NORAMOLLYANNALIVIALUCIA: The Muse & Mister Joyce is a one-woman “play for voices.” In it, Joyce’s wife, Nora Barnacle Joyce, is living in Zurich, at the Pensione Neptune. The time is around 1950, so she is in her 6o’s. She is being visited by a group of people – the audience -who could be members of a “literary tour.” They are, naturally, eager to hear something of Nora’s life with Joyce: its difficulties and its rewards, the sadness of their daughter’s illness, their relationship, her importance as “muse” (among other “muses”) to her husband in his work. And she is pleased to satisfy their curiosity.
Eamon Grennan has used various biographies and the like in composing this little portrait of the artist’s wife as an older woman. Interspersed in her memories are snatches from the works of her husband. These are either spoken by her or are conveyed by means of audio over-voices (among them the voice of Joyce himself).