by Kate Kellaway, 16th March 2014

 

Olwen Fouéré's solo stage interpretation of Finnegans Wake at the Shed is a delight. 

She leans down to unlace her shoes, a tiny figure in a grey suit, her long hair tied back. And then she wades in – deep into the river of James Joyce's Finnegans Wake, pulling us in with her. His last novel, even for those who believe it a work of genius, is famously difficult. The critic Edmund Wilson, a contemporary admirer, talked about it as a palimpsest: "Joyce with his characteristic disregard for the reader, apparently works over and over his pages, packing in allusions and puns." Hearing it spoken aloud – adapted, performed and directed by Olwen Fouéré – is the best of all possible immersions – and/or introductions.

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