BLOOMSDAY 2023: Falling Through The Universe

A staging of James Joyce’s “The Dead”

To mark “Bloomsday 2023” the ICC is proud to present the UK Premiere of this beautiful, intimate telling of James Joyce’s masterpiece.

FALLING THROUGH THE UNIVERSE –  A staging of James Joyce’s “The Dead”, framed in a personal memoir. Written and performed by Declan Gorman. Directed By Gerard Lee

Fri 16 June 2023

Doors: 7.45pm; Starts: 8pm

Tickets: £13/£15

Can a book really change your life?

On a Winter’s night in 1982, a young Irish emigrant borrows an English language book from a library in Munich. He reads it over one evening. The course of his life is changed…. Forty years later, he walks onto a stage to recreate the magic of that night and perform one of the greatest short stories ever written in the English language.

Renowned writer, performer and interpreter of Joyce, Declan Gorman (“The Dubliners Dilemma”; “Performing Dubliners”) mixes memoir and the magic of live theatre to bring to life James Joyce’s much-loved classic, “The Dead” in this warm and moving performance. As the world celebrates “Bloomsday 2023” the ICC is proud to present this accessible and universal story written by the emerging genius that was James Joyce!

Lighting Design: Conleth White.  Lighting Supervisor: Al Bellamy


Age suitability – Adults (13+)



“Just a chair, a coat stand and a copy of Dubliners! Joyce’s story allows Gorman to demonstrate his theatrical impulses, as well as his theatrical influences… manages to keep us engaged for 80 minutes”- The Irish Times

“The Dead is brought elegantly to life!”: Gorman’s charming autobiographical play … dramatises clearly how Joyce’s writing has embedded itself deeply in Irish culture and influenced Irish artists of all kinds. His subtle performances of the different characters remind us clearly what a masterwork this story is. – The Irish Independent


Gorman holds the audience enraptured throughout with a truly mesmerising performance … by no means exclusively for die-hard Joyce fans, making a brilliant introduction for newcomers!”  – Metro Herald, Dublin

“A compelling performer”  – Irish Theatre Magazine

“Effortlessly entertaining” –

“Truly mesmerising… and by no means exclusively for die-hard Joyce fans, a brilliant introduction for newcomers!”  – Evening Herald


Declan Gorman has been a restless and exciting theatre maker since the 1980s. Declan Gorman is a highly regarded performer, writer and director. He is known for his original plays and innovative adaptations (“Hades” Winner of Stewart Parker/BBC Award : “The Big Fellow” based on Frank O’Connor’s life of Michael Collins). In recent years he has gained international acclaim for his performances of the early work of James Joyce. “The Dubliners Dilemma” has toured to Mumbai, Moscow, Oslo and San Francisco. His online film “Performing Dubliners” was viewed by 6,000 people around the world on Bloomsday 2020. “Falling Through the Universe” (premiered Dublin 2022) is a deeply personal telling of his favourite of all Joyce’s work, the much-loved classic “The Dead”. It captures the character and characters of Joyce’s moving evocation of a social evening in Edwardian Dublin as a man faces his own failings and inadequacies, and it answers eloquently the often-asked old question, “Did you ever read a book that changed your life?”

This is Declan Gorman’s most personal work to date, sharing hilarious moments in his own life as an artist when the influence of Joyce was evident, while at the same time bringing the evocative story of a famous festive evening in Dublin c.1900 to vivid life, “as if we were there!”