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Culture Roundup – Wednesday 10 December, 2015

Comedy Christmas virgins

They’re back. The next crop of Mandy Nolan’s standup comedy virgins. Bigger, bolder and brasher than ever. For the past six weeks standup comedian, artist, mother and mentor Mandy Nolan has been teaching the gentle art of standup to 11 brand-new comedy initiates. This bumper crop of comics range from a couple of civil engineers to the fruit and veg guy from Woolies to a barmaid, a disability worker, a roller derby mum of two, a student nurse, a writer and a French girl who moved here for love. These students have been wowing Mandy with their enthusiasm and their newfound ability.

‘This is a very funny group of people. I love teaching classes like this. Every now and then I’ll get these groups that have this incredible dynamic, where everyone is so different and strong. It’s a real pleasure teaching them. They’re naturally funny. Sometimes even I can’t believe what people say.’

Mandy has been teaching standup comedy through Byron Shire ACE for more than 15 years with more than 1,000 students having taken the plunge! She teaches them to get in touch with their struggles, their problems, what irritates them, and rise above it. ‘Comedy is the ultimate tool for revenge. It’s the place where the oppressed can take out the oppressor. Comedy heros are all Davids. Nobody likes Goliath.’

Standup comedy is the ultimate way to improve your public speaking, to increase your confidence and overcome your fear of failure! Graduates all take to the stage after their short training to present their five-minute comedy routine in a real live comedy setting. With Mandy Nolan as MC, the comedy graduates fly in the face of fear.

Emceed by Mandy Nolan, this is the hottest ticket in town… well for a Monday night!

Byron Services Club Pandanus Lounge on Monday at 8pm.

Tix are $10/15 and can be purchased at the door or booked on 6619 0529.

Dee Dee Chenille hosts an ‘in conversation’ with Maude Boate at the Lismore Art Gallery this Thursday

Dee Dee Chenille hosts an ‘in conversation’ with Maude Boate at the Lismore Art Gallery this Thursday

Maude Than You Know

Maude Boate currently has her spectacular costumes on show at the Lismore Regional Gallery. Maude came into being in the 1980s performing at the infamous Albury Hotel in Sydney. Her signature sculpted wigs became known outside the gay club scene when they were adapted for the stage play and the movie The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

The creation of Michael Gates, Ms Maude has been the ultimate model for Michael, whose incredible costumes range from the glamorous to the humorous. Maude was larger than life – a timely rebuke against conservative purulence against homosexuality and queerness. Never one to whisper, she has continued to declare herself, refusing to be anything but wonderfully outrageous. Also showing in the screen gallery is Making Maude by Megan Kinninment. Dee Dee Chenille hosts a very frank and revealing ‘in conversation’ with Maude Boate at the Lismore Art Gallery this Thursday. Pop in and catch Maude’s stunning creations. She’s a bloody whiz on the Pfaff.

A Circusy Elixir 

Fresh from their sold-out and award-winning tour of the United Kingdom, Head First Acrobats are back in Australia and are touring their internationally acclaimed show Elixir. Having played to sellout crowds and rave reviews in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide and the United Kingdom, Head First Acrobats are ready to bust out for one night only in Byron Bay.

Elixir is circus like you have never seen before, uninhibited by cliche or expectation, subversive and hilarious at the same time. Acrobats fly five metres into the air on the teeterboard, spin upside down on the mesmerising roue cyr wheel, perform incredible one-arm handstands on wobbling canes, and balance on nothing but their heads on a swinging trapeze.

Elixir is an incredible display of acrobatics and physical comedy, tied together with an eccentric narrative. An action-packed hour of circus, with a cohesive story from start to finish. The story follows three bumbling (albeit handsome) scientists who attempt to create the elixir of life. The mayhem that follows is a beautiful mix of incredible acrobatics and impeccable comic timing. They play the Byron Theatre on Friday at 8pm. Tix at the Centre.

Being well for wellbeing

The 34th Ananda Mela Music and Wellbeing Festival invites you to enjoy music, yoga, meditation, great vegetarian / vegan food, and a dazzling array of workshops and performances on arts, culture, health and social activism. Bring the whole family; there are creative and inspiring programs for kids and teens. Breathe fresh air in upland granite bush country and start the year regenerated and inspired. Artists include Tenzin, an extraordinary Tibetan musician with Shenn Findall on Tabla and Taro Terahara on Bansuri flute; Sam Okoth and family with exuberant Kenyan music and dance; Ethopia Bahil Dance Group – a group of Ethopian children and teens eager to share the rich culture of their homeland; Australia’s best-loved folk duo, Penny and Roger… and much more.

The festival includes a health expo day where participants can learn about a variety of health modalities from local practitioners. Book by 15 December for up to $50 discount. For more information, www.anandamela.org.au or Facebook page at Ananda Mela Australia. The Ananda Mela Music and Wellbeing Festival 4–10 January in Stanthorp.

