The Bloomsday Story is a play in two acts, approximately 110 minutes long allowing a 20-minute interval.
It is written and produced by author and publisher Robert Gogan, who has recently taken up residence with his wife, Anne Tyrrell, in Killucan.
The Bloomsday Story is a whistle-stop tour through the main characters and events of James Joyce’s Ulysses, highlighting in particular the humorous and entertaining aspects of the book. The first line of the play introduces a well-known quote from Joyce to establish the tone of the production - “There is not one serious line in it” - and it continues on in this vein.
The play uses both words and music, quoting liberally from Ulysses, to guide the audience, in a light-hearted way, through the events of that fateful day - June 16, 1904.
The Bloomsday Story makes its debut in The Greville Arms Hotel Mullingar on February 1 and 2 (February 2 being the anniversary both of Joyce’s birth and the publication of Ulysses ). Mullingar is the only place outside Dublin Joyce lived while in Ireland. He spent several months in the town in 1900 when his father was sent there to compile a Register of Electors. He wrote his first major work in Mullingar - a play entitled A Brilliant Career which is now, unfortunately, lost.
Mullingar also plays an important role in Ulysses. In the book, Leopold Bloom’s daughter, Milly, is working as a photographer’s assistant in Mullingar and indeed, on June 18 (two days after Bloomsday ) she was due to attend a concert in The Greville Arms Hotel.
“I started writing it,” says Mr Gogan, “back in 2004, during the centenary celebrations of Bloomsday. And I’ve been working on it ever since. To me, Ulysses is by far the greatest piece of English literature I’ve ever read and I’ve always felt that its story needed to be told. Too many people shy away from Ulysses. Although it’s certainly a challenge, it is definitely not dull and boring! In fact it’s extremely funny and highly entertaining. Mullingar is rightly proud of its associations with Joyce, and Ulysses, and I’m delighted to be performing The Bloomsday Story in The Greville Arms Hotel on Joyce’s birthday, under that very roof where Milly Bloom was due to spend an evening two days after Bloomsday.”
Robert Gogan is no stranger to Ulysses. Last year he edited and produced a new edition of Ulysses which he called Ulysses Remastered. This new edition contains some additional punctuation and formatting, while adhering to the original text, to help people to read and enjoy the iconic novel.
The Bloomsday Story comes to The Greville Arms Hotel, Mullingar on February 1 and 2 at 8pm each night. Tickets are priced at €12/10. Tickets are available from The Greville Arms Hote.
For more information log on to www.thebloomsdaystory.com