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A PICTORIAL HISTORY



FOR MORE THAN A QUARTER OF A CENTURY, BLOOMSDAY IN MELBOURNE HAS CELEBRATED THE WORK OF JAMES JOYCE

 

BLOOMSDAY 2021 - A ZOOM CELEBRATION

Bloomsday in the Second Year of Plague

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MOLLY ON THE TRAMTRACKS - A HISTORY OF THE (MIS)ADVENTURES OF BLOOMSDAY IN MELBOURNE - FRANCES DEVLIN-GLASS

Founder and Creative Director of Bloomsday in Melbourne raids the archives to reminisce on Bloomsday in Melbourne's past and current adventures bringing Ulysses to life on the streets and in the theatres of Melbourne (and Dublin, and Kobe)

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THE FIRST BLOOMSDAY AND A HISTORY OF THE MARTELLO TOWER

Steve Carey describes the appropriately lubricated and chaotic scenes of the first Bloomsday in Dublin, 1954; and the history of the Martello Tower, Sandycove

 
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2020  ULYSSES IN PLAGUETIME

A Film Festival in 18 Episodes

Directed by Jennifer Sarah Dean

Film editing by Kurtis Lowden


In  Ulysses in Plaguetime, Bloomsday in Melbourne generated 18 films, one for each episode of Ulysses, which was created under social distancing protocols. Each film aimed to distil the style and literary colour of the literary original. The films are available here


More about Bloomsday 2020

 
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Syd Brisbane as Lenin

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Milijanica Cancar as Nadya Lenin

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Carr, Bennett, Tzara

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2019 TRAVESTIES BY TOM STOPPARD

Director:  Jennifer Sarah Dean

fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

Photos by Christa Hill


In Travesties, Tom Stoppard imagines meetings in Zurich in 1917 between three revolutionaries: James Joyce, Lenin, and Tristan Tzara. They debate art and its uses in styles derived from Oscar Wilde, Shakespeare and Joyce.

Directed by Jennifer Sarah Dean.

Photography by Christa Hill.

More about Bloomsday's Travesties

 
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2018 HOLY COW

DIRECTOR:  JENNIFER SARAH DEAN

FORTYFIVEDOWNSTAIRS, 45 FLINDERS LANE, MELBOURNE

James Joyce Slaughters the Sacred Cows of English Literature

Photos by Bernard Peasley


In Oxen of the Sun, Joyce rips through and riffs on 1000 years of English Literature, remaking it in his own image and for his own purposes, and explores fertility and gynaecology. Directed by Jennifer Sarah Dean.

Photography by Bernard Peasley.

More about Bloomsday 2018

 
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2017 GETTING UP JAMES JOYCE’S NOSE

DIRECTOR:  WAYNE PEARN,

MELBA SPIEGELTENT, COLLINGWOOD

Photos by Bernard Peasley


An inventory of the smells Joyce uses in his fiction took Bloomsday scripters into totally novel territory in making theatre of all that reeks and pongs and disgusts, as well  as what seduces and enthralls, and into the realm of circus.

More about Bloomsday 2017

 
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2016 A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN

DIRECTOR: WAYNE PEARN

FORTYFIVEDOWNSTAIRS, FLINDERS LANE, MELBOURNE

Photos by Bernard Peasley

In the centenary of the year in which Portrait was published, Bloomsday revised an existing script dating from 2007 and updated it to the 1950s. Set in the Garden of Eden, Stephen was a rebel without cause and a rebel without pause.

More about Bloomsday 2016

 
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2015 THE REEL JAMES JOYCE

DIRECTOR: WAYNE PEARN

LIBRARY AT THE DOCK, DOCKLANDS

Photos by Bernard Peasley


Knowing Joyce knew his film and used it in his fiction, Bloomsday invented a scenario in which Charlie Chaplin sought to make a silent film based on Ulysses in about 1925.

Read more about Bloomsday 2015

 
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2014 ULYSSES PRESTISSIMO

DIRECTOR: WAYNE PEARN

BRIGHTON THEATRE COMPANY, BRIGHTON

Photos by Bernard Peasley


Knowing Joyce knew his film and used it in his fiction, Bloomsday invented a scenario in which Charlie Chaplin sought to make a silent film based on Ulysses in about 1925.

Read more about Bloomsday 2014

 
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2013 THE SEVEN AGES OF JOYCE

DIRECTOR: WAYNE PEARN

FORTYFIVEDOWNSTAIRS,

45 FLINDERS LANE

Photos by Bob Glass

A revival of our 2000 script for Antipodean Bloomsday, The Seven Ages of Joyce gave scriptors another opportunity to rework a play which integrated the events of Joyce’s life with his fiction, using as framework Jaques’s speech on the ‘seven ages’ of man from As You Like It. The focus of the festival was however, quite different, in that matters of the life-cycle and its stages, and in particular, mourning came in for intensive treatment.