Chris Radburn, one of the featured comedians at the Big Gig NYE sit down comedy Gala Dinner!

Chris Radburn, one of the featured comedians at the Big Gig NYE sit down comedy Gala Dinner!

Who’s who in the comedy zoo for New Years

Last time Chris Radburn took to the stage at the Ballina RSL he nearly tore the house down, so it’s with excitement we welcome back one-time Casino boy. Former lawyer Chris Radburn has earned a reputation for clever and cheeky observations that are relatable, original and hilarious. Chris has appeared as a comedian on more than 15 TV shows including The NRL Footy Show, Last Comic Standing, CNN International, Stand Up Australia, Thursday Night Live, Getaway, Joker Poker and Sydney Comedy Festival Gala.

Over the last 10 years he has performed at every major festival including the Sydney Comedy, Melbourne International Comedy, Adelaide Fringe, Woodford Folk festivals, Just for Laughs Comedy Showcase and Sydney’s World’s Funniest Island. He has also toured internationally, performing in the US, NZ, Malaysia and on P&O cruises in the South Pacific. He was also part of the 3 Forces Entertainment tours to Solomon Islands, Egypt and Dubai, entertaining the Aussie troops, and was an international finalist on America’s hit comedy show Last Comic Standing. He is joined by Steady Eddie, Anne Howe and Mandy Nolan for the New Years Eve Comedy Gala Dinner at the Ballina RSL – tickets on sale now: $69.90 for a two-course meal and a show. Tickets at the club. (Get in early as they ALWAYS sell out!)

Always a Little Abstract

Katie Alleva has been a northern rivers resident for the last fourteen years and completed her Bachelor of Secondary Education at Southern Cross University in Lismore. Katie currently lives in Mullumbimby and teaches Visual Art and Media at a local Steiner School.

Alleva’s practice investigates cycles, planets, stars, moon, and sky as well as delving into the astrophysical. She employs the traditional form of printmaking; however, her process is highly intuitive, as she diverges away from conventional techniques. Katie has created timeless, geometric printed-paper works on board that are symbolic and spiritual, reflective of the zeitgeist. Little Abstracts by Katie Alleva is a poetic response to issues surrounding climate change and all things related to outer space and scientific discovery.

The works created for this exhibition are timeless, geometric printed-paper works on board that are both symbolic and spiritual, reflective of the zeitgeist. Her work is on show at the Northern Rivers Community Gallery in Ballina, opening on Thursday from 5.30pm.

Along with A Change in the Weather by Caroline McKay, inspired by the artist’s love of exploring, discovering and living close to nature, and Land, Sea and Sky by Bernadette Curtin, Merrilee Pettinato and Kelly Zarb, reflecting three artists’ varied expressions of their deep interconnectedness with nature.

Star Wars The Force Awakens at the Palace Byron Bay for a midnight screening on Wednesday 16 December

Star Wars The Force Awakens at the Palace Byron Bay for a midnight screening on Wednesday 16 December

Shakespeare at the Palace

The National Theatre Live presentation of Coriolanus, Shakespeare’s searing tragedy of political manipulation and revenge, returns to Palace Cinema this week for two encore screenings. Starring Tom Hiddleston (The Avengers, War Horse) in the title role and Mark Gatiss (BBC’s Sherlock) as Menenius, the production was staged at the Donmar Warehouse and directed by the Donmar’s artistic director Josie Rourke. Coriolanus screens at Palace Byron Bay at 1pm on Saturday and 12.30pm on Monday.

Carlos Acosta’s Carmen makes its world premiere as part of a dramatic mixed program of four short works in The Royal Ballet’s Quadruple Bill at the Palace Byron Bay Cinema on Sunday and Wednesday

Carlos Acosta’s Carmen makes its world premiere as part of a dramatic mixed program of four short works in The Royal Ballet’s Quadruple Bill at the Palace Byron Bay Cinema on Sunday and Wednesday

Ballet at the Palace

Carlos Acosta’s Carmen makes its world premiere as part of a dramatic mixed program of four short works in The Royal Ballet’s Quadruple Bill, celebrating the 17-year career of its dynamic Cuban principal guest artist. Acosta brings his Latin flair both as choreographer and performer to an exciting new production of the classic Spanish tale of jealousy and desire. Acosta himself dances the role of Don José with Royal Ballet principals Marianela Nuñez and Federico Bonelli as Carmen and Escamillo.

Quadruple Bill screens at Palace Byron Bay Cinema at 1pm on Sunday and 11am on Wednesday.

The delightful and very very funny Ellen Briggs – she will be onstage with Mandy Nolan at the Ocean Shores Country Club on Saturday 19 December for an extra show after the big sellout show last Saturday!

The delightful and very very funny Ellen Briggs – she will be onstage with Mandy Nolan at the Ocean Shores Country Club on Saturday 19 December for an extra show after the big sellout show last Saturday!


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