By Bill Heaney

You will hear plenty about James Joyce if you go along to Edinburgh Book Festival for the talk by former Irish ambassador Daniel Mulhall at the Castle View Studio on Saturday morning from 10.30am until 12 o’clock.

This event should be entertaining and informative as Dan, pictured above, a former Consul General in Scotland based in Edinburgh, takes a deep delve into this modernist classic.

Dan, who is from Waterford and has served on the Irish diplomatic corps for many years, will be acknowledging that the maestro’s magnum opus Ulysses is no easy read.

He does not expect every sentence to yield easy understanding – but identifies key themes and ideas within the prose that explain why the novel has been so influential.

What you won’t find within the book is the bugging device that was discovered within a copy of the ubiquitous book in a new Hollywood spy movie The Good Shepherd, produced by Robert DeNiro and includes in the cast some of the 21st century’s biggest movie stars, including Angelina Jolie, pictured right, and Matt Damon

You will have to step outside the Book Festival and take a stroll through the madding crowd to the Edinburgh Press Club (venue 34) at 30 Cockburn Street, near Waverley Station, to hear more about James Joyce.

An Evening with Irish Writers is a shortened version of a full-length performance celebrating some of the greats of Irish writing.

Actor Neil O’Shea has performed this show in London, America, Germany and across the world, where he did many university residences as well as performing on tour, and in Los Angeles in a number of theatres and in-house at Netflix.

This is Neil’s first time to appear at the Fringe.  His brilliant show touches on the works of Jonathan Swift, Oscar Wilde, GB Shaw, Percy French, WB Yeats, JM Synge’s Playboy of the Western World  and, of course James Joyce’s The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.


Neil O’Shea, left, whose show touches on the work of  Ireland’s most famous writers is at the Press Club in Cockburn Street.

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