James Joyce on the Witches’ Sabbath by Giuseppe Cafiero

James Joyce on the Witches’ Sabbath
by Giuseppe Cafiero

James Joyce on the Witches’ Sabbath
Compañía Teatral Quinto Piso
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Drama/ 13 Characters, 9 men, 4 women, doubling possible/ Full Length, Two Parts

Synopsis: 1934. Kusnacht, Switzerland. Herr Dr. Gustav Jung’s clinic for the mentally ill. One of the patients is Miss Lucia Joyce. In a nightmarish atmosphere, her father, the Irish writer James Joyce, is pressed by the ghosts of his past to revisit his life, and his relationship with a daughter lost to madness and love for him.

The ghosts gradually become the protagonists of the drama. In song and word, they reconstruct the fragments of Joyce’s love-hate bond with Lucia, as well as his resentment towards Ireland, which ultimately led him to wander in exile.

They also become a Greek chorus in honor of the black bard William Blake, god of metaphysics. Drawing on the 16 engravings that illustrate his poem “The Gates of Paradise”, the poet opens up Joyce’s whole life, past, present and future.

Blake’s prophecies and Lucia’s phobic anguish plunge Joyce into his own Walpurgis Night. As the ghosts of his unconscious dance before him, to the sound of Monteverdi’s “Addio terra, addio cielo”, he lives out his own death and the heartrending anguish of having to abandon Lucia to her madness.

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Giuseppe Cafiero

About the Playwright: Giuseppe Cafiero lives in the Tuscan countryside, in Lucignano, in the province of Arezzo, Italy.

Born in Naples, he spent his childhood in several Italian cities. In Bologna, he frequented the intellectual circles at Roberto Roversi‘s renowned bookstore, Palma Verde. The first part of his novel James Joyce — Rome and Other Stories was initially published in one of the bookstore’s influential magazines.

Cafiero later worked for various radio producers, including Radio Capodistria and Italian Swiss Radio. Moving to Tuscany, he was finally able to devote himself to reading and pursuing his literary work.

Other work for radio includes collaborations with the RAI, Radio Sveringes, and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. He has also written re-editions, free adaptations, and translations based on the work of an extensive spectrum of authors, from Shakespeare to O’Neill, Raspe to Daudet, Toller to Brecht.

In addition to James Joyce — Rome and Other Stories, Cafiero has published the bio-fictions Vincent van Gogh and Gustave Flaubert: The Ambiguity of Imagination.

James Joyce on the Witches’ Sabbath was first produced under the title Ánima Joyce by Compañía Teatral Quinto Piso, Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2014.