Bloomsday in Melbourne runs three kinds of events:
This is the main event annually, and it is a mini festival on and about 16 June, normally involving an original play, a dinner and a seminar. The festival celebrates the novels of James Joyce, usually Ulysses. In 2017, the festival celebrates Joyce’s meticulous attention to smell, a revolutionary tilt at Victorian literature’s reticence about the body, with an original play, Getting Up James Joyce’s Nose, directed by Wayne Pearn, performed steam-punk style in the Melba Spiegeltent from 14-18 June 2017. More details to be unveiled!
Bloomsday mounts plays (Irish or Irish-Australian), play readings and other literary-themed events which function as community-building fundraisers (which enable us to hire theatres, insure our actors and patrons etc. for our main activity, Bloomsday). All proceeds from fringe events fund Bloomsdays annually.
In 2017, the first Fringe event was the return, at the Celtic Club, on 24-25 February 2017, by popular acclaim of Niki na Meadhra with a one woman show, Fair and Furious: The Women of the Tain. Táin bó Cuailgne is the exuberant, extravagant, often comic, pre-Christian epic of Ulster, and Niki is a master-story-teller who has fallen in love with its powerful and feisty women.
These courses, at different levels of difficulty and building on one another systematically, are designed to demystify and increase our patrons’ enjoyment of, and knowledge about, Joyce. Two courses are on offer in 2017, with the possibility of an Advanced Ulysses course, depending on student interest. An intensive Introductory Course is planned for 25 March and is almost fully subscribed. One was run in late February, and an Advanced course will start on 31 March at U3A.