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Sunday, 30 July, 2000, 12:45 GMT 13:45 UK
Fringe row over Joyce classic
The novel has been called the greatest of all time
The grandson of James Joyce has called for a ban on a musical adaptation of the writer's legendary work Ulysses.

Stephen Joyce has threatened legal action over the production of Molly Bloom, A Musical Dream, which is due to be premiered at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Ulysses was first published in 1922 and focused on the experiences of Leopold Bloom, his wife Molly and the poet Stephen Dedalus in a single day in Dublin in 1904.

James Joyce
Joyces' novel focused on Dublin life
Its complexity and variety of literary styles has led many critics to describe it as the greatest novel ever written.

The musical centres around the last chapter of the work in which Molly recalls her past bawdy exploits.

Its sexually provocative contents led to a 14-year ban on the book in Britain.

Now Mr Joyce, who oversees the writer's estate, has called for a ban on the show, which opens at C Venue, in Chambers Street, on 2 August.

In a letter to the fringe director, Paul Gudgin, Mr Joyce said the work was contrary to the wishes of the author and demanded that the show be cancelled.

Mr Joyce said: "The estate . . . categorically refuses to grant permission for this type of adaptation.

It's so ironic, isn't it? Mr Joyce is trying to ban us and yet his own grandfather was banned

Anna Zapparoli
"If such performances are to go ahead during the Edinburgh Fringe the estate of James Joyce will consider that such action constitutes flagrant breach of my grandfather's copyright and . . . take all necessary steps to defend these rights."

However, the show's promoters said Mr Joyce has no legal case and the show would go on.

The show has been created by the Italian actress and singer Anna Zapparoli and her husband Mario Borciani and because of copyright laws in Italy, was restricted to a workshop production in Milan.

Ms Zapparoli said Mr Joyce was seeking to take unjustifiable action against a production which was remaining faithful to the artist's original work.

She told BBC News Online: "It's so ironic, isn't it? Mr Joyce is trying to ban us and yet his own grandfather was banned."

Ms Zapparoli and her husband wrote to Mr Joyce to inform him that they were planning a production and to offer "a reasonable royalty".

She has insisted that the copyright has expired.

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