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Tag: Bloomsday Festival

Bloomsday Festival 2024

11-16 June 2024

This year we celebrated more than 120 years of Bloomsday at The Bloomsday Festival on 11-16 June 2024!

Bloomsday celebrates Thursday, 16 June 1904, the day immortalised in James Joyce’s 1922 novel Ulysses. The day is named after Leopold Bloom, one of the novel’s protagonist (the other being Stephen Dedalus, the protagonist of Joyce’s 1916 novel A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Joyce’s literary alter ego). The novel follows Bloom’s life and thoughts — as well as those of Stephen and a host of other characters, real and fictional — from 8AM through to the early hours of the following morning.

Bloomsday celebrations come in many different forms, including readings, performances, walking tours, concerts, and even our famous Bloomsday breakfast (pork kidneys, anyone?). One noticeable feature is that people will dress up like the characters in Edwardian fashion. One of the hallmark dress items found on the streets of Dublin that day is the straw boater hat, a fashionable and iconic summer hat donned by many at the time — including none other than Joyce himself!

The James Joyce Centre has hosted the Bloomsday Festival since 1994. The Centre will host several events throughout the week. In addition, we work with several theatres, museums, libraries, art exhibits, collectives, and other institutions throughout Dublin to bring Joyce’s work to life.

The Bloomsday Festival is organised by the James Joyce Centre in partnership with Fáilte Ireland, Dublin UNESCO City of Literature, and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

Strings in the Earth and Air

Bloomsday Festival 2024

16 June 2024 at 8pm

ANNA LIVIA CREATIVE in association with the James Joyce Centre brought you ‘Strings in the earth and air…’: The Musical World of James Joyce with Nicole Rourke & Benjamin Dwyer on 16 June 2024 at 8pm.

Join us in a celebration of Joyce’s fascination with music. With excerpts from the early poetry collection, Chamber Music, through the melancholic stories of Dubliners, to the ornate worlds of Ulysses and Finnegans WakeRourke & Dwyer offer a captivating programme of Joyce’s musical obsessions.

The show includes excerpts of ‘raw sensuality’ from Nuala O’Connor’s celebrated book Nora: A Love Story of Nora Barnacle and James Joyce as well as the premiere of a new text by Nicole Rourke exploring the sensual worlds of Nora, Molly and Joyce.

Following the show, Director of the James Joyce Centre Darina Gallagher will host a Q&A with Nicole and Benjamin on the role of music in Joyce’s life and writing, and their creation of the programme. Wine will be served.

The Bloomsday Festival is organised by the James Joyce Centre in partnership with Fáilte Ireland, Dublin UNESCO City of Literature, and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

Counterparts & A Little Cloud

Bloomsday Festival 2024

16 June 2024 at 5:30pm

The James Joyce Centre was proud to host a special Bloomsday showing of the Volta Theatre Company’s Counterparts & A Little Cloud, an adaptation of two short stories from Joyce’s debut work Dubliners, on Sunday, 16 June 2024 at 5:30pm

Joyce’s collection of short stories provides vivid ‘slices of life’ of early 20th century Dublin. Against the backdrop of a society in paralysis, a pair of Dublin lives are revealed in stark, sometimes brutal, scenes. In Counterparts, an ungainly, bad-tempered law clerk is determined to have a heavy night’s drinking, while in A Little Cloud, a sensitive soul is embittered by a meeting with an old university friend back from London. At once funny and tragic, relatable and disturbing, the stories are populated with an array of colourful characters who remain entirely contemporary, despite the bowler hats and Edwardian collars.

Performed by two actors in the iconic setting of the Joyce Centre’s Georgian drawing room, and featuring period music, this is an exquisite, intimate study of Joyce’s Dublin and its lives of quiet desperation.

Volta is a collaboration between classically-trained actors and musicians, combining theatre with cabaret, jazz and sketch comedy. Its remit is to bring classical theatre to a wide audience. Liam Hourican has worked with Shakespeare’s Globe, the Old Vic, and Second Age Theatre company and has written and performed sketch shows and comedy drama for Channel 4, RTE and the BBC. Jim Roche has starred in Normal PeopleHarry WildBlood 2VikingsDamo and IvorKillinaskullyThe Mario Rosenstock ShowThe Tudors, and iCandy. Musicians Feilimidh Nunan and Conor Sheil work with all the principal orchestras in Ireland and have collaborated in a wide variety of musical genres ranging from jazz to traditional music.

The Bloomsday Festival is organised by the James Joyce Centre in partnership with Fáilte Ireland, Dublin UNESCO City of Literature, and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

Bloomsday Readings and Songs

Bloomsday Festival 2024

16 June 2024 at 3pm

It’s time to don that boater hat and join us for an afternoon of readings and songs from Ulysses as part of the Bloomsday Festival’s flagship event Readings and Songs at Meeting House Square in Temple Bar, 3pm – 6pm on 16 June 2024.

A long-standing and treasured tradition, this afternoon of songs, readings and performances from Ulysses in the heart of the city is an essential part of the Bloomsday experience.

