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Byron Shire
September 22, 2021

Culture wrap April 29

Latest News

September 21: NNSWLHD COVID update and Byron-Tweed lockdown

The Northern NSW Local Health District held a press conference at Lismore Base Hospital this afternoon.

Other News

The old slouch hat

‘This is my favourite,’ we say espite the painfully obvious fact that we all, from time to time enjoy a wide variety...

Speech pathology student numbers soar at SCU

The number of domestic applications for the undergraduate speech pathology course at Southern Cross University have increased 79 per cent compared to the same time last year.

Are developers threatening court action over controversial Iron Gates development?

Using the Land and Environment Court (L&EC) to exclude effective public dialogue on development appears to, once again, be being used to drive forward development in the Northern Rivers.

Mandatory mask

Mandatory mask wearing is not working. Supermarkets can’t seem to enforce this, unfortunately. If like me, you see a...

Union wants mandatory vaccination across the board

Representatives of NSW prison officers say they are demanding mandatory vaccinations be adopted across the NSW justice system, with the union saying inmates who refuse the jab should face the same public health restrictions unvaccinated members of the public do.

COVID venues of concern at Evans Head and Lismore

Three new venues of concern have been added to the list of COVID-19 venues of concern following a student...

Jenny Cargill-Strong

Storytellers Wanted!

Local storytellers, bards, fablers, yarn-spinners and raconteurs take note: a new storytelling festival needs you!

A competition for local stories told orally will be one of many exciting story events planned for the inaugural Festival of the Golden Tale in June.

Staged around the Old and Gold Festival in Brunswick Heads and co-ordinated by Jenni Cargill-Strong and the Byron Circle of Tellers. You are invited to submit a 5–8-minute story set in the Brunswick Valley. Entries cost $5 per story.

The deadline has been extended to Sunday 24 May. Tellers need to be available to tell their story at the The Golden Tale Competition Concert planned for the day after Old and Gold on Sunday evening, 7 June, at the Brunswick Heads Memorial Hall.

The Golden Tale Local Stories Competition is designed to cultivate, elicit and support the emergence of stories of place and tales of country from our Brunswick Valley region. Entrants do not need to be locals, or polished performers; they just need a story set in the Byron Shire.

The teller can choose to tell a true story, a fictional story or a factional tale – ie a true story with threads of fiction woven through it. The audience may have some fun trying to judge whether your story is Fact, Fiction or Faction!

‘This is an oral story competition, not a literary story competition’, says Jenny. ‘Stories need to work as a told story and, preferably, delivered by the entrant without notes.

We are invoking a light-hearted spirit of competition to inspire participation, but competitiveness isn’t the main focus.The main focus is to come together as a community to share local stories and celebrate our community, its characters and what makes us unique.’

For anyone who needs help developing a story and/or the confidence to tell it, enrol for short workshop on Saturday 23 May at the Brunswick Memorial Hall, 10am–1pm.

Finalists will have their story recorded by Bay FM and selected stories will be played on The Heart of the Story on Bay FM 99.9 Community Radio. For more details on the festival, competition and workshop, go to: www.storytree.com.au/golden-tale/ or call Jenni on 0403 328 643.

Circus Arts brings in the Big Guns!

Circus Arts Byron Bay is thrilled to announce the addition of Daniel Catlow to the training team for Term 2. Fresh off a season of Club Swizzle at the Sydney Opera House, Daniel is heading to Byron to work on some solo acts and show ideas with his talented circus friends who reside in the area.

In the past 10 years, Daniel has worked with La Soiree, Strut & Fret, Company 2, Circus Oz and Circa. He has toured throughout Australia and internationally including the UK, western Europe, North and South America.

His most recent shows include Company 2’s Scotch & Soda, which recently celebrated a sell-out season at Adelaide Fringe, and She Would Walk the Sky, which played at the Roundhouse in London. Daniel will kick off Term 2 at Circus Arts teaching levels acro, performance troupe, kids’ and adults’ parkour, under-10s’ circus and adults’ acro.

