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Tag: performance

Himself and Nora

Performance

21 & 22 March 2024 at 7:30pm

After the great success of Culture Night 2023, the James Joyce Centre was proud to host another performance of Jonathan Brielle’s acclaimed off-Broadway musical Himself and Nora on March 21st and 22nd at 7:30pm. The musical celebrates in song the love story of James Joyce and Nora Barnacle. Broadway writer and composer Jonathan Brielle performed numbers from the show in person and was accompanied by the Director of the James Joyce Centre, Darina Gallagher.

This bawdy, funny, uplifting, and melodic musical, sings the contemporary love story of James Joyce, the brilliant and hard-drinking Irish novelist, and Nora Barnacle, the woman who became his lover, partner, and muse for 37 years. Their love survived exile from Ireland, and the condemnation of the Catholic Church, and ultimately helped to create some of the greatest writing of the 20th century.

The performance coincided with Nora’s 140th birthday.

“A lively, sometimes lusty, spin through the love life, troubles and literary times of the great Irish writer…a robust romantic musical . . . The enjoyable score by Mr. Brielle, a veteran composer . . . meshes neatly with his libretto and embraces a rhythmic variety of ardent and melodic songs.” – The New York Times

Broadway composer and lyricist Jonathan Brielle has worked with many hit shows including Foxfire with Jessica Tandy and is the former National Projects Director of the Songwriters Guild of America. Jonathan is the Artistic Director and Founder of Vala, a new platform dedicated to launching new musicals.

The James Joyce Centre is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

Keys to Dreamland

Concert

9 March 2024 at 7:30pm

Internationally-renowned musical artist Lila Tirando a Violeta performced at her first concert in Ireland at the James Joyce Centre on March 9th at 7:30pm. She performed a live set that went from ambient to experimental dance music with synthesizers that were inspired by James Joyce’s iconic novel Finnegans Wake. Using intricate soundscapes and ethereal melodies, Lila transported the audience into the dreamlike world of Joyce’s masterpiece, where reality and fantasy intertwine in a mesmerizing blend of music and literature.

Lila Tirando a Violeta is a musical artist from Montevideo, Uruguay who is recognized for her experimental and versatile style. Her N.A.A.F.I. debut ‘Limerencia’ was highly praised in 2020, making several end-of-the-year lists. In 2022, she released ‘Desire Path,’ which was highlighted by Pitchfork, DJ MAG, Bandcamp, and The New York Times. Lila has performed live at renowned festivals such as Primavera Sound and Mutek ES in Spain. She recently signed with London’s notable label Hyperdub and has done custom mixes for KEXP & NTS radios as well as collaborating with artists such as Loraine James, Nick León, and Nicola Cruz.

The James Joyce Centre is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

For the Love of Brigid

Performance

1 February 2023 at 7:30pm

Join us at the James Joyce Centre for a delightful celebration of Saint Brigid’s Day. Immerse yourself in the rich Irish culture and traditions surrounding this beloved holiday dedicated to the patroness saint of Ireland.

Indulge in the captivating tales of Brigid of Kildare’s life and her significance in Irish folklore and Joyce’s work. Come (in Joyce’s words) “romp round brigidschool,” enjoy snacks and fine wine as we celebrate wise and wily women. The event will include stories, songs, music, and readings from Nicole Rourke, Dr. Caroline Elbay, Jess Traynor, and Darina Gallagher, among other amazing women. It will explore all the life-affirming elements of creativity that Brigid gives us: healing, nurturing, wisdom, mischief, and ritual.

The event starts at 7:30pm. The event is free but booking is essential.

Click here for tickets

The James Joyce Centre is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

Eveline & Clay

Performance

11 January 2024 at 7:30pm

The James Joyce Centre was pleased to present a musical theatre performance based on two short stories from James Joyce’s Dubliners, Eveline & Clay, on Thursday, 11 January 2024 at 7:30pm. The performances showed how two women, leading restricted lives in a newly modern Dublin, make journeys towards an elusive freedom. First presented in 2009, the show is a revival of the collaboration between the accomplished composer, Michael Holohan, and the award-winning Joyce interpreter and actor, Paul O’Hanrahan.

Written by Joyce when he was a young man between the ages of 22 and 23, ‘Eveline’ and ‘Clay’ were both significant stepping stones in his development as a writer. ‘Eveline’ was initially published in the Irish Homestead in September 1904, not long before Joyce himself left Ireland with Nora Barnacle. ‘Clay’ was completed by December 1905 but it would not be until 1914 that both were published in the collection, Dubliners. The stories show a remarkable ability in a young writer to understand and represent how women’s lives were regulated and controlled by the patriarchal family, work, and religion.

Music in these stories is a form of memory and a means of socialisation; an intrinsic part of Dublin society at the time, it is already embedded in Joyce’s writing. Michael, who is from Drumcondra, has scored new piano music for these performances, drawing on an affinity with the setting of the stories on the city’s north side.

The James Joyce Centre is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

Paul O’Hanrahan, director of Balloonatics Theatre Company, is an actor and theatre director who specialises in re-enactments of the works of James Joyce. He has won Fringe First awards for theatrical adaptations of both Ulysses and Finnegans Wake at the Edinburgh Festival. He has produced, in Dublin, street and venue performances of Joyce’s Ulysses on Bloomsday, June 16th. He also regularly performs Telemachus at the Tower, his solo show based on the opening episode of Ulysses at the Joyce Tower in Sandycove, including seven performances in 2023.

