Happy Christmas to all our patrons

candle and holly

Bloomsday in Melbourne thanks patrons for your warm support in 2016: three events to honour the centenary of the Easter Rising were packed out, as was our season at fortyfivedownstairs to mark the centenary of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. We thank too the generous folk who not only come to our productions, but put their hands into their pockets to give us a helping hand along the expensive route of creating theatrical events.

The committee also thanks also our wonderful team of creative people – from Wayne Pearn who has directed so imaginatively for us for the last four years in utterly differently styled productions, and for the talented actors, writers, lighting personnel and stage managers, who have graced our productions, both in Fringe Events and for the Bloomsday Festival, with such brio. They are one and all an intelligent, generous and hard working team. They bring so much to the texts we seek to animate.

I’d also like personally to thank the committee for their often unacknowledged work behind the scenes, scripting, sourcing and making props and costumes – the jobs are endless and they are indefatigable.

Another very important section of the Bloomsday community are those who study Ulysses and this year, for the first time, Finnegans Wake. I was initially very wary of the new enterprise, but it has proven deeply satisfying for the members of this group, which very easily incorporates new members. So, if your bag is communal reading, why not join us next year, when we take up the reins again. Watch this space for details.

Another group of people who

As we leave 2016 behind, we face into 2017 with arguably our most original and ground-breaking script, Getting Up James Joyce’s Nose.  In response to a conversation between Dennis Paphitis (founding CEO of Aesop) and Sissel Tolaas (a scientist and Olfactory Installation Artist), both olfactory experts,  the committee catapulted itself into a systematic inventory of smells in Ulysses.  The outcome was nothing short of astonishing, and next year, patrons will have the opportunity to experience a play based on a 412-page database of smells.  And not just any play – it will be mounted in the Melba Spiegeltent (it has its base in Collingwood) and will be a steampunk extravaganza with elements of circus.  It has been 2.5 years in the making, our most arduous, and we trust entertaining, script yet. It goes where only Bloomsday in Melbourne dares to go!  It will be directed by Wayne Pearn.  We look forward to sharing it with you.

We’ll also be running an Introductory Ulysses Class, and you already know that the inimitable Niki na Meadhra will be back with some Táin-inspired performances.

Our registration with the Australian Cultural Fund has been delayed, but it is happening and close to finalisation. There will be an explosion of Bloomsday activity in the New Year. Meanwhile, we hope you enjoy your break, your families and the the New Year, as we plan to.  In the words of the master,

with our best youlldied greedings to Pep and Memmy, and the old folkers below and beyant, wishing them all very merry Incarnations in this land of the  Livvy [Yarra] and plenty of preprosperousness through their coming new yonks.


Frances Devlin-Glass for Bloomsday in Melbourne.


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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