Ulysses and the Sirens (1891), by John William Waterhouse
Picture credit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:John_William_Waterhouse_-_Ulysses_and_the_Sirens_(1891).jpg
Cut and pasted from the Radio 4 Website:
The official website is here:
The production was broadcast in seven parts across 'Bloomsday', 16th June 2012 on BBC Radio 4.
In a landmark project a new dramatisation of Ulysses was broadcast across one day - morning, afternoon and evening.
The dramatisation, by Robin Brooks, follows the novel’s two iconic characters, Leopold Bloom and Stephen Dedalus as they wander across Dublin in the course of one ordinary day, the 16th June 1904.
The cast is led by Henry Goodman as Leopold Bloom. With Andrew Scott as Stephen Dedalus, Niamh Cusack as Molly Bloom and Stephen Rea as the Narrator. Twenty-five actors have taken part, and the music includes new recordings of songs by Irish soprano Daire Halpin.
The drama is directed by Jeremy Mortimer and Jonquil Panting and produced by Jeremy Mortimer and Claire Grove.
The total duration of the dramatisation is five and a half hours. All 7 parts are made available as free downloads for two weeks from time of broadcast.
What happens in Ulysses?
Two characters, Stephen Dedalus (an agnostic ex-Catholic) and Leopold Bloom (a Jew), both outsiders in the traditional Irish sense, go about their separate business, crossing paths with a gallery of other memorable characters. We watch them teach, eat, loiter, argue and in Bloom's case masturbate and follow their thoughts, emotions and memories through Joyce’s pioneering stream of consciousness technique. The result? Almost every variety of human experience is crammed into a single day.
Ulysses ranges over a plethora of ‘modern’ topics: relationships, sex, the press, publicity and advertising, popular culture and music, adultery, nationalist posturing and political cynicism, alienation, racial and ethnic prejudice, technology and consumerism - to name just a few. Many of the 'real' things and topical events (historical references, newspaper reports, descriptions of environments, places and objects) were meticulously researched by Joyce. He wanted to "give a picture of Dublin so complete that if the city one day suddenly disappeared from the earth it could be reconstructed out of my book". Dublin on 16th June 1904 was far more sophisticated and 'multicultural' than it was to be at any time again up to the mid 1990s. It also had an infant mortality rate only exceeded in the British Empire by Calcutta.
Raks's says - This project was mind-blowingly ambitious and epic. I love Andrew Scott and Henry Goodman, and I have so far managed to avoid Ulysses. This is one way where I can finally have a go at getting to grips with it!
You can download and listen to the episodes here:
Enjoy! And then post your reaction in the comments section below.