The Abbey Theatre will lead Bloomsday celebrations in Australia this year, with the cast of Terminus gathering at the State Library of New South Wales on Wednesday to deliver lines from James Joyce’s Ulysses.
Bloomsday, Wednesday June 16, is the date that celebrates Leopold Bloom’s adventures in Joyce’s Ulysses, a novel set entirely on that date in 1904.
A number of events are being held throughout the country to celebrate Bloom’s meandering journey around Dublin.
Terminus, produced by the Abbey Theatre, is currently showing at the Opera House.
Two of the three cast members, Declan Conlon and Olwen Fouéré, are set to give readings from Ulysses and Finnegans Wake on the steps of the Mitchell Library. The event has been organised by the Consulate of Ireland.
“We are delighted to partner with the NSW State Library on this new event, and even more pleased that the cast of the Abbey Theatre’s Terminus have agreed to take part,” said Consul General Caitríona Ingoldsby.
“Bloomsday is now an international event and presents an ideal opportunity to showcase across the globe Ireland’s strong achievements in literature and the arts more generally.
“That actors from the critically acclaimed Abbey Theatre production of Terminus are taking part clearly demonstrates that Ireland’s strength in culture and the arts is not just a historical phenomenon but a national asset that continues to flourish and to develop.”
It has specifically been arranged for lunchtime so that CBD office workers can hear Ulysses being read by stage actors. The event is free and open to all.
Elsewhere in Sydney, the John Hume Institute for Global Irish Studies at the University of New South Wales and the Consulate General of Ireland have partnered to present an evening event at the Gaelic Club in Sydney.
The community venue will host readings from Ulysses, Dubliners and Finnegans Wake this Wednesday, June 16.
Irish actors Maeliosa Stafford, John-Paul Hussey, Romy Farrelly, Zoe Norton Lodge, Paul Armstrong and Michael Terry will participate. Longford-born writer John Connell will join them.
:: Celebrations around Australia
Meanwhile, at the Irish Club in Perth, Colm O’Doherty will present an exploration of gender issues depicted in Ulysses’ comedic but hallucinatory night town brothel chapter, Circe.
Editor Sean Byrne will deliver a parliamentary investigation into the Dáil with a proposed recommendation to resurrect James Joyce to save the Irish Economy.
Drawing-room music will celebrate Joyce as a tenor.
The Shadow Minister for Culture and the Arts John Hyde will join Gerry Gannon, Ingle Knight, Damien O’Doherty, Diana Warnock, Marian Byrne and Tony Bray. Soprano Fiona Mariah, Soprano and baritone Barry Preece will also sing.
Brisbane’s Irish Club will host the Bloomsday celebrations for Queenslanders. A night of readings and music kicks off from 7:00pm Wednesday at their Elizabeth Street venue.
Meanwhile Joyce enthusiasts in Melbourne can attend a seminar at the University of Melbourne’s Open Stage Theatre.
The 2011 Bloomsday seminar – ‘Joyce and the Nationalists’ – investigates the author’s engagement with political movements and his fascination with Ireland’s archaic literary tradition.
The Open Stage Theatre will also interpret the Cyclops chapter of Ulysses with a stage adaption.
The adaption, An Irishman And A Jew Go Into A Pub, is directed by Brenda Addie and set in Barney Kiernan’s pub, a location “lousy with Fenians, victims and anti-Semites, high on Guinness, poitín, and outrage”.