As a performer, I currently have in repertoire 2 separate but linked solo shows which are responses to “Dubliners”, James Joyce’s first published work.
It is hoped to continue to tour with both these shows in 2021 and beyond.
The 2 plays in rep are:
THE DUBLINERS DILEMMA (50 mins) premiered on Bloomsday 2012 and still performed for occasional festivals in Ireland and overseas
FALLING THROUGH THE UNIVERSE (90 mins including interval) based on the short story, “The Dead”: this show was due to premiere at Smock Alley Theatre for the 2020 Bloomsday Festival. Deferred due to COVID 19, it will tour in Ireland and overseas from 2020 on.
Both plays are directed by Gerard Lee
Read more below:
THE DUBLINERS DILEMMA
Declan Gorman’s solo performance based on Joyce’s ever-popular first book of short stories has toured to almost every major venue in Ireland. It has been performed overseas in Moscow, Oslo, Dallas, San Francisco, Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru and has had specially commissioned showings in Dublin for visiting delegations from New York University, U.C. Berkeley and Stanford University.
The play centres around London publisher Grant Richards who rejected Joyce’s controversial book of stories in 1906. Now in 1914, troubled in his conscience, he asks to see the still unpublished manuscript again. Re-reading it he is reminded of how greatly he admired it first time out but also why he simply could not do business with the petulant and stubborn young Irish writer. What should he do now? The streets and characters of Joyce’s Dublin come magically to life in all their sordid and comic glory in this solo performance, described as “compelling” (Irish Theatre Magazine); “ingenious” (Mail on Sunday) “truly mesmerising” (Metro Herald) and “effortlessly entertaining” (The Arts Review).
FALLING THROUGH THE UNIVERSE
In this new work with an autobiographical twist, Declan Gorman turns his attention to Joyce’s miniature masterpiece “The Dead”. The famous story of a Dublin dinner party and the awakening of a man to his own insignificance, is lovingly enacted by a storyteller who declares that he first read it in an English language version of “Dubliners” he stumbled upon in a library in Germany, at a critical moment in his own life. Thus began a lifelong intricate connection between a man and a work of fiction. Forty years later, the man stands on a stage, seeking to transport the audience – as he was once transported – back to Joyce’s Dublin; a city that is both familiar and faraway; hospitable yet hostile; antiquated, cobblestoned and yet remarkably modern. The play is both an evocation of Joyce’s great story and an experiment in theatrical storytelling.
Falling Though the Universe previewed (under a different working title *) at the Oslo Bloomsday Celebration 2018 and at Draíocht, Blanchardstown in December 2018 –
* originally called “Epiphany” the name was changed when Druid Theatre subsequently premiered a play by another author using the same title.
These 2 plays may appear occasionally as a double bill or repertory package at festivals, but are usually presented as stand alone performances. To enquire about these shows click here.