Director Jocelyn Adema has beautifully adapted the final chapter of James Joyce’s Ulysses for the stage. The play focuses on Molly Bloom, wife of the protagonist of the novel, Leopold Bloom. The play is described as being set in “Molly’s Mind, at 3 a.m.” and offers an intimate unpacking of Molly’s psyche. The production features a cast of four women, all of whom give spirited shape and lyrical voice to the varied layers of Molly’s consciousness.
From the opening scene through to the very end of the play, the cast of four are entirely spellbinding. Cloaked in nighttime robes, they move together with an eerie synchronicity. In perfect unison, they crawl, they dance, they delight, they erupt. Jenna-Lee Hyde, Lena Maripuu, Reanne Spitzer, and Annie Tuma give enchanting performances, evoking Molly’s fire and softness, her sensuality and her soul.
The entire production felt like a dreamy lullaby, pulling me deeper and deeper into Molly’s inner world. The set design was soft and alluring (Molly’s bed: a cascading tower of pillows) and was made all the more enticing by the moonlight glow on stage. Set and costume designer Beatriz Arevalo and lighting designer Logan Ragu Cacknell did wonderful work here.
Fourth Gorgon Theatre’s production of Molly Bloom is an ethereal, enchanting sight to see. The cast gives a riveting performance, with a palpable, contagious energy and spirit. This is an expertly staged performance, and a highly recommended watch for all.
- Molly Bloom plays at the Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse. (79 St. George St.)
- Tickets are $13, including a $2 service charge. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes and discounts for serious Fringers.
- Tickets can be purchased online, by telephone (416-966-1062), from the Festival Box Office at Scadding Court (275 Bathurst St.), and — if any remain — from the venue’s box office starting one hour before curtain.
- Content Warnings: mature language; sexual content; for adult audiences.
- This venue is wheelchair-accessible.
- Be aware that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and that latecomers are never admitted.
- The Toronto Fringe Festival is scent-free: please do not wear perfumes, colognes, or other strongly-scented products.
- Wednesday July 3rd, 8:00 pm
- Friday July 5th, 10:00 pm
- Sunday July 7th, 8:15 pm
- Tuesday July 9th, 4:30 pm
- Wednesday July 10th, 6:30 pm
- Friday July 12th, 10:30 pm
- Saturday July 13th, 8:30 pm
Photo of Jenna-Lee Hyde, Lena Maripuu, Reanne Spitzer and Annie Tuma by Jocelyn Adema