The Circus Arts Performance Troupe performs regularly at festivals and events around the community and is looking for new members for 2015. Don’t miss this chance to learn from one of the country’s circus greats! Book your Term 2 class at www.circusarts.com.au or call 6685 6566.

Big Farm of Love

Byron’s newest venue The Farm will be hosting a fundraising event for Ashlea Penfold this Friday to assist her family to meet health challenges. Ashlea is a fashion makeup artist renowned in the region for her work with some of Australia’s best labels and models.

Ashlea’s husband Matt is currently undergoing chemotherapy for Hodgkin’s disease and their 5-year-old son has ongoing medical bills for autism. The fundraiser hopes to private relief for medical and personal bills to alleviate stress during what is already no doubt a stressful time.

Featuring previews of the unreleased collections by Spell Designs and other local labels.

$60 for drink on arrival and fashion show and $90 to have post-show dinner at The Barn included. From 5pm. Info at penfoldfamilyfundraiswer.com and tickets at www.bit.ly/penfoldfamily.

Pop Choirs!

The newest choir in Australia’s biggest little town is Gorgeous Pop Choir, meeting Monday evenings at the Scout Hall on River Terrace in Mullumbimby from 7pm.

This term the choir will focus on pop songs from the 70s and 80s. Director Janet Swain also encourages young people to get involved – with kids’ choirs.

Registrations at songdynastymusic.com.

Learning Hula

Traditional Hawaiian cultural teacher Kanoelani Davis will be offering a unique insight into the ancient style of Hula – Hula ‘Kahiko’ – rarely performed let alone shared outside of Hawaii, as part of a series of talks and workshops at Kulchajam this weekend.

From Molokai, the island known as a stronghold of traditional Hawaiian culture, Kanoe was raised by her grandparents and renowned hula teachers gaining recognition as a Kumu – accomplished teacher of Hula Kahiko (ancient style of traditional dance and teachings).

This coming weekend – Friday, Saturday and Sunday. For more information contact Kathryn 0407 877 309 [email protected]

Charlie’s Country

Multi-award-winning, internationally acclaimed Australian filmmaker Rolf de Heer will be the special guest speaker at a Screenworks event at the Byron Bay Community Centre on 12 May, when he joins local Indigenous journalist and arts professional Rhoda Roberts in conversation after a screening of his most recent film Charlie’s Country.

Typically Rolf de Heer’s films explore the human condition and question conventional wisdom. They are low in budget but high in impact, and his fourteenth feature film is no exception.

Brilliant Indigenous actor David Gulpilil stars in, and co-wrote, this highly topical and semi-autobiographical drama with Rolf De Heer, their third collaboration after The Tracker and Ten Canoes.

The birth of the film came about with Rolf de Heer’s concern for David Gulipilil’s situation. Rolf wanted to help his friend find his way, and the only way he knew how was to make a film with him and renew his sense of purpose.

In Charlie’s Country Blackfella Charlie is getting older, and he’s out of sorts.

The Intervention is making life more difficult on his remote community, what with the proper policing of ‘whitefella’ laws that make little sense, and Charlie’s kin more interested in going along with things than doing anything about it. So Charlie takes off, to live the old way, but in so doing sets off a chain of events in his life that has him return to his community chastened, and somewhat the wiser.

The film is powerfully moving not least because there are many parallels between the life of Gulpilil and the character Charlie. Gulpilil was also a gifted dancer and was for a time one of the most renowned traditional dancers in Australia; and he, like Charlie has struggled to reconcile the two cultures he lives within.

For an evening with Charlie’s Country and director Rolf de Heer at the Byron Theatre on Tuesday 12 May, tix are $18 for concession and Screenworks members, otherwise $25. Available at Byron Theatre – 6685 6807.

St Patrick’s High School Musical

Mt St Patrick College Murwillumbah is proud to present Disney’s High School Musical On Stage! Evening performances are on Friday and Saturday, 7.30pm start, showcasing the school’s most talented actors and musicians.

Disney’s High School Musical On Stage! tells the story of Gabriella, a new student at the school, and Troy, the school’s star basketball player, and how they encourage the school to be true to themselves and not always ‘stick to the status quo’.

