Ulysses by James Joyce is one of the most enigmatic works of world literature. In 1999 actress Viviane De Muynck and director Jan Lauwers started working on the last chapter of the book, Penelope. De Muynck then stepped into the shoes of Molly Bloom, wife of protagonist Leopold. Around that same time, Joyce's grandson forbade the further use of Ulysses. Molly Bloom disappeared from the stage. But since 2012, James Joyce's work has been royalty-free: the signal for De Muynck to play Molly again.
De Muynck is the 74-year-old grande dame of European theatre. She has worked with Tom Lanoye, Ivo Van Hove and Robert Altman, among others, and as Leopold Bloom's unfaithful wife, she performs a radical monologue. "It is a universal text about the impossibility of getting to know each other fully and accepting the differences", says De Muynck. She even claims it is her best role ever.
The #metoo movement has made it clearer than ever that there is a need for environments where emancipation, equality and sexuality can be openly discussed. That perspective creates a landscape where Molly Bloom's statements take on a new form.