in-Residence Deirdre Kinahan (The Unmanageable Sisters, Moment, Bogboy). Halcyon Days was first performed at Solstice Arts Centre in October 2012 and then at Smock Alley as part of the Dublin Theatre Festival. 

Sean is resident in a nursing home when in storms Patricia, bringing her own chaos to challenge his quiet world. A funny, combative and charming friendship blossoms as they work out their past and contemplate their future. It stars Bryan Murray (Fair City, Bread, Irish RM) and Una Crawford (Fair City), both veterans of stage and screen in this new re-telling of Kinahan’s celebrated comedy. 

2011

Moment

Deirdre Kinahan (playwright) 

Deirdre Kinahan's play Moment is about a family's difficulty in confronting a past crime committed by one of its members. It was first performed at the Solstice on 12 November 2009. The production transferred to the Bush Theatre, London, on 25 February 2012. 

The action of the play takes place in September 2009 in the kitchen of the Lynch family house in Chapelizod, Dublin. When Nial Lynch (aged 30) comes back to the family home, unexpectedly bringing his devoted English partner Ruth, their presence is not altogether welcome. His mother, Teresa, is suffering from apparent dementia. His married sister Ciara greets him grudgingly. And his other sister, Niamh, is outright hostile. Nial has built himself a reputation as a painter in Cork, but it's a moment from the more distant past that haunts them all: Nial has spent five years in a juvenile prison for the murder, fourteen years earlier, of Niamh's then best friend, Hilary Kelly. And Niamh can't quite accept that Nial has served his time. 

The play's premiere was directed by David Horan and designed by Maree Kearns. The cast was Ronan Leahy, Rebecca O’Mara, Maeve Fitzgerald, Deirdre Donnelly, Kate Nic Chonaonaigh, Karl Quinn, Will Joseph Irvine and Aela O’Flynn. 

2010

Bogboy

Deirdre Kinahan, Solstice/Tall Tales Theatre, 1st Irish Festival, Irish ArtsCenter, New York

When young heroin addict, Brigit leaves Dublin for rehabilitation in the country she strikes up a surprising and unexpected friendship. Her unlikely companion, reclusive middle-aged farmer Hughie, has lived hidden away from the prying eyes of the outside world for many years.

As their friendship grows Hughie’s gentle soul and unconditional kindness show Brigit that there could be a brighter future ahead for her – but is it all too good to be true?

Deirdre's inspiration for Bogboy came about when she noticed a bunch of flowers with a 1970s photo of a young man that had been left in the bog near her home. It was during the amnesty of 2001, where the IRA were invited to give up information about people they had murdered and buried in the 1970s, and the young man was one of the 'disappeared'. Deirdre was haunted by the notion of the 'disappeared' and chose to explore it through the unlikely friendship between Brigit and Hughie.

Bogboy premiered at Solstice on 19 June 2010 before transferring to New York in September 2011 as part of the Irish Festival New York, where it won Best Actress, Best Director and Best Production.

2008

Maisy Daly’s Rainbow

Deirdre Kinahan, Solstice/Tall Tales Theatre, National tour

Johnny lives with his Spanish Mammy on the edge of Navan and delivers eggs to the townie’s doors. One morning he and his friend Jen discover a magnificent rainbow in the Doctor’s garden and Johnny vows to bring it home to his colourless cottage. He strikes a deal with local witch Maisy Daly and so begins a fantastical journey of self discovery.

Maisy Daly’s Rainbow was first performed at Solstice on 4 December 2008.