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NZ Herald: Lawless in Homage to Irish Writer 16 June 2017

It might be 16 years since Lucy Lawless hung up Xena Warrior Princess’s chakram, but still the last place some expect to find her is in an Auckland pub celebrating the life of an Irish literary star and one of his most memorable characters.

Now a UK crew wants footage of our Bloomsday commemoration, held annually to pay homage to author James Joyce, because Lawless is one of its stars. Organiser Dean Parker says they were stunned to hear the TV star makes time to participate.

In the novel Ulysses, a re-telling of Homer’s epic poem The Odyssey, Joyce sends the main character, Leopold Bloom, on a walk around Dublin where he meets a range of intriguing characters.

Joyce set the story on June 16, 1904 because it was the day of his first date with his wife-to-be, Nora Barnacle. Every June 16, Joyce aficionados get together for Bloomsday celebrations.

In Auckland, it brings together performers like Michael Hurst, Jennifer Ward-Lealand, Lord of the Rings’ Bruce Hopkins, musicians Linn Lorkin and Hershal Hersher and The Jews Brothers Ban.

Now working on a new series, Lawless will come straight from the set to portray the character Stephen(anie) Dedalus, one of those befriended by Bloom in Ulysses.

Joyce, considered one of the 20th century’s greatest writers, has a family link to New Zealand. His eldest sister came here in 1909 and joined the Sisters of Mercy.

Bloomsday is on tonight at 7.30 at the Thirsty Dog in Karangahape Rd, Auckland.