This year, we have actor and writer Tara Flynn at the helm in Temple Bar, to introduce a fabulously chaotic cast of noted Irish actors, musicians, pundits and everyone in between, who will read extracts from Ulysses. The readings will bring to life Joyce’s immortal words, from his description of Dublin’s “snotgreen sea”, to Molly Bloom’s famous “yes”.

This year’s esteemed readers are acclaimed actors Nora-Jane Noone, Gerry O’Brien,  Eimear Keating, Geraldine McAlinden, Rachel Wren, Margaret McAuliffe, Steve Hartland, David Mulcahy, Sinead Murphy, and Mary Murray and writers Conner Habib and Dermot Bolger. The event will also feature the celebrated singer-songwriter David Keenan and the comedic brilliance of  Katherine Lynch and Goblins, Goblins, Goblins.

Musicians Bryan Mullen, Brian Gilligan and Camille O’Sullivan will grace the stage, bringing the music that inspired Joyce back to life. The celebrations will culminate with a reading by beloved Irish author Marian Keyes, as she breathes life into Molly Bloom’s legendary “Yes.”

*This is an outdoor event (the Meeting House Square Umbrellas are currently undergoing maintenance) so rain or shine please dress for the weather.

The running order is as follows:
1. Telemachus— Eimear Keating
2. Nestor— Dermot Bolger
3.Proteus— David Keenan
4. Calypso— Katherine Lynch
5. Lotus Eaters — Camille O’Sullivan
6. Hades— Conner Habib
7. Aelous — Margaret Mc Auliffe
8. Lestrygonians— Geraldine McAlinden
9. Scylla and Charybdis — David Mulcahy
10. Wandering Rocks— Brian Gilligan
11.  Sirens— Mary Murray
12. Cyclops— Gerry O’Brien
13. Nausicaa— Steve Hartland
14. Oxen of the Sun— Sinead Murphy
15. Circe— Goblins, Goblins, Goblins
16. Eumaeus— Rachel Wren
17. Ithaca—  Nora-Jane Noone
18. Penelope— Marian Keyes

The Bloomsday Festival is organised by the James Joyce Centre in partnership with Fáilte Ireland, Dublin UNESCO City of Literature, and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

Bloomsday Afternoon Tea Bus Tour

Bloomsday Festival 2024

16 June 2024 at 3:30pm

The James Joyce Centre was proud to partner with Vintage Tea Trips for a special Bloomsday afternoon tea celebrating all things Dublin and James Joyce! Sip on some delicious tea and delicacies while diving into the world of Ulysses and exploring the vibrant city that inspired it on this bus tour on Sunday, 16 June 2024 at 3:30pm.

Whether you are a diehard fan or just curious about this literary masterpiece, this event is perfect for all. Get ready for a fun and enlightening experience that will leave you feeling like a true Dubliner.

Afternoon tea is a much-cherished tea-related ritual from the early 1840s that continued well into the Edwardian era, when Ulysses is set. It was a mini-meal to fill the gap between lunch and dinner and was composed of scones with clotted cream and jam, delicately cut sandwiches, sweets and delicious cakes. In this tour, you may choose from a traditional, vegetarian, gluten-free, dairy free or vegan afternoon tea.

Savour all your favourites — freshly made sandwiches, desserts, cakes, and pastries — as your bus travels through downtown Dublin. Pass sights such as Stephen’s Green, Christ Church, Trinity College, St. Stephen’s Green, Wood Quay, O’Connell Street, Phoenix Park, and the grand buildings of Georgian Dublin.

Our tour guide will point out the varoius references of these places in Ulysses. Feel free to dress up in your finest Edwardian garb as you listen to passages of and explanations of Joyce’s classic novel.

There are many Joycean tours of Dublin, but none of them are quite as comfortable and delicious as this one!

Please note:

  • The tour starts at 3:30pm. The bus is on a strict timetable and can not wait for latecomers. As such, please make arrangements to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the scheduled departure.
  • The pick-up location is 20-22 St. Stephen’s Green North, Dublin 2, across the road from Stephen Court. The tour will end at St. Stephen’s Green.
  • The tour lasts 70-80 minutes, depending on the traffic.
  • Bus seating is assigned on a first-booked, first-served basis, beginning with filling the upper deck first and then the lower deck. Guests may be required to share a table. For group seating and other options, please email or call the VVT team 72 hours in advance.
  • Any allergies, specific dietary requirements or changes to requirements must be confirmed over email or by phone with the VTT team 72 hours in advance. If the allergy can’t be facilitated, the VVT team will be in contact. For a list of allergens, click this link.
  • For FAQs, click this link.

For more information about Vintage Tea Tours (including full Terms & Conditions), please visit

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 01 255 1777

The Bloomsday Festival is organised by the James Joyce Centre in partnership with Fáilte Ireland, Dublin

A Blooming Great Day with Úna Woods

Bloomsday Festival 2024

16 June 2024 at 1pm

It seems like just another ordinary day for Rosie and her grandad. But as soon as they step outside, they find themselves on a blooming great adventure around Dublin on the 16th of June, 1904!

