2010 CARNIVALE OF NIGHTTOWN
Director Brenda Addie
Bloom: Drew Tingwell
STEPHEN, Phantasm of Bloom’s Mother: Glenn van Oosterom:
ZOE, Phantaomsms of Judge, Sexologist, Barrister: Uschi Felix
Cissy Caffrey, Dog, Street Urchin, Phantasm of May Dedalus: Paige Marshall
Bella/Bello, Private Compton, Phantasm of upper- class woman: Jason Cavanagh
Blazes Boylan, Malachi ‘Buck’ Mulligan, and others: Daniel Niceski
Mrs Breen, Corny Kelleher, Phantasms of Cardinal, Bishop, voice of a god: Bill Johnston
Phantasms of Rudolph and Leopold Virag (Father and Grandfather of Bloom): Glenn Hunt
Phantasm of Molly Bloom: Roisin Murphy/Deirdre Gillespie
Lighting: Scott Allan
A REVIEW OF CARNIVALE OF NIGHTTOWN
By Trevor Code, writing for Tinteán, the Irish-Australian magazine
Another Bloomsday has come and gone. It is a strange phenomenon, this celebration of a book, often by people who have not read it, and it ranges from tourism, to social gatherings, to high culture. These activities take place in over five hundred cities of the world and appeal to Irish of various counties, the Irish diaspora, to literati, to international Hibernians, to “stage Irish,” to Pioneers, to protestants, to professors, to “Plastic Paddies,” and to taxi-drivers. It commemorates, not the birth or death of the author, nor the publication of the book, but a beautiful spring day in which the book is set, and yet, as we encounter it here, this day might have its most trenchant manifestation in wintry Melbourne Australia.
It is said that a pub crawl based on Joyce’s Ulysses and organized by Patrick Kavanagh and Anthony Cronin in 1954 fuelled the tourist walks in Dublin, and group serial readings enriched the universities and public houses in the USA, but the Melbourne tradition has grown into thematic playwriting, professional performance, scholarly papers, selected readings, and feasting. I don’t think there is anything quite like it, and nothing which matches this explosive manifestation. Yet it is almost a best-kept secret; for you could still buy tickets on the day!
In what was possibly their most ambitious and expressive program yet, Bloomsday Melbourne Inc tackled the voluminous “Circe” chapter, under the heading, “Joyce’s Carnival of Vice.” Some idea of the gargantuan task faced by the script-writers may be gained from the fact that this chapter is about the length of a full novel, that it is set up on the page to look like a playscript with copious stage directions, that the subject matter necessarily crosses the borders of what some would call good taste, and the writing strays from objective realism, to expressionism, to surrealism, to satire, often without signposts or borders. Both the writing and the subject matter are often dark, and yet there is much that is witty, outrageous, and sometimes just plain naughty or sophomoric.
WHAT PATRONS HAD TO SAY ABOUT THE PLAY
'Yesterday I was lucky enough to be there for the nighttown/Circe production at Trades Hall. I would not go so far as to call myself a Joyce scholar, but I have been reading him for more than 50 years, and maybe 'Circe' is one of my favourite bits, and so I know it quite well, and have seen several depictions elsewhere. I thought the production was absolutely spectacular, and the best by far that I have seen- I loved every ticking second of it- my cheeks were wet with tears of laughter and sadness.''
THE BLOOMSDAY SEMINAR
at Trades Hall, Carlton