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Iconic Actresses Unite for Joyce-Inspired YES Festival

Four esteemed actresses reunite for the YES festival, a four-day arts event inspired by James Joyce's Ulysses. The festival celebrates women's creativity and offers diverse events, including the premiere of The Molly Film. The European cultural program, ULYSSES European Odyssey, also brings Joyce's masterpiece to life through adaptations like Yes Reflections of Molly Bloom.

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Hadeel Hashem
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Iconic Actresses Unite for Joyce-Inspired YES Festival

Iconic Actresses Unite for Joyce-Inspired YES Festival

Four esteemed actresses, Miram Margoyles, Harriet Walter, Fiona Shaw, and Cush Jumbo, will join forces at the YES festival, a four-day arts event inspired by James Joyce's seminal novel, Ulysses. Taking place from June 13-16 in Derry and Donegal, the festival celebrates women's creativity and offers a diverse lineup of free family-friendly events, including theatre, dance, visual arts, film, talks, circus, rap, and song.

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A Literary Odyssey

The YES festival draws its name from the final word of Ulysses, a testament to Joyce's belief in the power of affirmation and resilience. This theme is echoed throughout the festival, as it seeks to highlight the extraordinary contributions of women in the arts. One of the most anticipated events is the premiere of The Molly Film, a unique adaptation of Molly Bloom's famous soliloquy from Ulysses. Each actress will perform one of Molly's monologues, offering a diverse and nuanced interpretation of this iconic character.

A European Cultural Extravaganza

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The YES festival is part of a larger, Europe-wide cultural program called ULYSSES European Odyssey, which celebrates Joyce's masterpiece and its enduring influence on modern literature. This two-year initiative brings together artists, writers, and thinkers from across the continent to explore the themes and ideas presented in Ulysses. By engaging with Joyce's work in a contemporary context, the ULYSSES European Odyssey aims to foster a deeper understanding of European culture and identity.

Reflections of Molly Bloom: A Solo Show to Remember

In addition to the YES festival, Ulysses continues to captivate audiences through adaptations like Yes Reflections of Molly Bloom. Aedín Moloney and Colum McCann have transformed Joyce's text into a powerful solo show, with Moloney embodying the complex and passionate character of Molly Bloom. The production, which recently concluded its run at the Irish Repertory Theatre, features original music by Paddy Moloney and is directed by John Keating. Moloney's connection to the material is deeply personal, as she has been developing her interpretation of Joyce's Penelope chapter since she was a young girl.

The YES festival and adaptations like Yes Reflections of Molly Bloom serve as a reminder of the enduring power of Joyce's Ulysses. By celebrating the creativity and resilience of women, these events not only honor Joyce's legacy but also contribute to the ongoing dialogue about gender, identity, and the arts. As the ULYSSES European Odyssey continues, it is clear that Joyce's work will continue to inspire and challenge audiences for generations to come.

As the YES festival unfolds in Derry and Donegal, the world will bear witness to the extraordinary talents of Miram Margoyles, Harriet Walter, Fiona Shaw, and Cush Jumbo as they bring Molly Bloom's soliloquy to life. Through their performances and the diverse array of events at the festival, the spirit of Ulysses will be rekindled, reminding us all of the power of art, literature, and the human spirit.

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