Bawdy wit and searing honesty as Molly returns

Tara Breathnach as Molly Bloom in her one-woman show.
Tara Breathnach as Molly Bloom in her one-woman show.

“Like jumping off a cliff every night,” is how actress Tara Breathnach describes taking on the role of Molly Bloom in her one-woman show, Molly, which runs at the  city’s Town Hall Studio from October 12-14.

Molly, which premiered at this year’s Galway Theatre Festival, is a new departure for Tara, as it’s the city woman’s first solo show, which she devised in conjunction with Petal Pilley (of Blue Teapot), who also directs.

“I’d been toying with the idea of creating new work for a few years, but I’m not a writer, not a director and not a producer,” explains Tara, who was most recently seen on stage at An Taibhdhearc Theatre in Dún na mBan Trí Thine for the Arts Festival.

She decided to explore existing texts and fixed on Molly Bloom’s soliloquy from James Joyce’s novel, Ulysses, which she adapted into a 65-minute narrative “that works in the here and now”.

Molly seemed ideal to Tara in many ways – not least because the character is based on Galway woman Nora Barnacle, Joyce’s lifelong partner, wife and muse.

Tara showed the 65-minute script to Petal, who hadn’t previously read Ulysses, and who got the narrative immediately.

The piece is set in the middle of the night, as Molly lies awake, plagued by insomnia, wind and her husband’s snoring. Her caustic wit is matched with searing honesty as she ponders life’s ups and downs.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.