Evanna Lynch as Lucia Joyce in “Lucia Joyce: FULL CAPACITY”

Lucia Joyce: Full Capacity will screen in a fantastic lineup curated by Tommy Creagh at the Irish Film Institute in “Brief Encounters: New Joycean Shorts” as part of Bloomsday Film Festival 2022 this Saturday June 11th at 4pm.  (Choreography by Megan Kennedy, Costume by Claire Garvey, Edited by Aoife Carey, Camera by Brian O’Reilly).  More details and to book here.

Since making this film, which is part of a larger project of reclamation, the wonderful Evanna Lynch has published her memoir “The Opposite of Butterfly Hunting”, and you can catch her performing Molly Bloom’s soliloquy at London’s Carlton House live this Bloomsday.  I would love to see that!

In the meantime, I’ve contributed a long essay entitled “Fail Better: Lucia Joyce and the Abbey Theatre Ballets” to the current issue of Joyce Studies Annual, and never fear, am developing more creative work of reclamation on this important but misunderstood artist – which will emerge in its own good time.  As part of this, we visited Lucia Anna Joyce’s lonely Northampton grave to pay our respects on March 31st last, and had a stroll around her former domicile St. Andrew’s Mental Hospital. It was a weird and fascinating day, connecting with the spirit of Lucia Joyce in the place where she spent the last 31 years of her life (1951 – 1982) in seclusion and solitude.

After an intense family life since her 1907 birth in Trieste, the last time Lucia set eyes on her parents was at the age of 32, in 1939. Her father’s last efforts before his untimely 1941 death were to get Lucia out of occupied France to Lausanne to be near the family.  After his death nobody followed up on his wishes. Lucia was cast adrift, and left on her own.  Her mother, who lived until 1951, never visited her only daughter again, despite being nearby in Paris in 1948 where she was selling Joyce papers (at the La Hune exhibition), including a photograph of Lucia in her prime.  Her father once said that his daughter “shall never be incarcerated among the English”, which is exactly what happened.  Why did nobody intervene and honour his wishes? These hard facts and questions are very challenging to understand, but I am doing my best to get my head around them, as I attempt to do justice to, and shine light upon Lucia, the artist.  Work in progress!

St Andrew's Hospital Northampton

St Andrew’s Hospital Northampton, March 31st, 2022

Paying respects at the grave of Lucia Anna Joyce, March 21st, 2022

Note the headstone is quite wobbly and could do with some securing.