For those who, like me up to earlier this year, do not know what that is, it is the day on which James Joyce set Ulysses. It is called Bloomsday after the main character of the book, Leopold Bloom. The book recounts the events of 16th June 1904 in Dublin. Ulysses (Latin Odysseus) is the hero of Homer’s Odyssey which gives the Joyce book its structure.
During the production of Oh What A Lovely War by Strasbourg’s English-speaking theatre group, TAGORA, it was announced that it was intended to celebrate Bloomsday in Strasbourg. Readings were held and ten excerpts from the book were chosen. Two are being acted and the rest are being done as readings. The last reading, taken from the soliloquy by Molly Malone, is being performed by a professional actress.
During the evening there will also be performances from the Pavarottis, a group of people who get together in Strasbourg to sing Irish and Scottish songs. They will be performing songs that either feature or are mentioned in the book and are relevant to the scenes close to which it is being sung.
The readings, singing and acting have been split into three parts and in between there will be relevant music from a group of people, including someone who played on the Riverdance recordings.
Last night we held a rehearsal and I think Strasbourg is set for an enjoyable Saturday evening. I’m certainly looking forward to it. There’s still time to get a ticket.
For more about Bloomsday, there was a very good discussion, as far as I know, on the excellent ‘In Your Time’, here. The BBC are broadcasting Bloomsday throughout the day here and there is an RTE documentary on Joyce, called the Works, here.
Personal declaration. I started the book in April but as a result of something, coming here soon, I have not finished it yet.