Read more about Bloomsday 2013

 
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2012 JOYCE’S MOLLY

DIRECTOR: BRENDA ADDIE

TRADES HALL, CARLTON

Photos by Maireid Sullivan


Bloomsday had often performed selections from Penelope, but never the whole chapter. This play, Yes, Yes, Yes! directed by Brenda Addie, was a choral piece featuring five Mollies, one of them male. They were of different ages and ethnicities, and genders, on the premise that Molly is EveryWoman.

Read more about Bloomsday 2012

 
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2011 AN IRISHMAN AND A JEW WENT INTO A PUB

DIRECTOR: BRENDA ADDIE

OPEN STAGE THEATRE,

UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE

Photos by Maireid Sullivan


2011 was the year for getting to the bottom of how Joyce viewed the Nation, Nationalism and the Celtic tradition. An Irishman and a Jew Go into a Pub was directed by Brenda Addie, and drew on the Cyclops episode of Ulysses.

Read more about Bloomsday 2011

 
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2010 JOYCE’S CARNIVAL OF VICE

DIRECTOR: BRENDA ADDIE

TRADES HALL, CARLTON

The focus in 2010 was on dramatizing Joyce’s Circe chapter. Set in a brothel in Nighttown, Carnivale of Nighttown, directed by Brenda Addie, offered scope for exploring not only the seedy and uninhibited side of Dublin, but also Bloom’s susceptibility to phantasmagoria.  


Read more about Bloomsdaysday 2010

 
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2009 WILDE ABOUT JOYCE

STATE LIBRARY OF VICTORIA

Writing in the slipstream of the Wildean trauma, and admiring him deeply, Joyce had to exercise caution about how he handled Wilde’s social and moral transgressions. This original play developed by the scriptors, and directed by Brenda Addie, placed Joyce and Wilde in literary purgatory anticipating fame in Joyce’s case and ruing its loss, in Wilde’s. Their attitudes to morality and transgression and aesthetics provided  for lively debate.

Read more about Bloomsday 2009

 
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2008 JOYCE AND MODERNITY

DIRECTOR: BRENDA ADDIE

MUSEUM OF VICTORIA

AND MONTIES RESTAURANT

SMITH STREET, COLLINGWOOD.

An arcade show, Brave New World?, directed by Brenda Addie, was designed to investigate Joyce’s keen interest in science and modernity was staged at the Museum on the eastern and northern side of the CBD, and moved around many of the Museum exhibits. The evening gala was a Roaratorio based on Finnegans Wake and Rod Baker’s original compositions.

Read more about Bloomsday 2008

 
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2007 JOYCE AND THE JESUITS

DIRECTOR: KAREN CORBETT

NEWMAN COLLEGE

UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE

Joyce’s upbringing by Jesuits (from his early schooling to graduation), rejection of them, and debt to them was the focus in 2007. The play, Jejune Jesuit, was an arcade-style show, and was an adaptation of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (directed by Karen Corbett).

Read more about Bloomsday 2007

 

2006 JOYCE’S FALL INTO LANGUAGE

DIRECTOR: BRENDA ADDIE

MCCULLOCH GALLERY

MELBOURNE

This Bloomsday began in Port Melbourne and then moved into an art gallery in the CBD.  It featured a play, Never a Cross Word, directed by Brenda Addie, in which Joyce’s linguistic and poetic inventiveness was the key focus.

Read more about Bloomsday 2006

 
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2005 HER SINGTIME SUNG

DIRECTOR: GILLIAN HARDY

STATE LIBRARY OF VICTORIA AND

VICTORIAN ARTISTS’ SOCIETY

Her Singtime Sung (directed by Gillian Hardy) was a revival of the play performed in Dublin in 2004, but with the Joyce passages restored. It celebrated Joyce’s radical treatment of gender in his novels, but did not let him off quite so lightly as a person.

Read more about Bloomsday 2005

 
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2004 HER SONG BE SUNG

DIRECTOR: GILLIAN HARDY

SUGAR CLUB, LEESON ST, DUBLIN

2004 featured two  Bloomsdays, one in Dublin and one in Melbourne:

  • Her Song be Sung (directed by Gillian Hardy) was a play Bloomsday in Melbourne was invited and commissioned to perform in Dublin. It was at the Sugar Club in Leeson Street, Dublin. It was a revamped version of the play we’d originally written in 2001, except that different copyright laws meant that the scripters were forced to update and Australianise Joyce’s text.

  • Bloomsday at the Celtic Club was a low-key Bloomsday Dinner with readings.


