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  • Sun 16 Jun, 4:00pm – 7:00pm


The Thirsty Dog, 469 Karangahape Rd, Newton


All Ages

Re-joyce! Bloom In June!

It’s the world’s sole annual commemoration of a totally fictional date, a date in which something happened only in a book.

On June 16, that all-including day, Ireland’s James Joyce re-imagined Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey, unfolding its 10 years into the modest streets and seaside and pubs and brothels of 1904 Dublin in a comic masterpiece, Ulysses.

It’s a day now celebrated as Bloomsday, in which Homer’s ancient hero Ulysses becomes Dublin Jew Leopold Bloom, “the greatest Jewish character in world literature”—in the words of one essayist—“more forgiving than Moses, funnier than Jesus, filthier than Portnoy.”

Comedian Tom Sainsbury to follow in high heels of Lucy Lawless.

Can men inhabit the female mind? Comedian Tom Sainsbury will be taking over the role of Gerty MacDowell in this year’s Bloomsday.

The role was previously played by Lucy Lawless, who’s currently away in Los Angeles.
Gerty is a simple, sentimental, hormonal girl, imagined up by Irish writer James Joyce in his great comic novel Ulysses.

She daydreams about men, lets down her hair and raises her skirts to enthral poor central character Leopold Bloom.

“…She wore a coquettish little love of a hat of wideleaved nigger straw contrast trimmed with an underbrim of eggblue chenille and at the side a butterfly bow to tone. Her shoes were the newest thing in footwear with patent toecaps and just one smart buckle at her higharched instep.

Her wellturned ankle displayed its perfect proportions beneath her skirt and just the proper amount and no more of her shapely limbs encased in finespun hose with high spliced heels and wide garter tops. And as for undies, oh they were Gerty’s chief care…”

Auckland’s Bloomsday:
Here in Auckland Bloomsday has been celebrated for almost twenty years in a unique Hibernian-Hebrew cabaret featuring Linn Lorkin and the Jews Brothers Band.

The cabaret transports its audience deftly and movingly through Ulysses by way of song, commentary and adapted scenes.

On this year’s bill are comedians Rima Te Wiata, Tom Sainsbury, Donogh Rees, Bruce Hopkins and Farrell Cleary.

Added to these are guest tenor and social democrat Chris Trotter, mezzo soprano Yuko Takahashi, Unite Union organiser and street preacher “Irish Joe” Carolan, and the Drongos’ Jean McCallister.
Ulysses’ frank depiction of sexuality, particularly female sexuality, saw it banned in its author’s land of birth, with the Dublin Sunday Express providing a fairly typical reaction:

“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.”

The market had the last say: a signed first edition will now set you back half-a-million dollars.

“He’s had it off somewhere…”
Chanteuse Linn Lorkin played her. Then Robyn Malcolm followed, Noelle McCarthy, Carmel McGlone, Lucy Lawless, Geraldine Brophy, Jennifer Ward-Lealand…

Now it’s Hunt For The Wilderpeople’s Rima Te Wiata reading the notorious Molly Bloom monologue in Auckland’s world-famous, utterly vulgar, always packed-out three-hour Bloomsday. “…He’s had it off somewhere one of those night women or else its some little bitch he got in with on the sly if they only knew him as well as I do but of course hes not natural begging me before we got engaged to give him a tiny bit cut off my drawers of course hes mad on the subject of drawers always skeezing at those brazenfaced things on the bicycles with their skirts blowing up to their navels and then the usual kissing my bottom to hide it not that I care two straws who he does it with so long as I don’t have the two of them under my nose like that slut Mary Driscoll in Ontario Terrace padding out her false bottom to excite him…”

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