2017 GETTING UP JAMES JOYCE'S NOSE

THE MELBA SPIEGELTENT, JOHNSTON ST., COLLINGWOOD

Director Wayne Pearn

Leopold Bloom Silas James 

James Joyce Steve Gome

Molly and Others  Christina Costigan

Nose Steven Dawson

Blazes Boylan, Stephen Dedalus and others Matt Dorning

THE TATTY TENORS

Ralph Devlin

Jimmy Ahern

Ron Jackson

Ted Chapman (Piano)


Lighting Stelios Karagiannis 

Set Design George Tranter and Ian Green

Stage Manager Ness Harwood

Joyce boasted that one could reconstruct Dublin from the pages of his masterpiece, but could you also experience how Dublin smelt? 

Joyce’s exuberantly experimental novel questions the pleasures not only of aromatic smells but ones that society deems unpalatable and disgusting; it asks about the link between what we eat and how we smell; it raises questions about class (good food and bad; good neighbourhoods and bad);  it goes to the question familiar to readers since Proust, of how some smells take one undeviatingly to strong emotions and significant places of the past; its smells also raise questions of identity and place. But most significantly for Joyce, the question of smell buys into to debates about the body and human sexuality that were intellectually cutting-edge in medicine and psychology in the period in which he was writing. 

 Wayne Pearn's imaginative production, set in a Victorian circus tent, with Molly on an erotic high-wire, took its design ideas from steam-punk with Joyce as the cartographer and Bloom on a journey of exploration of the smelly and arousing world of Dublin 1904. Molly Bloom in this scenario is his muse and agent provocateur. The vaudeville note, struck by the Tatty Tenors and the commedia-inspired Nose, ensured that Joyce's comedy was full frontal.

 
 
 

REVIEWS OF GETTING UP JAMES JOYCE'S NOSE

PHILIP HARVEY

Ulysses is famously an exposition and celebration of the five senses. Rarely in literature had the sensory, sensual nature of all human experience been given such constant immediacy in a novel. The sight, sound, feel, and taste of Dublin is worded up on every page. But of all the precious five, smell is the most challenging to turn effectively into words.


Handed such a whiffy text, director Wayne Pearn took a deep breath and turned it into a play piece of encaptivating ingenuity. 


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WHAT DID OUR PATRONS HAVE TO SAY?


93% rated it good, very good, or excellent, and 56% rated it excellent. Here's snippets of their comments:


“Very good concept and script, very good casting and staging, and excellent performances.”

“Fabulous production – the abridged text captured the spirit & exuberance of Joyce's novel and language.”

“The production was very clever, while remaining true to Joyce's thoughts and words. This was an excellent show and a very fitting culmination to the Bloomsday celebrations.”

“Inventive, engaging, superb performance.”

 engagement!

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Bloomsday's New Patron, Barry Jones AO

and Theatre Director, Wayne Pearn


 

BLOOMSDAY 2017 SEMINAR: SMELL IN JOYCE

STEVE CAREY

Seminarian

BARRY JONES

Seminar Chair & Patron of Bloomsday in Melbourne

FRANCES DEVLIN-GLASS

Seminarian

 

‘Joyce’s Organ Works – Making Scents of Ulysses’



James Joyce’s literary masterpiece IS to be sniffed at. Despite its status as the ‘Cinderella sense,’ smell is in fact the most evocative. And Joyce is one of the few authors to give it its due: Joyce picks his nose – and runs with it… this talk kicks up a stink!

Dr. Steve Carey is, like Joyce, an ex-Catholic eldest son of a father from Dublin and a mother from the west of Ireland. He trained to become a priest, completed a D. Phil. at Oxford under Richard Ellmann, became a magazine editor and publisher, and is now a Clinical Hypnotherapist and runs a school teaching people to become Hypnotherapists.

‘Led by the Nose: the Uses of Smell in Ulysses’


Joyce demonstrates the ‘meticulosity of the insane’ in documenting smell in Ulysses, a fact noted by only two scholars. As well as doing with smell what contemporary naturalistic writers (mainly continental) were doing, odours (sweet and astringent) take Joyce deeply into place and memory, and into discussion about the body and what was previously unspeakable. Most interestingly, it takes Joyce into the territory newly colonised by late nineteenth-century sexology, and musty body smells become a strangely perverse bedfellow on Bloom’s return to his marital bed.



Associate Professor Frances Devlin-Glass was among the first cohorts of students to study Ulysses at University of Queensland, and has taught Ulysses to generations of students and adult learners since the early 1980s. She was a founder of Bloomsday in Melbourne in 1994, and has had a leading role in almost every script produced for Bloomsday in Melbourne, an avocation she finds an invigorating way of continuing to investigate Joyce’s works. She also writes scholarly articles on Joyce.

 

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