Bloomsday in Melbourne

Literature & Publishing

Bloomsday in Melbourne 2016

The 23rd celebration of Bloomsday in Melbourne will mark the centenary of the publication of James Joyce’s first novel, A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS A YOUNG MAN by bringing it to the stage.

Days Left

Bloomsday will mount six performances of its original adaptation of James Joyce’s first novel, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, directed by Wayne Pearn, at fortyfivedownstairs (theatre), 45 Flinders Lane between 15-19 June 2016.

This play dramatises the artist as hero to himself and social rebel, and takes a wryly humorous look at the many forces that create personality and the social self and it asks probing questions about the extent and nature of personal freedom. An associated seminar will explore the significance of this most modern of novels one hundred years after its first publication.

Since 1994, Bloomsday in Melbourne has mounted a festival celebrating the work of James Joyce.

There have been three components: the centrepiece has been a professionally produced play based on a thematic aspect of Joyce’s fiction, complemented by a seminar and dinner. Because Joyce is more accessible to the ear than the eye, Bloomsday has always been a collaboration between Joyceans and thespians. The Bloomsday players commit annually to demystifying the novel, pointing up the comedy, the high seriousness, the parodies and the wickedly subversive, emancipatory politics and thinking.

Bloomsday prides itself on mounting fresh original scripts annually, designed to illuminate a strand of the novel, e.g., why did Joyce court scandal? What does he have to say about Irish nationalism? About women? About sexuality? More information can be found in our archive.
Deemed by the New York Times in 2002 as one of the top five Bloomsdays internationally, Bloomsday was commissioned by the James Joyce Centre in Dublin to perform ‘Her Singtime Sung’ a theatrical piece on Joyce’s women (both real-life and fictional) in Dublin in 2004 at the Re-Joyce 2004 Festival.

Both Joycean aficionados and novices participate in Bloomsday.