It’s a fun, light-hearted show filled with humour, vibrant music and dancing, a live band and drumline. Tickets are on sale now: adults $15, concession $12.

Tickets can be purchased through the front office and online through the school’s website: www.mursclism.catholic.edu.au. Tickets will not be available at the door. Doors open 7pm.

Honour at the Drill

Tickets are now on sale for what is possibly Australia’s most successful play internationally of the last 20 years with several productions around the world: Honour.

Director Penny Irving brings all her experience and passion to Honour, her first play at the Drill Hall in Mullumbimby. Joanna Murray-Smith’s 1995 work is an hilarious and uncompromising examination of marriage, delusion and ambition.

Honour and George have an enviable life. George is a celebrated academic and Honour gave up her own ambition as a writer to raise their daughter Sophie. George is approaching the end of his career and is interviewed for a book by an ambitious young woman, Claudia.

George is flattered at first and then falls for Claudia, hopelessly. He suddenly leaves Honour and chases a new idea of love. Honour is hurt and perplexed but soon begins her own transformation. Sophie rages at her father while Honour slowly constructs a new life.

Will George and Claudia endure in their new love? Will Honour be able to recover a sense of herself?

Honour is funny and honest, an excellent dissection of a long marriage and how a world can fall apart so quickly.

Peppered with one-liners, the humour is brainy but driven by the self-deception of all involved.

Opening night Friday and running until Sunday 17 May. Performances 8pm Friday and Saturday, 5pm Sunday. Bookings ($20 & $15) at the Bookshop, Mullum or online at www.drillhalltheatre.org.au.

The Palace of Cobain

Kurt Cobain, legendary lead singer, guitarist and songwriter of Nirvana, remains an object of reverence and fascination for music fans around the world – and for the first time his story will be told in Cobain: Montage of Heck, a fully authorised feature documentary screening in limited release at Palace Byron Bay Cinema over 7–10 May.

Oscar-nominated filmmaker Brett Morgen (Crossfire Hurricane, The Kid Stays In The Picture), the writer, director and producer was given unprecedented access to Cobain’s personal and family archives by the late rocker’s estate.

Morgen weaves together moving first-person testimony from Cobain’s mother and sister, his widow, Courtney Love, former girlfriend Tracy Marander, ex-bandmate Krist Novoselic and others with Cobain’s own words in an unflinching tribute to a contentious and contradictory talent, still revered by millions around the world 20 years after his tragic death.

Visual artist Frances Bean Cobain, Cobain’s daughter, is the executive producer. Eight years in the making, fans and those of the Nirvana generation will learn things about Cobain they never knew while those who have recently discovered the man and his music will know what makes him the lasting icon that he still is today.

Ole! Spanish Film Festival!

The 2015 Spanish Film Festival, screening at Palace Byron Bay Cinema from Thursday to Thursday 7 May, is a multicultural cinematic celebration, with productions filmed in Argentina, Mexico, Peru, France, Colombia, Italy, Brazil and of course Spain. And oh yes, Bollywood! Spain’s biggest-ever box-office hit Spanish Affair is the opening-night film.

This comedic tale mischievously pokes fun at cultural differences as it tracks a young southerner who tenaciously seeks to win the heart of a Basque girl, making it a very Spanish affair indeed.

Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and winner of the Goya for Best Foreign Film, closing-night film Wild Tales sets out to prove that there is a little bit of animal in all of us.

This black comedy has won the hearts of critics and audiences alike. Romance lovers need look no further than the love triangle that is Get Married If You Can, a Mexican rom-com about the importance of staying true to oneself and the meaning of genuine love.

Expect a lot of heart, humour and perhaps even tears from father-daughter tale Instructions Not Included, another film from Mexico – where it was the biggest Mexican hit ever at the local box office, as well as the highest-grossing Spanish-language film of all time in the US.

Who doesn’t love the colour and exotica of a good Bollywood film? Traces of Sandalwood journeys through the universal themes of love and hope when Mina, a famous Indian actress in Mumbai, goes in search of her long-lost sister, taken to Spain for adoption.

