Molly Bloom

Based on the final chapter of James Joyce’s Ulysses
Viviane De Muynck & Jan Lauwers

In 1999, Viviane De Muynck and Jan Lauwers set to work with the writing of James Joyce. After sending a number of offensive letters, James Joyce’s grandson, Stephen J. Joyce, expressly forbade them to use the material. Despite this ban, a few clandestine readings took place in Germany which were picked up by the press. Now the copyright on Joyce’s work has expired, they are seizing the opportunity to finally stage this piece.

Molly Bloom presents the inner monologue of the unfaithful wife of Leopold Bloom. Molly Bloom as a symbol of femininity, her thoughts on the men in her life, her current situation, her memories, her sense of humour, her zest for life, and how she copes with loss and regret.

She is her. Viviane is Molly. She transforms a dramatised reading into an hour of thrilling spectacle. Molly is a self-confident woman who nevertheless still expects more from life, without knowing precisely what. She brushes off this uncertainty with a deep laugh or a giggle. Then Molly is Viviane, or is Viviane Molly?
– Die Welt

Here, desire and a zest for life are presented as important female principles. This is an exceptionally vital presentation of a literary figure and her sensuality. Over the course of an hour, we witness an animated actress creating a Molly who refuses to let you go, and who to a large extent is also Viviane.
– Berliner Morgenpost

Viviane De Muynck on the adaptation:
‘Bearing in mind that the entire final episode of Joyce’s Ulysses can only be fully appreciated by a reader, who discovers the different layers of this monologue according to their capabilities, we were confronted with the necessity of making choices. We arrived at this theatrical adaptation through a process of elimination, filled with admiration and wonder for the ingenuity of the writing and construction, and taking into account that certain elements of the story might be too complex with a view to direct communication with an audience which may not be familiar with Ulysses as such, or with Irish social and political history in particular. We therefore concentrated on Molly Bloom. We profoundly regret that certain passages could not be retained, and that we were obliged to condense others, in order not to threaten the clarity of our point of view. We trust that we have achieved our goal; presenting an excellent selection from this rich material, to be heard rather than read, to be felt and understood rather than being clinically analysed. In so doing, we will hopefully inspire the audience to rediscover James Joyce’s work.’

Creation and adaptation Viviane De Muynck & Jan Lauwers
Text based on the final chapter of James Joyce’s Ulysses
Dramaturgy Elke Janssens
Dramaturgical assistance Melissa Thomas
Costumes Lot Lemm
Lighting design Ken Hioco, Jan Lauwers
Technical director Ken Hioco
Production management Marjolein Demey
Technician Tijs Michiels
French language coach French Anny Czupper
Picture ©Stephan Vanfleteren

Production Needcompany
Coproduction La Filature (Mulhouse)
Copresentation Festival Temporada Alta (Girona), La Rose des Vents (Villeneuve d’Ascq), La Passerelle (Saint-Brieux), Espaces Pluriels (Pau), Festival de Otoño (Madrid)
Distribution Key Performance
Tax Shelter financing uFund nv, Melissa Thomas
With the support of the Belgian Federal Government’s Tax Shelter and the Flemish authorities.