From a simmer to a rolling boil…..’Portrait’ as you’ve never seen it

Rebel without a Pause. Matt Dorning as Stephen. Photo by Bernard Peasley.
Rebel without a Pause. Matt Dorning as Stephen. Photo by Bernard Peasley.

Get Tickets Soon…. Some notes about what’s happening from the Bloomsday’s Green Room

The boiler house is now well and truly stoked for an exciting Portrait which has its Opening Night less than three weeks away on 16 June (with a preview – at bargain prices – the night before). What a stimulating  journey it has been. We’re into the fifth week of 100 hours of rehearsal, the stage-manager is on hand, the actors are all but costumed and props being made. Bump-in is Queen’s Birthday Monday.  We’ll be revealing our cast progressively on FaceBook. Hope you’ve friended us!

The cast is led by Matthew Dorning, as Stephen Dedalus, and the tag-line we’ve given Stephen is ‘Rebel without a Pause’. We think gets to the heart of Joyce’s equivocal treatment of Stephen’s radicalism and Joyce’s unique and dissident take on the artist as hero.  The thinking about the play was crystallised initially by a James Dean-inspired graphic generated by Nikki, partner of one of our committee folk. We didn’t end up going with her image, but it was generative. We can’t give away too much, but Matt’s own eye-catching jacket, we think, tells the story the Director (and before him, Joyce) wanted to tell: Stephen as talented loser – moody, broody, angsty, and finally, and a bit surprisingly, very funny. We can certainly promise you a Portrait that is different from how you ever imagined it – an expressionist version, with some  visionary moments.


Ethical debate as gamesmanship
Ethical debate as gamesmanship – Liam Gillespie as Cranly and Matt Dorning as Stephen.

Rehearsal photos, by Joel Munro, a student intern from VU, were of the scene in which Cranly, Stephen’s close friend, played by Liam Gillespie, stands him up over his theological and ethical intransigence. It’s a cracker of a debate in which the di are quite evenly loaded.

Director, Wayne Pearn, in conversation over a knotty point with actors.




We’re excited by the way this production is shaping up. And a bit concerned about our Director, Wayne Pearn, who keeps saying that ‘Portrait is the exorcism I’ve waited all my life for’. What is going on?

Please don’t forget to book – Portrait needs to be booked via the theatre. Opening night is nigh, and seats for the Bloomsday and Sunday matinee are filling fast. Preview night is booking well too.

We also need your Dinner and Seminar bookings and those can be booked via Bloomsday.  You can make a single booking for  the Seminar + Dinner or separately for each event.

If you need a map to plan your day, there’s now one on site. The two venues are a mere 170m from each other. A doddle up a slight hill to get from Papa Goose to forty-five.

Frances Devlin-Glass is the Director of Bloomsday in Melbourne and has been running it since 1994, mounting fresh theatrical adaptations and original plays, and a seminar, annually. The aim of Bloomsday in Melbourne is to share the joys of Joyce and to demystify him. This very lively group of Joyce enthusiasts has an international profile and was in 2004 invited to perform in Dublin. Frances has taught Joyce in Melbourne universities, and overseas, and to interested groups of readers since 1979. She enjoys the opportunity to continually engage with Joyce's texts and with other Joyceans.

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