When Robert Gogan completed his one-man show about James Joyce’s Ulysses entitled Strolling Through Ulysses he decided that there was no better way to perform it than on a nationwide tour of the bookshops and bookclubs of Ireland.
The tour started with two special performances in the famous Swenys Chemist on Lincoln Place in Dublin, one of the many places visited by Leopold Bloom on Bloomsday – June 16th 1904. He has also performed it recently for a bookclub in South Dublin and also in the Gutter Bookshop in Temple Bar, and in the iconic Joyce Tower in Sandycove on February 2nd, the anniversary of Joyce’s birth and the publication of Ulysses.
His next performance is on March 25th in The Midland Bookshop in Tullamore.
Robert Gogan moved to Westmeath from Achill Island about three years ago and has taken up residence with his wife, Anne Tyrrell, in Kilbeggan.
“It’s a lighthearted mischievous crash course on Ulysses” says Gogan, “and it’s a little bit bawdy, certainly irreverent, but also great fun! I have a passionate interest in Joyce’s work, particularly Ulysses and I want to bring it to the general public in a non-academic environment – the way, I think, that Joyce would have wanted.
It has always been a source of frustration to me when the vast majority of my friends tell me that they haven’t read Ulysses or have tried and failed. So I decided to write a one-man show to take the myth and mysticism out of Ulysses and to highlight the fun and playfulness of the great novel. The reaction from audiences to date has been amazing and very positive”
Gogan has also edited a new edition of Ulysses in which he has added some punctuation and formatting help people to read the novel and get the maximum satisfaction from it. Ulysses Remastered was published in 2012 and is available through all bookshops and is also available in the Midland Bookshop.
“I love performing the show in bookshops” says Gogan. “It seem totally appropriate, seeing as the subject matter is one of the greatest novel ever written. And all of the thousands of books on the shelves which surround me act as a perfect stage set!”
Strolling Through Ulysses will be performed in the Midland Bookshop on March 25th at 7.30pm. Admission: €10. It is advisable to book tickets in advance as places are very limited – phone 057 9321797.