Finnegans Wake: The Tale of Shem the Penman (2 stars)

  • 7 August 2006

This article is from 2006.

James Joyce’s literary classic has defeated many a seasoned reader whilst making lifetime fans of others. One such devotee is Adam Harvey whose new play is a dramatic recital of the seventh chapter. Seen as a predecessor to absurdism, Joyce’s surreal linguistic style translates well to the stage; it’s therefore a pity that many lines are lost when Harvey races through it as if possessed. Mind you, if he were possessed it would be by Joyce himself, judging by the level of passion in his verbatim delivery. It’s easy to get lost in the frantic language but as Harvey urges in the program, treat it as an experience. At an hour and fifteen minutes it’s a lengthy experience. (Greer Ogston)

C cubed, 0870 701 5105, until 28 Aug, 7.55pm, £8.50 (£7.50).

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