Midsummer Madness


James Joyce’s Ulysses is a rich treasure from which to draw inspiration. The Wandering Rocks episode which features an abundance of characters going about their business in Dublin as well as the Circe episode with its surreal atmosphere both provide colourful source material.


This year’s Poetry Brothel celebration of James Joyce on Saturday 15th June finds itself asking its contributors to take Molly’s words to heart: O, rocks, tell us in plain words. Joyce’s world and characters have indeed undergone metempsychosis at an alarming rate as each new generation of readers absorbs, adopts and refashions Bloomsday in their own image. This year we celebrate the city itself, the characters and situations of Dublin common to us all. Like Wandering Rocks transmigrating through this city from dawn until dusk (from birth until death), it is Dublin herself that we celebrate and we invite you to celebrate with us!

The Poetry Brothel is an immersive literary cabaret nightclub experience, a place where jazz musicians, burlesque dancers, body painters, magicians, drag performers and tarot card readers mingle and perform — but poetry holds centre stage as the headline act. Set in the crypt of The Church Bar & Restaurant in the heart of Dublin, it is perfect for people looking for something different from the traditional Bloomsday events. Get your tickets here.


Immerse yourself in the fabric of Ulysses by creating or becoming a piece of art with the help of Dublin Body Paint. During this very special jam we will give artists the theme of food and consumption. Joyce described Dublin’s fair city using vivid imagery of food stuffs. If you are not feeling creative, you can follow the shape shifters of Dublin Body Paint on their parade through Dublin on the 16 June.


Our audience favourite from last year, the Bloomsday Blowout, is coming back to Nighttown where Leopold Bloom and Stephen Dedalus meet in a brothel in the Circe episode. A bar of lemon soap comes to life and people shift shapes and gender.

The soap: ‘We’re a capital couple are Bloom and I; He brightens the earth, I polish the sky’.
— 'Circe' episode, "Ulysses" by James Joyce

The Bloomsday Blowout is a literary salon inspired by James Joyce. It’s a glorious convergence of Bloomsday adventurers and chancers. In one moment it’s an intimate evening of readings and song. In the next it’s shape-shifting midsummer madness. Hosted again by the incomparable Phil T Gorgeous and narrated by Peter Murphy, it will lead you through Ulysses with readings, performances, song, audience participation, comedic interludes and music.

THE KISSES (Warbling.) Leo! (Twittering.) Icky licky micky sticky for Leo! (Cooing.) Coo coocoo! Yummyumm Wom worn! (Warbling.) Big comebig! Pirouette! Leopopold! (Twittering.) Leeolee! (Warbling.) O Leo!
— 'Circe', "Ulysses" by James Joyce
Marty GilroyBlog, News