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Kevin Dee (as Joyce) and Stephanie Lillis as Lucia


Director Wayne Pearn

Older James Joyce  Kevin Dee

Stephen Dedalus & others: Tosh Greenslade

Nora Barnacle, Molly Bloom, & others: Corinne Dabies

Lucia, Mary Driscoll & Others: Stephanie Lillis

Leopold Bloom & Others: Drew Tingwell

William Shakespeare’s Jaques, Buck Mulligan, Dr Carl Jung & Others: Liam Gillespie

May Joyce,  Sylvia Beach, Bray cousin & Others: Debra Low

Father Dolan, Assistant DA, M.Darantières,  & Others: Matthew Dorning 

Father Arnall, and others:  Gerry Halliday

Musicians: Juliette Hughes, Richard Hobson, Greg Rochlin

All the world’s a stage,

And all the men and women merely players:

They have their exits and their entrances;

And one man in his time plays many parts,

His acts being seven ages.

                 William Shakespeare, As you Like It, Act II, sc. vii

In The Seven Ages of Joyce, Bloomsday in Melbourne gives you the many parts Joyce played in his lifetime, through the cracked and distorting looking glass of his art. As mewling infant, whining schoolboy, sighing lover, one who sought the bubble reputation, the most transgressive artist of modern times amuses, infuriates, challenges, and moves. Does the literary genius cannibalise his closest family and friends? What are the costs of his art? What are the benefits?Never known for Joyce sanctification, Bloomsday in Melbourne’s 2013 offering is a biographical play, with music, which uses as a frame Shakespeare’s pithy summary of the course of a life. Additionally, the play ranges widely over Joyce’s fiction, and adds dollops of burlesque and lashings of his humane (and satiric) comedy. It gives a full account of his life and death and ranges from A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, via Ulysses,  to Finnegans Wake. 





Writing for Tintean

In 'The Stars Align for Bloomsday', Code enthuses: 'possibly the best Bloomsday offering in this diverse world. It was equal on so many counts to all that professional theatre has been offering in this fair city. I have attended Bloomsday offerings in Dublin, and in the USA, and also many previous presentations in Melbourne, and I am confident of this judgement.

And Carey was impressed by the casting: 'You pays your money and you takes your Joyce – in this case, two for the price of one, with James the younger (Tosh Greenslade) all jejune callowness and James the older (Kevin Dee) haughty and self-regarding. The principal women – Joyce’s Nora of course, Molly Bloom, the Joyces’ schizophrenic daughter Lucia – were outstandingly vivid, courtesy of Corinne Davies and Stephanie Lillis (who also makes the best miaow I’ve yet heard from Poldy’s cat) respectively. Drew Tingwell portrayed both a larger-than-life Simon Joyce, father of our man, and a compassionate, mature Leopold Bloom (modelled almost directly on Italo Svevo, if this production was to be believed).'

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Theatre Press

this character driven-play with music and singing relies on extraordinarily versatile actors, who must decipher and showcase some heartily challenging text and structure.

Much of his cast of nine require the skill and commitment to interchange between as many as ten characters, consistently manipulating vocal tone, accent, physicality and objective – an assignment for only the brave and experienced performer.

Kevin Dee, as the novelist in question, faces the arduous task of writing out loud and recalling passages at great length, yet does so with ease, while Corrine Davies and Stephanie Lillis, who play a variety of the major female roles, excel at moving between comic charisma and gut-wrenching tragedy.

The supporting cast, however, not only compliment and genuinely support the leads, they provide a much-needed injection of pace and spice, with outstanding performances throughout.

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Their unsolicited comments

 Wayne Pearn's Directorial style conveyed a sense of relaxation, unity and enjoyment in the cast, whilst at the same time delivering  truly accomplished and polished performances. The ease with which the cast assumed their many and varied roles showed complete confidence in themselves, and their Director. Greg's wonderful multi instrument playing was so enjoyable and accomplished, as were Juliette and Richard's combined, and solo, performances.

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at Papa Goose, 3pm, 16 June 2016




‘Death and Mourning in Ulysses’

Death is present from the first pages of Ulysses, and will remain so, threaded, as it were, through the book. I cannot do justice to all that Joyce, via Ulysses, has to say about death, so will focus on two deaths and the mourning processes that follow. First, the reaction of Stephen - the fictionalised young Joyce- to the death of his mother. Second, the reaction of Leopold Bloom and his wife Molly to the death of their 11 day old son, Rudy, 11 years before the book is set. 

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Dr Jo Beatson is a psychiatrist and psychoanalytic psychotherapist of many years' experience. She is interested in the illumination literature offers to an understanding-in-depth of the human condition. It represents an invaluable adjunct to medical and psychological theorising. Joyce’s delineation of two very different reactions to the death of a loved person in Ulysses exemplifies this point.


‘The Obstetrician Examines Ulysses

 The ‘right witty scholars’, the medical interns carousing in the refectory, now tackle the thorny ethical problem of should the mother’s right to life have precedence over that of the unborn child’s, and opposing viewpoints are put forward, with Leopold Bloom, ever the appeaser, replying along the lines that it didn’t much matter, for either way, the church got the fees for a funeral. But this is no time-faded dilemma- it persists in Ireland, at least, to this day....

There are many other references and allusions to pregnancy and childbirth, including gory descriptions of breech births, cranial destruction, eclampsia, the evils of contraception, abortion, bestiality, problems with the delivery of the placenta, precipitate labour, artificial insemination, Siamese twins and so on....

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James King trained in obstetrics in Dublin in the late 1960s and 1970s. As a reader of Ulysses before his residence in Dublin, his curiosity was piqued by Joyce’s extraordinary depth of knowledge about human reproduction. Having experienced Dublin life and maternity care in particular, he offers a unique perspective on, and a light-hearted inspection of, the childbirth chapter in Ulysses (Oxen of the Sun).

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