Riverrun. Traverse Theatre. Julia Pascal.



The voice of the river in James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake adapted, directed and performed by Olwen Fouéré.

Nothing can prepare an audience for the shock of this show.  Few of us know anyone who has read Joyce’s stream of consciousness novel and many theses have been written on the meaning of this experimental work.  Fouéré has picked part of it and its journey, through language, absurdity, antiquity, nationalism, Dublin, war, love, Shakespeare, music hall and anything else you might imagine, is joyfully explored in a sensational one woman show that I never wanted to end.  Was the novel, which took 17 years to write, part tribute to the disturbed mind of Joyce’s incarcerated daughter Lucia?  Was it his own crazy free-association?  It is funny, irreverent, sometimes Chaplinesque and certainly rooted in the music hall that inspired Beckett and Brecht.  Fouéré is both man and woman, she is serpentine and eagle-like, always moving always shapeshifting.  She brings us Joyce’s dangerous genius.  This is an unforgettable performance by an adaptor, director and performer of brilliance.

Ends August 24

Julia Pascal © 2014.