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Jews Brothers Bloomsday

Jews Brothers Bloomsday

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  • Fri 16 Jun ’17, 7:30pm – 10:30pm


The Thirsty Dog, 469 Karangahape Rd, Newton


All Ages

Auckland central’s annual Bloomsday show is on again this month, one night only.

This year’s show has Lucy Lawless returning as Gerty MacDowell, Jennifer Ward-Lealand reading from Molly Bloom’s notorious monologue, Michael Hurst as a British squaddie (and singing Finnegan’s Wake) and Lord of the Rings' Bruce Hopkins as a transvestite dominatrix.

Others in the show are Linn Lorkin and the Jews Brothers Band, the QED Barbershop Quartet, mezzo-soprano Yuko Takahashi, Hershal Herscher, Farrell Cleary, Brian Keegan, Jean McAllister and Unite Union organiser Joe Carolan as the apoplectic Patriot The Citizen.

Bloomsday is the recreation of that single day in 1904 in which Irish writer James Joyce set his 20th-century comic masterpiece, Ulysses.

On that long, lingering, legendary date, Leopold Bloom, wandering Jew and melancholic hero of Joyce’s book, set about a droll odyssey around Dublin.

In Dublin-Paris-Rome-Trieste, in London-New York-Beijing-Sydney, there’ll be readings and chamber music remembering the fictional event.

In Auckland, a bawdy Bloomsday vaudeville has been celebrated every year on June 16 to packed houses at the Thirsty Dog Tavern, Karangahape Rd.

This year’s show will feature Irish ballads, Jewish klezmer, Catholic hymns, Leon Redbone, Guiseppe Verdi, Tinpan Alley, Brecht/Weill, Leon Redone, and Edith Piaf. And The Supremes. And boisterous dramatisations from Ulysses.

When it first appeared in 1922, Joyce’s 900-page whopper had a bit of a mixed reception.

In his home town, the Dublin Sunday Express boldly pronounced: “The obscenity of Rabelais is innocent compared with the leprous and scabrous horrors of Joyce’s book… All the secret sewers of vice are canalised in its flood of unimaginable thoughts, images and pornographic words.”

Ably assisted by this sort of promotion, its fame spread.
A signed first edition will now set you back half-a-million dollars.

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