Tag Archives: Bloomsday

Dublin Shakespeare Festival: Twelfth Night

Dublin has literary fever at the moment, with the Writers’ Festival just passed and Bloomsday coming up; it is quite fitting then that quite possibly the biggest literary influence for Joyce – Shakespeare is currently the subject of a festival based in Trinity.

The Dublin Shakespeare festival, which began June 1st and will run until June 11th, plays host to approximately 400 performers both professional and amateur featuring in over 50 outdoor performances of Shakespeare’s work. I attended Twelfth Night on Saturday evening and was really chuffed with the quality production I saw for the very reasonably priced ticket.

Student tickets are only €10, and adults €15 (significantly cheaper than the average of €25 for the Dublin Theatre Festival tickets), the show lasted for 3 hours and we were treated to complimentary tea, coffee and chocolates in the interval – in all very good value for money.

The festival have constructed a series of stands with pointed tent roofs, arranged in a semi circle all looking out over the performance area, which apparently seats 400 people (it seemed a lot smaller). It’s a lovely performance space in the beautiful front square of Trinity College and set up for a very special performance. I had never read nor seen Twelfth Night before but was really entertained by the production by GB Theatre company. The cast were superb, with excellent timing and also with great body language and expression which really added extra comedic value and some modern wit to the script. In particular, I really warmed to Sir Toby (played by the company’s manager David Davies) and Feste, the Fool (played by Oliver Cudbill), but I couldn’t fault any of the performances.

I only flaw I could pick out is the sound, there are amplified sound effects (particularly loud during the sea storm scene at the beginning) but the actors don’t use any microphones or amplification of any kind so it was quite hard to hear at times. It was also unbelievably cold throughout, as it’s an outdoor performance and you’re sitting for 3 hours on plastic seats. We saw some other incredibly intelligent audience members with blankets and if I go to their production of Romeo and Juliet during the week I am most definitely bringing a blanket!

Anyhew, get thee to a play this week by clicking on the following link: http://www.dublinshakespeare.com/ Don’t forget the blankets!!

You can read more about the production and explore the company’s website here: http://www.gbtheatre.com/twelfthnight.html

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Ulysses Seen

I’m glad my first post as an official “dot.ier” is on Joyce!

For those who want to experience the story of Ulysses but just can’t be arsed reading the novel (it’s my blog I’m allowed curse!) then a comic book version is a great option!

Robert Berry and co. have spent a lot of time illustrating Ulysses in this superb online comic book adaptation – Ulysses Seen. Created not just as an illustration of the novel, but also as an online edition of Joyce’s masterpiece, this version is also highly interactive and includes a user’s guide to open up certain sections to the reader.

The process is extremely time consuming and costly so the project has only completed episodes one and four so far, episode 4 Calypso has just been released in time for this year’s Bloomsday. In my opinion it’s a fantastic way to open up Joyce’s Ulysses to a wider audience, go explore here: http://www.ulyssesseen.com/ (also available for the iPad!)

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Imagine Bloomsday

As I press this Gabriel Byrne is on The Late Late Show doing Jedward impressions and speaking about Imagine Ireland’s second half launch which took place today in Dublin and announces an impressive line up of events due to take part across the US involving artists from a variety of art forms in Ireland.

With over 400 events due to take place in the US in 2011 which Imagine Ireland is funding, the Irish are definitely getting a lot of exposure this year. With a wealth of dancers, musicians, writers and actors performing across the US this year, it’s amazing we still have stuff going on here too! Do the clicky thing here to see Imagine Ireland’s programme of events.

I noticed a Bloomsday event listed in the line up. IABANY are organising an event to commemorate the landmark censorship case taken preventing the publication of Ulysses in the US and how Joyce’s fight against this case contributed towards “freedom of speech” for US artists and citizens in general. It looks like a pretty cool event because they’re going to do an enactment of the court scenes. There’s a ridiculous amount of events going on worldwide for Bloomsday this year, which you can view here. Of course there’s also a wealth of events taking place in Dublin. The Joyce Centre announced their program of events this week which includes a nice array of events for both the young and old – such as musical events in Stephen’s Green, readings, exhibitions, talks, walking tours, a pretty cool cycling tour and a pub quiz. You can see all the Joycean fun to be had in Dublin this Bloomsday here.

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