Bloomsday became Zoomsday this year because of Covid-19 with Drogheda artists and creatives playing a significant role by taking part in a marathon 39-hour global reading of every page of James Joyce's famous novel "Ulysses" over the 15th and 16th. of June run by Sweny's Pharmacy, 1 Lincoln Place, Dublin which features in the novel and has been selling bars of lemony soap during the pandemic..
"Ulysses" tells the story of the wanderings of Leopold Bloom, his wife Molly and Stephen Dedalus around Dublin on Thursday 16th. June, 1904 so that has become the day every year when Joyce enthusiasts worldwide celebrate the novel and its depiction of Edwardian Dublin. The reading was watched round the world. It had over 115 readers, volunteers, singers, actors, poets in different countries and has had over 18,000 views on Facebook so far.
The Drogheda contingent read mainly from the famously musical and lyrical Sirens/Concert Room episode. They included local poet Roger Hudson of Drogheda Creative Writers, which has remained active during lock-down via Zoom as have other local creative groups such as the Carberry's folk singers. Pensioner Elizabeth Faulkner, who had struggled to find venues for her yoga safely outdoors during lockdown, also read and well-known singer-songwriter S.J. McArdle. As well as his melodious and mellifluous reading, he also sang "The Croppy Boy" during one of the many musical interludes, entertaining into sitting rooms and kitchens around the world.
Says Roger Hudson, "The complex style can make the novel a struggle to read for some people but reading it aloud really brought to life the many characters from all walks of life that the heroes encounter and the sights and sounds of Dublin.'