Bloomsday in Melbourne – Samuel Beckett and the Rainbow Girl

by | May 28, 2024

Bloomsday in Melbourne announces the première in June of a new play recounting the darkly comic tale of young Samuel Beckett’s time with James Joyce in late 1920s Paris and his disastrous relationship with Joyce’s doomed daughter, Lucia.

“I’m moved by Lucia’s amazing passion, by her strength and by her eventual defeat,” says Director Carl Whiteside. “But although Lucia’s is a sad and touching tale, this is a really funny and powerful play that speaks to issues of mental health and artistic expression.”

Set in late 1920s Paris, Samuel Beckett and The Rainbow Girl is the true story of Lucia, muse and only daughter of notorious banned novelist James Joyce, a young woman poised to succeed as a daringly original dancer. Into this dysfunctional artistic household arrives alluring young Dubliner Samuel Beckett – enigmatic, hypereducated, a writer seeking his own literary voice. He finds himself drawn into the older writer’s web… and at the same time becomes the reluctant subject of Lucia’s increasingly obsessive amorous gaze. A series of romantic misunderstandings, at first comic but increasingly tragic, strip Lucia of her nascent career and, her family and love interest both lost to her, she spirals into madness.

“Lucia’s story is only now becoming better known,” says Bloomsday’s Creative Director Frances Devlin-Glass. “This is a deeply affecting story of thwarted ambition and lost talent, of the impossibility for her of thriving in the shadow of her famous father. The play explores the forces that worked together to stifle her voice, and eventually led to her decline.”

Bloomsday in Melbourne has been bringing the work and the world of James Joyce to Australian audiences for 31 years and is proud to present this major new production for 2024.

June 13 – 23

Image: Jody Jane Stitt 

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