‘A Rare Journey’ will take palce at Cork Arts Theatre from 24-27 July. Photo: Shauna Maher

Take a journey with Nora

“He wants me to read his auld book, but sure no one in their right mind could make head nor tail of it.”

That’s just one of the quips audiences are in for a treat for later this month when ‘A Rare Journey’ comes to town.

The 75 minute play celebrates Nora Joyce’s life, delighting in her razor-sharp and often lethal wit, and with songs and music that the Joyces loved.

Beginning in 1946, five years after James Joyce’s death, the audience will be introduced to Nora as she prepares to meet a young American journalist for lunch in a café in Zurich. Wary of journalists, and anxious about what questions she might be asked about life with her famous husband, Nora rehearses for the encounter by retracing the exhilarating highs and lows of her extraordinary life since the fateful day in 1904 on Nassau Street when she locked eyes with the eager and cocky young man she was destined to spend her life with.

As they moved from city to city across Europe with their children Georgio and Lucia in tow, sometimes fleeing from war and sometimes from unpaid bills, Nora was the rock that enabled him to keep writing.

She observes it all with a bemused smile, keeping up a rich commentary on the antics of all the rich and famous people who passed through their lives.

The play separates Nora from her famous literary alter ego Molly Bloom, and dispels the sometimes lazy myths that have often cast Nora as an inconsequential appendage of her famous husband.

Written and performed by Paula Greevy-Lee and directed by Gerard Lee, this one-woman show separates the funny, charming, wise, sharp-witted, complex, and compassionate Nora from the half-truths that have dogged her since her death aged 67 in 1951.

Paula said she is is “very excited to bring Nora to the Joyce family heartland in Cork”.

The play will be performed at the Cork Arts Theatre from 24-27 July. See corkartstheatre.com for more.