PRESIDENT Michael D Higgins was recently presented with his very own copy of a new play which celebrates the lives and loves of the daughter of James Joyce and Nora Barnacle.
Letters to Lucia was written by Richard Rose and James Vollmar.
It tells the tale of Lucia Joyce, the daughter of Joyce and Barnacle.
A professional dancer, she was diagnosed as schizophrenic in the mid-1930s and institutionalised at the Burghölzli psychiatric clinic in Zurich.
In the 1950s, she was transferred to St Andrew's Healthcare in Northampton, where she remained until her death in 1982.
Letters to Lucia was first performed by the Triskellion Irish Theatre Company by her graveside in Kingsthorpe Cemetery, Northampton on Bloomsday in 2018.
This month the President received his very own copy of the play, when Gerry Molumby, Artistic Director at Triskellion, visited him in Dublin.
He also presented the President with a brochure providing an overview of the 25-year history of Triskellion – which is a leading organisation promoting the Irish arts in Britain.
“With both the President and his wife Sabina having a lifelong involvement in the arts they were pleased of an update on the very tangible connection with Joycean studies, as the only daughter of James Joyce and Nora Barnacle spent much of her adult life living in Northamptonshire where she died and is buried in 1982,” Mr Molumby said of the visit.
Letters to Lucia, which was published jointly by authors Rose and Vollmar with Triskellion, centres around five significant people in Lucia's life who return to her grave to read and leave letters saying what they did not have the opportunity to say to her in life.
They are her parents James and Nora, fellow dancer Kathleen Neel and close family friends the painter Frank Budgen and writer Samuel Beckett.
Triskellion plans to perform the play again next year, as part of the Bloomsday celebrations at the graveside of Lucia Anna Joyce in Northampton.
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