April 15, 2020

Steve Dedalus    posted 6 Jun 2019, 04:48 PM


BLOOMSDAY is back again at the Thirsty Dog, K Rd in Auckland, one show only, Sunday June 16, 4pm-7pm, with Rima Te Wiata reading Molly Bloom and Tom Sainsbury lovingly doing Gerty MacDowell. And Donogh Rees, Bruce Hopkins, Joe Carolan, Farrell Cleary, Yuko Takahashi, Jean McAllister, Chris Trotter, Hershal Herscher and Linn Lorkin & the Jews Bros Band. The greatest show in town, now into its 20th year. “A heap of dung, crawling with worms, photographed by a cinema apparatus through a microscope such is Joyce’s work.” —Karel Radek, 1934 Writers’ Congress, Moscow. Re-joyce!

Steve Dedalus    posted 13 Jun 2019, 07:53 AM

NZ Herald

“We know of few events more arcane but wonderful than Auckland’s annual Bloomsday celebration where you can Re-Joyce and Bloom in June…”


Stephen Dedalus              posted 17 Jun 2019, 07:42 AM


“Sing to me of the man, Muse, the man of twists and turns

Driven time and again off course, once he had plundered

the hallowed heights of Troy

(Restaurant & Bar, 161 Ponsonby Rd);

See Odysseus Bloom, partial to fried kidneys with fine tang of faintly-scented urine,

See the figurative son, Dedalus Schmedalus,

See Molly, wife of ocean-tossed Bloom

beset by suitors trooping in with all their swagger.

Launch out on our story, Muse,

daughter of Zeus,

start from where you will,

the Thirsty Dog will fit the bill,

from front bar or back door,

Sing of Dublin, nineteen four…!”

Auckland’s annual Bloomsday once more hit K Rd’s red-light area on Sunday.

Now in its 20th year, it had originated, bizarrely, as a radio broadcast made by local Irish republicans at one-minute-past-midnight on June 16, 2000—thus promoting itself as the first in the world to celebrate Bloomsday in the new millennium.

From there it has evolved into an annual one-night-only show with a cast of thirteen, including a band.

It has featured Geraldine Brophy, George Henare, Bruce Hopkins, Hershal Herscher, Michael Hurst, Lucy Lawless, Linn Lorkin, Noelle McCarthy, Carmel McGlone, Robyn Malcolm, and Jennifer Ward-Lealand.

This year it had Donogh Rees as Stephanie Dedalus, Thomas Sainsbury as Gerty MacDowell and Rima Te Wiata as Molly Bloom.

The regulars were back—Bruce Hopkins as the fiercesome dominatrix Bella Cohen, Joe Carolan as The Citizen, Farrell Cleary as Blazes Boylan, Hershal Herscher as Poldy Bloom.

Mezzo soprano Yuko Takahashi and legendary rock star Jean McAllister joined Linn Lorkin, Hershal Herscher, Nigel Gavin and Aaron Coddell in a series of stunning musical numbers that ranged from Bizet’s Habanera to Jagger/Richard’s Gimme Shelter. Chris Trotter, solo tenor, political commentator and social democrat, sang Sally Gardens and James Connolly.

Rima Te Wiata was a spell-binding Molly Bloom. In a packed pub that had been drinking for three hours you could hear a pin drop.

And with the show starting at 4pm on a winter’s Sunday, the arrival of Tom Sainsbury’s Gerty MacDowell, lonely Virgin of Sandymount Rocks, “her summer evening folding a world in its mysterious embrace while far away in the west the sun was setting and the last glow of all too fleeting day was lingering lovingly on sea and strand,” coincided ecstatically with the last rays of an Auckland wintery day spreading happily outside along Karangahape Road. Oooooh!

As always, the show was a knockout, with Donogh Rees’ Dedalus dancing with the stars to ‘Without My Walking Stick’, Yuko Takahashi deputising for Blazes Boylan and singing Bizet’s ‘Habanera’, Joe Carolan out of control as The Citizen and getting the audience to its feet to sing the national anthem, ‘Urination once again’, Bella Cohen transmogrifying into Jacinda of the Sacred Heart, Jacinda of the holy hijab—“Last year the baby, this year the wedding… National’s fucked! Oh, I am not cold Helen! I am not surly Norm! I have a heart! I cry, I weep! I embrace…!” and then the punch-ups and the history and Chris Trotter singing ‘Where O Where is our James Connolly’and Linn Lorkin taking ‘The Croppy Boy’into a hair-raising ‘Alabama Song’… and finally Rima Te Wiata’s astonishing Molly Bloom.   

A sensational three hours on K Rd!

John Smythe      posted 15 Apr 2020, 01:15 PM / edited 17 Apr 2020, 10:33 AM

I have always enjoyed the annual missives from Dean Parker’s alter ego, Stephen Dedalus – just one of that many things I will miss about Dean. 

Please see the Playmarket-sourced Obituary

Share on social


Make a comment