A thrilling new adaptation of James Joyce's, Penelope Chapter, “Yes! Reflections of Molly Bloom”, is set to tour theatre venues across Ireland. Described as “expertly performed” by The New York Times, this one woman performance promises a daring theatrical journey into the mind and heart of the beloved Ulysses character. The show is starring New York based, Irish actor, Aedín Moloney, who adapted the piece in collaboration with Irish author Colum McCann. Traditional Irish music fans are in for a treat as the accompanying music to the show was especially recorded by Moloney’s father, Paddy Moloney, legendary founder and leader of The Chieftains, who passed away in 2021.
The show was awarded Winner of the Outer Critics Circle Award for best solo performance during its premiere run in New York. Now the piece will tour multiple venues in Ireland including a premiere at the Wexford Arts Centre (May 4th-5th) and a closing run at The New Theatre, Dublin (June 13 - June 17) for what promises to be a theatrical highlight of this year’s Bloomsday Festival. Speaking ahead of the tour, Moloney remarked that the show is in honour of her late father:
“Bringing our adaptation of Molly Bloom back home to Ireland is a truly remarkable experience for us all. It's an emotional journey honouring my dad and his immense contribution to Irish music with the incredible score he arranged and recorded especially for this show. Now it will be heard by audiences across the homeland, making this return extra special.”
The show is a unique take on James Joyce's masterpiece set in Dublin in the early 20th Century:
“With an empty nest, an unfulfilling affair, and a marriage long past its prime, Molly Bloom contemplates the love that she and her philandering husband, “Poldy,” once shared. Her unsentimental stream of consciousness is a song of songs that reaches backward and forward across the centuries. She seeks to reanimate that love, and ends up discovering herself - as a woman seeking purpose and a desire to be relevant, even after that love is over and her children are gone. Through reflections, Dublin becomes Gibraltar, age becomes youth, and a small room in Ireland becomes the world.” remarked Moloney.
Moloney describes how the project has been 30 years in the making:
“I've been fascinated by Ulysses since my youth, and after 30 years of exploring the character's depths, it was author Colum McCann who inspired me to turn those musings into reality - and in 2003, I began work on the adaptation. I recorded the full monologue with music by my father in 2017. Colum partnered with me to complete the adaptation in 2019, and his involvement in this project has enabled us to bring together a show that will captivate fans of James Joyce as well as introducing new generations to one of literature's greatest works”.
Molly Bloom is a fictional character in the 1922 novel Ulysses by James Joyce. The character was modelled on Joyce’s wife Nora Barnacle and the day upon which the novel is set in 16 June 1904 is now called Bloomsday.
“Yes! Reflections of Molly Bloom” will tour Wexford Arts Centre May 4-5; The Wicklow Heather, May 11th; The Watergate Kilkenny May 20th; The Town Hall Theatre Galway May 30th; Droichead Arts Centre Drogheda June 1st-2nd; The Hawkswell Theatre, Sligo June 7th; St. John’s Listowel Co. Kerry, June 9th; Narrative 4 Limerick, June 10th; and The New Theatre, Dublin, as part of the Bloomsday Festival, June 13-17. Audience’s should be age 16+.
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