The James Joyce Centre presented A Blooming Great Day with Úna Woods, children’s event of fun, mischief, and Joyce! Author and illustrator Úna Woods will read from her new children’s book A Blooming Great Day (The O’Brien Press) and lead a drawing workshop on Bloomsday (June 16th) at 2pm. The children will draw scenes from the book and design their own hats! This is a great way for children to be introduced to Joyce and to partake in Dublin’s great literary tradition.

Úna Woods is a children’s book illustrator and author who lives in Dublin with her husband and two children and their ginger cat. Her previous books include Have You Seen the Dublin Vampire? and A Spooktacular Place to Be, both published by The O’Brien Press. Úna loves working with bright colours and patterns. She also loves reading and running.

The Bloomsday Festival is organised by the James Joyce Centre in partnership with Fáilte Ireland, Dublin UNESCO City of Literature, and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

Breathe and Bloom

Bloomsday Festival 2024

16 June 2024 at 11am

Happenings Ireland in partnership with the James Joyce Centre was proud to present Breathe and Bloom, a truly unique Bloomsday celebration of health, wellness, and yoga (yes, really!) on Sunday, June 16th at 11am in Brighton Square.

James Joyce was born in 1882 at 41 Brighton Square. What better way to celebrate Bloomsday than by gathering where it all began! Breathe and Bloom is a unique blend of traditional Bloomsday celebrations and wellness exercises.

Ulysses is not often thought about in terms of health and fitness but the novel provides a glimpse into the burgeoning wellness movement that would develop extensively in the 20th century. Leopold Bloom is conscious of his body and the need to maintain it through exercise and diet, even if he is not so vigilant in doing so! “Got up wrong side of the bed,” he thinks to himself. “Must begin again those Sandow’s exercises.” His wife, Molly, also has this on her mind: “I must do a few breathing exercises[.] I wonder is that antifat any good might overdo it.” The event will show this often-overlooked facet of Joyce’s work by combining a class by Yoga in the Park with a talk about health and fitness in Joyce’s work as well as old-fashioned readings and songs!

The event will start with Yoga in the Park’s regularly-scheduled class with Jo Collins from 11am to 12pm. It will then be followed by a half-hour talk about fitness, wellness and Joyce by Dr. Conor Heffernan, Lecturer in Sport Sociology at Ulster University. This talk will feature demonstrations of gentle stretching, dumbbell raising and deep breathing by Jo Collins. Audience participation is encouraged but not mandatory. After the talk, the park will host music and readings of Ulysses. The audience is welcome to bring food and drink to make a nice picnic!

: Happenings Yoga’s Yoga in the Park class with Jo Collins.
12-12:30: Talk and yoga demonstration by Dr. Conor Heffernan and Jo Collins about fitness, mindfullness, and yoga in Ulysses.
12:30-1:30: Music and readings.

Many thanks to the residents of Brighton Square for hosting the event.

The Bloomsday Festival is organised by the James Joyce Centre in partnership with Fáilte Ireland, Dublin UNESCO City of Literature, and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and

The Dubliners Dilemma

Bloomsday Festival 2024

7 June 2024 at 7pm

A “truly mesmerizing performance” (Metro Herald, Dublin) of The Dubliners Dilemma by Declan Gorman was on June 7th at 7pm.

The Dubliners Dilemma was premiered in Ireland in 2012 and has toured to Norway, USA, India, Russia (pre-Ukraine invasion) and all over Ireland. The play finds London publisher Grant Richards re-reading the manuscript of Dubliners in 1914, eight full years after he initially rejected it on the grounds it might breach strict obscenity laws. Joyce’s Dublin comes to wild life around him, a city of innocence and perversion: of sexual predators, gigolos, gamblers and drinkers mingling among street children, housemaids and exquisite concert singers. Entranced again by the literary gifts of the truculent Irish author who refused to change a single word, Richards must decide whether to take the risk second time around, and be the one finally to bring the genius of Joyce to the world.

Written and performed by Declan Gorman. Directed by Gerard Lee.

Declan Gorman is a highly regarded writer, director and performer. His previous Joyce performances The Dubliners Dilemma (2012) and Falling Through the Universe (2022) have toured widely in Ireland and overseas. In the week of Bloomsday, Declan will travel on to Ottawa, Toronto, and Hamilton, Ontario with a selection of his Joyce works.

“Gorman holds the audience enraptured throughout with a truly mesmerising performance. This original adaptation is by no means exclusively for die-hard Joyce fans, making a brilliant introduction for newcomers!” Metro Herald, Dublin

“Gorman is a compelling performer, at his best when undertaking childhood roles and in his element with Joyce’s obsequious characters … an animated and intelligent performance.” Irish Theatre Magazine

The Bloomsday Festival is organised by the James Joyce Centre in partnership with the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Fáilte Ireland, and Dublin UNESCO City of Literature.