Michael Holohan, an accomplished composer and pianist, has resided in Drogheda since 1983. He has won numerous prizes as well as Arts Council awards for attending master classes, in the 1980s, with Messiaen, Boulez, Xenakis, Berio, and Lachenmann in France. His compositions have been performed and broadcast both at home and internationally.

It’s a Sign! Zodiac Christmas Variety Show

Performance

17 December 2023 at 7pm and 8pm

The stars aligned on Sunday, December 17th at 7pm and 8pm for the premier of It’s a Sign!, Dublin’s first and only Zodiac Christmas Variety Show. It was a festive evening of music, astrological acts, and cosmic events. Each performer played their very own star sign, the roles they were born to play!

OUR FULL ZODIAC, ALL STAR CAST:

SAGITTARIUS- Lile Donohue

CAPRICORN- Méabh McKenna

AQARIUS- Isadora Epstein

PISCES- Cal Folger Day

ARIES- John Francis Flynn

TAURUS- Stephane  Béna Hanly 

GEMINI- Robbie Kitt

CANCER- Mary Keane

LEO- Ruan  Van Vliet

LIBRA- Aoibhinn O’Dea

VIRGO- Sinéad Onora Kennedy 

SCORPIO- Benjamin Stafford

Costumes by AMIE EGAN

Isadora Epstein writes and makes performances from her research of art history and mythology. Her work brings together a multidisciplinary ensemble of artists working in visual art, experimental music, and dance.

The James Joyce Centre is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

A Christmas Carol

Performance

12 December 2023 at 7:30pm

The James Joyce Centre was delighted to host A Christmas Carol on Tuesday, 12 December 2023 at 7:30pm. This in-person event transported you back to Victorian London as you follow the heartwarming journey of Ebenezer Scrooge.

We witnessed Scrooge’s transformation from a cold-hearted miser to a man filled with compassion and love. The haunting music and captivating performances filled our hearts with joy and reminded us of the true meaning of Christmas.

Performed by Michael James Ford, Sinead Murphy, and Sam Ford, the performance took us on Scrooge’s ghostly journey to redemption, accompanied by a richly atmospheric live musical score. A sell-out hit at the Viking Theatre for the past seven years, it is the perfect way to experience Dickens’ masterpiece and share his world of phantoms, darkness, merriment, and everlasting goodwill.

“Don’t miss this delightful version of the classic.” Sunday Independent

“…fine dramatic storytelling…perfect for the season.” Red Curtain Review

“It lingers in the mind…it really is superb.” Donnchadh O’Laoire

The James Joyce Centre is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

Counterparts & A Little Cloud

Performance

27, 29-30 November 2023, 7:30pm

The James Joyce Centre was proud to host the Volta Theatre Company’s production of two short stories from Joyce’s debut work Dubliners on Monday the 27th, Wednesday the 29th, and Thursday the 30th November 2023 at 7:30pm.

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 was 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 James Joyce Centre is supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

Dubliners by Hibsen

Concert

24-27 October 2023, 7:30pm

The James Joyce Centre was delighted to host a unique musical interpretation of James Joyce’s Dubliners. Irish folk ensemble Hibsen paid homage to Joyce with performances of their critically acclaimed album “The Stern Task of Living” over four nights from 24 to 27 October at 7:30pm. The album is a collection of 15 songs, one for each short story in Dubliners. Through their original music and lyrics, Hibsen brings the stories to life. In addition to a musical performance of the full album, Frank McNally of The Irish Times provided insights into and selected readings from Dubliners.

For lovers of Joyce, these concerts provided a unique perspective on Dubliners, combining songs and literary expositions. For those not familiar with the stories, the performances provided an ideal opportunity to get to know them in an intimate surrounding.

Tickets are free but booking is essential. https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/james-joyces-dubliners-interpreted-in-song-by-hibsen-tickets-721967944557

These performances were supported by the After Hours at the Museum Grant Scheme from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.

“The arrangements . . . and lyrics come from the pen of people who have spent a lot of time in Joyce’s world.” John Meagher, Irish Independent

“One might almost sense the spirit of Joyce himself strolling through these tracks. Better still, you don’t have to know the stories to savour this as a musical experience in its own right.” Jackie Hayden, Hot Press Magazine

Hibsen are a contemporary folk music ensemble formed by Irish artists Jim Murphy and Gráinne Hunt. They released their debut album “The Stern Task of Living” on 26 May 2023. The album was inspired by the book of short stories Dubliners by James Joyce and it comprises 15 songs, one for each short story. It was launched at Bloomsday Festival 2023 and it has received critical acclaim. Some of the songs from the album received extensive national and regional radio play with one of the songs (Eveline) reaching number 2 on the RTE Radio 1 Airplay Chart. The Stern Task of Living was also selected as a featured album on RTE Lyric FM and on BBC Radio Ulster.

Counterparts & A Little Cloud

Performance

27 September 2023, 7:30pm

The James Joyce Centre was proud to host the Volta Theatre Company’s production of two short stories from Joyce’s debut work Dubliners on Wednesday, 27 September 2023 at 7:30pm.

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 was an exquisite, intimate study of Joyce’s Dublin and its lives of quiet desperation.

https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/counterparts-a-little-cloud-tickets-708566650927

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 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 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.