Each month a member of the crew behind the Bloomsday Survival Kit will provide an insight into the motivation and method behind their work. This month Niall Laverty tells us about their experiences at the Bloomsday Festival.
A Bloomin’ Great Week
At it Again! was part of the Bloomsday Festival this year. Our eventful week started with the climax of our Ulysses interactive reading tour around Dublin: “In Bed with Molly” managed to get as close to No 7 Eccles Street as possible, reading the final chapter, Penelope, in an actual bed in Des Kelly’s on North Circular Road. Everybody who came got to lie top to tail in the bed and read. We finished with all of us in the bed, popping our rockets for the grand finale.
Then came the final preparations for the grand premiere of our Rocky-Horror-style screening of the movie “Ulysses” by Joseph Strick from 1967 in the Irish Film Institute. We love this cool and stylish black and white version, which presents a who’s who of Irish theatre, film and television. The IFI kindly allowed us to stage this madcap event in their hallowed halls. And everybody came! After rummaging through their goodie bags, the audience threw themselves into the heckling, throwing their props with aplomb, joining in the onscreen shenanigans and giving a hearty rendition of Love’s Old Sweet Song. In addition, we also had our first en masse Glasnevin Shuffle! Thanks again to everybody who attended and gave it their all. We are still blushing with all the wonderful feedback we got from you. In particular, a visitor from the USA said that this was the only way to see that movie now!
On Saturday, we presented our party piece, “Dirty Penelope” at the Bloomsday Ball by and for the Holles Street Hospital in the Gresham Hotel. Our choice of Joyce brought shocks and blushes aplenty to the medical community!
And then it was finally here! Bloomsday! We skipped the traditional breakfast and started our day by feeding the seagulls on Bachelor’s Walk at 1.10pm as Leopold Bloom does in Lestrygonians. We were joined by Liberate Ulysses and fellow Bloomsday travellers. The thrill was seeing the birds catch the bread in mid-flight. They say it’s all in the flick of the wrist.
Next it was off to Meeting House Square in Temple Bar where we read and mimed our way through the first pages of Penelope. Hosted by Dermot Bolger, the event was supported by a large and enthusiastic audience.
To finish we romped over to Sweny’s and Kennedy’s to deliver some Bloomsday Survival Kits to partners-in-crime and loyal customers. We were thoroughly thrilled when a man in a bowler hat who had bought our manual earlier proclaimed: “This is it!” – the ultimate must-read for Ulysses fans and newbies! Thank you very much, kind Sir.
We really appreciated all the lovely feedback we got throughout the week for our manuals, kits and events. It was a great week where we made new friends, met up with old ones from last year and sowed seeds for the future adventures of At it Again!