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Review: Ulysses a ‘whistle stop journey’ of Joyce’s head-spinning masterpiece

Upon his introduction, Gogan himself states that Strolling Through Ulysses can best be described as a ‘whistle stop journey’ of Joyce’s head-spinning masterpiece. A whistle stop journey it is too.

Gogan assumes nothing of his audience, and his exclamation of ‘Leave the professors at the door’, proves that any form of literary analysis would be the opposite of his intentions for the play. Instead, Gogan provides a guided tour of the main events of the novel, stopping intermittently to provide his own narration, almost taking the form of verbal footnotes. He masterfully rhymes through pages of dialogue, effortlessly giving each character their own voice, accent and intonation; with the use of the most basic props, he brings each character to life as though they were not one man but many.

Gogan’s passion for the prose is admirable! He unabashedly indulges all elements of the novel including the bizarre, crude and downright filthy with the wonderful air of comedy that Joyce had no doubt intended. Witty, bawdy and batty. The laughs are aplenty. One word of advice, leave your delicate sensibilities at the door with the professors! Joyce’s love of dark humour is not lost on Gogan, it is embraced.

Whether you have strolled through Ulysses yourself or have lumbered through half and abandoned the task or even if you have never started it through fear of failure – Strolling Through Ulysses is for you. No one is incapable of following, understanding and enjoying this fantastic show. Proving that Gogan’s mission of making the novel accessible to the masses is a worthy and achievable task.

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