TeNTheater Berlin, founded in 2002 by Croatian director Nikša Eterović, is in Dublin to perform plays from Eterović’s five-part James Joyce cycle.
Parts two and four of the cycle, La Macchina della Famiglia and Irishirisirischmurmelquietsch, are at the Samuel Beckett Theatre in Trinity College, Dublin until Saturday, while the fifth part, Ulysses or The Cyclops and his Rhinoceroses, is at the O’Reilly Theatre at UCD from February 13th to 16th.
La Macchina della Famiglia is about Lucia Joyce, the author’s highly gifted and sensitive daughter. The play shows how family life at the Joyces was determined by her mental illness and strong emotions; it tells about Lucia’s birth, her stay in a mental hospital and about the life of the Joyce family during their stay in Trieste and Paris
IRISHIRISIRISCHmurmelqietsch focuses on the life of Joyce at a time when he had published his last book, Finnegans Wake, and was suffering from the effects of a lifelong eye disease which had caused him to go almost blind. It is also the story of his estrangement from the real world, his search for a new language, a story of pain caused by his blindness and the mental illness of Lucia, and his battle for acceptance as a writer.
The ensemble is international, the text is multilingual (but surtitles will help) and much, we are told, can be understood without words.
PS: We have since learned that the second phase of performances in the O'Reilly Theatre had to be cancelled due to lack of audience support for the first phase. Cultural city how are ye?