Bloomsday 2017: Getting Up James Joyce’s Nose

Sniffing out James Joyce’s Biggest Secret

CLICK HERE to download the 2017 Festival Flyer

Join us on a brand new sensory adventure into James Joyce’s masterpiece, Ulysses, as Bloomsday in Melbourne unveils its latest excursion into the world of James Joyce – Getting Up James Joyce’s Nose, the centrepiece of its 2017 festival. You can book for any one event, or all three.


Three Main Festival Events:

  1. Getting Up James Joyce’s Nose: A new play directed by Wayne Pearn at Melbourne’s permanent Spiegeltent, The Melba Spiegeltent, at 35 Johnston St., Collingwood. Steampunk-themed, with a bit of vaudeville (The Tatty Tenors), a bit of circus, and a lot of Joyce (14-18 June. 5 Performances only). How to get to theatre and restaurant.
  2. A Seminar, Sniffing around Joyce’s Dublin, with papers by Melbourne Joyceans, Steve Carey and Frances Devlin-Glass. 16 June, 4pm at Mamma Vittoria’s Restaurant, 343 Smith St. Collingwood.
  3. Bloomsday Dinner, 16 June, 6pm. The Honorable Barry Jones, Joyce advocate and polymath, will give the After-Dinner Speech. At Mamma Vittoria’s (see above)


The magic of the Spiegeltent

Why smell?

Joyce famously boasted that you could rebuild Dublin from the pages of his epic, Ulysses, the most admired novel of modernity. The play, Getting up James Joyce’s Nose , takes up this challenge: could you reconstruct the smell of Joyce’s Dublin 1904 from the pages of Ulysses? Resoundingly its scripters claim, ‘Yes, Yes, Yes!’ To notice the insane meticulosity of his interest in smell, the Cinderella of the senses, and the sense most likely to be considered beneath notice by literary artists, is to be caught into Joyce’s radicalism as a thinker and his surreal comedy, and to engage with him as an artist in new ways.

Ulysses invites one to smell not only the pleasantly aromatic and fragrant, but also to transgress – to question the very bases of discrimination: what disgusts us and why? Why are certain smells indelible in memory? What’s the link between smell and eroticism? Smell and place in memory? How do animals relish smell in ways that are similar to and different from humans? How does smell create ‘nice’, ‘civilised’ bodies, and do these assumptions invite re-thinking?

Join Bloomsday as his unruly and differently erotically smelly characters  lead his nose on a journey of discovery through Dublin 1904.

Meet the Theatre Director

WAYNE PEARN is a much-awarded theatre director, and has worked as an actor, director and producer for over thirty years. He is best known for his work as founder and Artistic Director of the independent Hoy Polloy Theatre Company which commenced in 1993. Among productions Wayne has directed for Hoy Polloy was One Last White Horse by Dermot Bolger which was the recipient of the ABC Radio National Best Production award at the Melbourne Fringe Festival in 1994.  He recently revived a show initially performed for Bloomsday, Jack Hibberd’s Australian classic, A Stretch for the Imagination, for a Hibberd Retrospective, and directed G Steve Gomes in  He has directed for Bloomsday since 2013, and in that time has staged four very different plays: The Seven Ages of Joyce (2013 at fortyfivedownstairs), Ulysses Prestissimo (a slam version of the novel, in 2014 at Brighton Theatre Company), The Reel James Joyce (an original play about Joyce and cinema, in 2015 at Library at the Dock), and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (2016 at fortyfivedownstairs).

Meet the Actors

Click here to meet the creative team….


Bloomsday 2017 is proudly supported by

School of Cultural and Communication Studies, Deakin University

Buck Mulligan’s Whiskey Bar and Irish Bookshop, Northcote

Celtic Club Melbourne


generous private patrons