Introducing ‘Ulysses Awake’, at Blackrock Shopping Centre on Bloomsday. Photo by Sandy Carey


As part of Bloomsday Festival at the James Joyce Centre, on Friday, June 14th, in an act of creative synergy that Joyce himself would be proud of, we did a pop-up scene reading from my play “Brancusi Bird”, by way of introduction, and of welcome, to Amanda Norton’s presentation on photographer Berenice Abbott.  The scene took place in Berenice Abbott’s photographic studio of course, imagining Lucia Joyce’s photo session with her when she took those iconic photographs of her dancing.  It was wonderful to have Amanda Norton herself reading in for Berenice Abbott, as well as Lucy McCabe, who is currently working on Lucia Joyce and film, to read in for Lucia Joyce.  There was something very right about that.  2024 Gaiety School of Acting graduates Darragh Scannell and John Maher kindly read in for Tom McGreevy and George Antheil, who also feature in the scene, as well as doing the all-important stage directions, with aplomb.  It was magical how they brought the scene to life, which explores the taking of those important dancing photographs of Lucia Joyce, the key evidence we have of her dancing prowess today.  Thanks to Amanda Norton for collaborating, and including the scene in her talk!


Amelia Brady’s instagram post about Lucy McCabe’s event on Lucia Joyce and film at Bloomsday Film Festival in James Joyce Centre Volta Room

Amanda’s talk about Berenice Abbott in the context of Joyce’s creative women was enlightening, and heartwarming, given the fact that Abbott was photographed by her student, Amanda’s grandfather, holding his son – Amanda’s father – on her lap.


Then, the following morning, Saturday, June 15th, as part of Bloomsday Film Festival I partook in Lucy McCabe’s event about representations of Lucia Joyce on film, alongside artists Joyce Garvey and Frances Mezzetti upstairs in James Joyce Centre’s Volta Room.

On the big day, Sunday June 16th, for my Bloomsday pièce de resistance I had the great honour of introducing Nastaise Leddy’s all-singing, all-dancing, adaptation of the great book, ‘Ulysses Awake’ at Blackrock Shopping Centre, with an extraordinarily talented cast, choreography by Orla McFeely, and an original score by Aidan Mulloy.  A fantastic show, and suitably joyous for the occasion.