This St. Patrick’s Day Brings Nora And Jim To St. George’s Hall.

This St. Patrick’s weekend, the tale of one of Ireland’s greatest literary heroes and his relationship with his wife comes under the spotlight at St. George’s Hall as Gerry Smyth’s Nora And Jim is once more opened up to the public gaze.

Directed by David Llewellyn and starring Jade Thomson and Thomas Galashan, Nora And Jim is the story of one man’s love letters to his wife, a man who is a foremost man of letters in his homeland and to whom the world knows as James Joyce.

It’s 1909 and the ‘Genius in Waiting’ that is James Joyce returns to the sordid streets of his native Dublin, where he uncovers suggestions of infidelity on the part of his partner Nora Barnacle. Joyce takes it hard, walking the same streets they had once walked hand in hand, playing over and over again his partner’s betrayal. His outrage and self-pity consume him, and the letters he writes to Nora back in Trieste have been preserved, their pages oozing with jealous rage. This play allows those century-old words to walk once more, breathing life again into the anguish of one of the twentieth century’s greatest writers.

There has never been any evidence of a reply from Nora, or any sense of how she might have responded to Joyce’s accusations. This play imagines that response. Unmarried, unskilled, exiled, mother of two illegitimate children – Nora Barnacle was in an extremely vulnerable position in Trieste in 1909 when Joyce’s first letter dropped though her letterbox. Her experience reverberates throughout a century in which women have had to fight for recognition on a wide range of fronts – legal, emotional, cultural. Nora’s experience is universal; her fight is ours.

Nora and Jim is an unmissable theatrical experience. The play is informative, incisive and entertaining. The play is carefully and dramatically written, professionally directed and the acting by Jade Thomson and Tom Galashan is first-class.  When I first saw the play, I was impressed. When I saw the play a second time, I was more than impressed.”  John Gorman – comedian, vocalist, musician. 

Nora and Jim explores the relationship of the male artist and female muse throughout history, but particularly through the prism of James Joyce and his muse Nora. It’s an intriguing and alternative piece of theatre inspired by real life letters.”

Matthew Linley – Artistic Director, The Unity Theatre.

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