At a time when the world was illuminated by the softer light of the gas lamp, and the film industry was still in its flickering infancy, James Joyce was busy scrutinising his surroundings, collecting images and constructing a pathway with words which was to alter the course of writing – and thinking about writing for ever.
Connected by desire, sometimes separated with frustration, we follow Nora Barnacle and James Joyce as they eloped setting sail from Dublin on a cold windy October night in 1904 to embark on this most intriguing and celebrated literary relationships.
“I offer you my heart” says he.
“I’ll hold you to that” says she.
In the course of one hour that pledge is tested and we get an insight into both of their hearts, along with their dreams and ambitions as with failing eyesight he forges on with his writing and she with holding together the family together whilst the map of Europe changes around them, driving them into further exile, but ultimately resulting in his best known work ‘Ulysses’ which has generated legions of academics to examine it and how he was inspired.
The publication of ‘Ulysses’ in 1922 gained a complex reputation due to elements of erotic observations. To this day a hundred years on – James Joyce work has resulted in a world-wide literary celebration known as ‘Bloomsday’ often referred to ’the longest love letter to Nora Barnacle’ from Galway. This play ’Nora and Jim’ is a superb manifestation of telling that tale as the writer Nora Connolly channels their story with acuity, sensitivity and charm.
‘Nora and Jim’ is a key production in this years Dublin’s Bloomsday Festival 2023, where it will be presented at The James Joyce Centre on June 17th. In November 2022 it was performed upon the invitation of President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina, at their residence Áras an Uachtaráin, in front of an invited audience of 200 people
About the Writer Nora Connolly:
Nora Connolly trained at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin. She has performed at the National Theatre, The Bristol Old Vic, The Tricycle, The Riverside Studios, The Royal Lyceum, The Edinburgh Festival and many other regional theatres throughout the UK. Nora has performed in many Irish plays including ‘The Playboy of The Western World’, ‘Shadow of a Gunman’, ‘The Plough and The Stars’, ‘Juno And The Paycock’, ‘The Midnight Court’, ‘Translations’, ‘Rouge, Rifles and Revolvers’, ‘Dancing At Lughnasa’, ‘The Cripple of Inishmaan’ and ‘The Beauty Queen of Leenane’.Her most recent theatre work includes ‘These Halcyon Days’ by Deirdre Kinahan in Gothenburg, Sweden. Her T.V. work includes ‘Fresh Meat’ and the upcoming T.V. version of ‘Four Weddings And A Funeral’.
Her devised one woman show ‘Nora’s Bloomsday’ has been performed at the Liverpool Arts Festival and The Irish Cultural Centre Hammersmith.
Nora is also a poet and she has taken her one woman poetry show to the Prague Fringe Festival She can also be seen performing some of her poetry on ICC’s On-Line platform ICC Digital.
Nora and Jim is a play not to be missed – Tickets £16 / £13.