Slugger O'Toole

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“This coming 16 June, Radio 4 will be a wall-to-wall Joycefest…”

Sun 3 June 2012, 8:00pm

As The Observer’s Alex Clark notes

This coming 16 June, Radio 4 will be a wall-to-wall Joycefest, kicking off at 9am and running until midnight: a new, five-and-a-half hour dramatisation of Ulysses, narrated by Stephen Rea and starring Henry Goodman, Niamh Cusack and Andrew Scott, will be punctuated by broadcasts by Mark Lawson in Dublin and discussions about the book’s place in 20th-century literature.

To reassure those who might quail at some of the book’s more full-blooded material, the Beeb has emphasised that its raciest parts will be concentrated after 8pm (although there has not been a cull of the explicit: as the dramatisation’s producer, Jeremy Mortimer, points out: “You can’t have a Molly Bloom that doesn’t enjoy sex”).

On the Radio 4 blog, Gwyneth Williams adds

The dramatisation is by Robin Brooks and features a cast of 24 led by Henry Goodman, with Andrew Scott, Niamh Cusack and Stephen Rea. It is produced by Jeremy Mortimer. And Mark Lawson will guide us through the day – from kidneys in the Today programme to sex and Molly Bloom late at night.

There is one concern.

One anxiety for all at Radio 4 is the unreliable Irish weather, as Lawson will be broadcasting live. “Ulysses is set on a sunny day, but I bet it rains,” said [Radio 4's commissioning editor of drama, Jeremy] Howe.

I hope Brian Cosgrove is happy…

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Comments (5)

  1. Mister Joe (profile) says:

    Just checked. Thankfully, unlike their video player, we do get their radio where I live.

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  2. Drumlins Rock (profile) says:

    so long as The Archers, Sailing-by, Shipping Forcasts & National anthem are unaffected.

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  3. Granni Trixie (profile) says:

    I decided rightly or wrongly that Ulyses just wasn’t worth the effort. However Having studied (and taught) Dubliners and Portrait I do think Joyce was a genius to reflect Irish society in such a palatable way. Infact recently whilst staying in Dublin I reread Dubliners and still think that whilst he was on the button in his observations some are dated due to the declining influence of the church particularly as regards sexual mores.
    Cleverly too he implies that one needs to get away from Irleland to throw off the shackles and at the same time that one can go away and remain the same.

    BTW DR, you are missing out in life if you do not ‘get’ the Archers.

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  4. Drumlins Rock (profile) says:

    Granni, I actually do get the Archers from time to time, (badgers in slurry tank, factory farms, long lost grand children etc.) wonder can they incorporate Joyce in some way?

    Have never tried to read his work, have read too many cases of unfinished Ulysses reading so decidede I won’t start till i’m sure I can finish it no matter what lol.

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  5. Mister Joe (profile) says:

    Drumlins Rock,

    You don’t have to finish it. I did but I still pick it off the shelf now and then, open it at random, and read a dozen or two pages just for the joy of the writing.

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