Read more about two BLoomsday events in 2004, in Dublin and Melbourne

 
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2003 WRITERLY JOYCE

STATE LIBRARY OF VICTORIA

2003 BLOOMSDAY

KOBE, JAPAN

2003 featured two Bloomsdays, one in Melbourne and one in Kobe (Japan):

  • Writerly Joyce  at the State Library of Victoria focused on the Oxen of the Sun episode and Joyce’s debt to the literary tradition and his need to re-form it.  

Read more about Bloomsday 2003 (Melbourne)

  • Bloomsday in Kobe, at Kobe College, explored the resonances between Japanese versions of womanhood and Joyce’s women of 1904.

Read more about Bloomsday in Melbourne in Kobe (Japan)​

 
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2002 JOYCE HITS

TRADES HALL, CARLTON

Trades hall is an iconic location in Melbourne – site of the campaign which delivered the first eight-hour day. Joyce’s  attitudes to work were the focus of this year’s treatment – his work as a writer, but also lots of different jobs, including the domestic work of women.

Read more about Bloomsday at Trades Hall in 2002

 
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2001 SEAWRACK AND SEASPAWN

DIRECTOR: HOWARD STANLEY

PORT MELBOURNE

This Bloomsday was preoccupied with issues of life and death and the interrelationship between them in Ulysses. Port Melbourne, place of many arrivals of migrants, was even in 2001, a place of urban destruction and renewal. The play, directed by Howard Stanley, presented in the evening, at Molly Bloom’s pub, explored Joyce’s relationship with the women in his life and the women of his fiction.

Read more about Bloomsday at Port Melbourne in 2001

 
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2000 ANTIPODEAN JOYCE

NORTH MELBOURNE

This year tracked how Dublin was similar to and different from North Melbourne in 1904, and urban living and poverty were the top of the list for selecting passages. Additionally,  in line with it being an antipodean celebration, anything upside down and inside out was the focus for this year’s writing. Surprising resonances were unpacked in this most peripatetic of Bloomsdays, the last of the 8am starts. Bloomsday was intrigued by some Finnegans Wake resonances with Australia, in particular the strange coincidence of HCE, one of the main characters, having had a highly productive career in Melbourne as Attorney-General and the founder of the University of Melbourne. A play, The Seven Ages of Joyce, was directed by Howard Stanley, and was performed on a minute stage, cabaret-style, at the Czech Club.

Read more about Antipodean Bloomsday 2000 

 
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1999 MYTHIC JOYCE

SPRING STREET AND EASTERN HILL

This year’s Bloomsday tracked how Joyce used Homer. This time the glamorous north-eastern edge of Melbourne was the stage set. Beginning with Homeric invocations at 8am, almost every episode was explored. Parliament Station became the entrance to Hades; the steps of Parliament House became a site of Aeolian windy rhetoric; and wandering rocks were encountered in unlikely places. The Homecoming, the gala, was at the Town Hall. Simon McGuinness directed this day’s theatre, but was injured before the first performance.

Read More about Bloomsday 1999

 
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1998 JOYCE AND MUSIC

WILLIAMSTOWN

Joyce’s writing revels in the musical, and Williamstown in 1998, with its cottagey streetscapes and many public buildings of the late nineteenth century, was a perfect stage set for exploring music of the period and how it is deployed in Joyce’s fiction. Bloomsday Players enacted Sirens in a café amazingly named Sirens at the beach; the Feis in which Joyce was second to John McCormack featured many songs from Ulysses and was staged theatrically at Williamstown Town Hall; a church,  the Time-Ball Tower and the  old Mechanics Institute were all sites for readings and a gala theatrical concert, all foregrounding Joyce’s catholic musical tastes.

 
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1997 THE SCANDAL OF ULYSSES

MELBOURNE LEGAL PRECINCT

The first of the thematised Bloomsdays found its natural location in the legal precinct of the city, around the Supreme Court and in Collins Street. How did Joyce court controversy? What resistance did the novel encounter? Joyce

documents and dramatises many legal provocations of different kinds.

Read more about Bloomsday 1997

 
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BLOOMSDAY 1994-1996

Bloomsdays in Melbourne were originally peripatetic, and based on the conceit that Melbourne could be thought of as an antipodean Dublin. Bloomsday reveled in the correspondences – the grand c19 architecture, the bay, the cemetery, the churches, and many, many quotidian venues which spoke to locations in Ulysses. Bloomsday sought places that resonated with readings from the novel, contextualized each reading, began early and ended late. It was the beginning of a love affair with the novel and both the cities we encountered.  Scripts differed annually, but the timetable of the novel was usually closely adhered to. Simon McGuinness directed from 1994-1999.


Read more about Bloomsdays in Melbourne between 1994 and 1996