A budding romance that develops between Paula and a handsome Indian immigrant. Winner of 10 Goya Awards in 2015, including best film, best director (Alberto Rodriguez, Unit 7, best actor and best art direction, Marshland is an unmissable festival highlight that showcases brooding Spanish cinema at its very best, and is reminiscent of the TV series True Detective.

Finding Gaston is a mouth-watering documentary about chef Gastón Acurio, an inspiring man with a hunger for social change who’s on a mission to change his country through food.

Paco León has returned to directing his mother, cult figure and matriarchal tour-de-force Carmina Barrios, and sister Maria León, in Carmina and Amen.

This time Carmina works furiously to conceal the surprise death of her husband from family and friends in order to allow enough time for his bonus pay cheque to clear.

The predecessor to this film, Carmina or Blow Up, became an unexpected comedic hit throughout Spain (and at our festival in 2013) and now Carmina and Paco have re-teamed with an hysterical sequel that upgrades the low-budget original with a more mature, polished film that still feels fresh and very Spanish but takes Carmina’s outrageous, larger-than-life personality to the next level.

Tickets and programs available at Palace Byron Bay or online at spanishfilmfestival.com.au.

Kevin Bloody Wilson

The Kevin Bloody Wilson Show is not just a concert performance; for most, it’s a full-on event and an opportunity to tick from your bucket list a chance to see Australia’s unique international comedy legend.

If we were asked to nominate one individual to best define Australian humour, for most of us the name Kevin Bloody Wilson immediately springs to mind.

His recently released biography, The Life and Rhymes of Kevin Bloody Wilson is a raucous, earthy, in depth look at perhaps one of the only Australian comedians who has not bowed to the pressures of political correctness.

It’s also a known fact that nobody tells Australian stories better than Kevin Bloody Wilson. Tix are $55 at the Ballina RSL on Saturday.

The Funny Stuff

Everyone wants to be ‘that funny guy’ and now you have a chance to practise to achieve your goal!

Open Mic Night gives people who want to develop their comedic skills an opportunity to enhance their ‘funny’ and become more experienced in the area.

On a typical Open Mic Night, newer acts will get five minutes of stage time while more experienced comedians will get 10 or more. Could you be the next Amy Poehler or Kevin Hart? Try your luck in our fourth year of Open Mic Comedy at the Court House in Mullumbimby.

It’s led by the hilarious Mandy Nolan, and you’re bound to laugh your head off. On Thursday at 8pm and, best of all, it’s FREE.

Hold this Space, Cowboy

That spoon-bending, underwater sword-swallowing, mind-reading, Guinness World Record holder of most Guiness world records, our very own most beloved freak Space Cowboy is back!

Catch him on Sunday at the Byron Theatre in two shows, 3.30pm and 7pm. Book your tickets at the box office: 6685 6807.

Give Mum the Gift of Laughter this Mothers Day!

There is no better gift for Mum than a night out having a laugh! So when buying Mum a card why not slip in some tickets to a night out with the girls?

After touring the east coast with shows at the Melbourne Comedy Festival, salubrious launches for her third comedic memoir Home Truths in Sydney, Canberra, Noosa, Caloundra, Brisbane and beyond, Mandy Nolan returns home to present a power-packed comedy show starring Gretel Killeen and Jackie Loeb.

Comedian, actor, musician and cat lover Jackie Loeb has come a long way from her astounding performances in the Australian TV classics Full Frontal and Good News Week to now be based in the USA, where she’s recently performed in the 2014 Aspen Comedy Festival, Last Comic Standing and the Hollywood Fringe Festival and is the writer/director/star of web series Play Date.

Meanwhile Gretel Killeen has recently starred in and co-written the web series phenomenon Minister For Men.

A reluctant comic, Gretel too has come far since performing a very serious poem and being laughed at. Winner of a Mo Award for writing, a best-selling author, a famed TV host, documentary maker, voice artist and irreverent bright spark, Gretel is also regularly seen across the TV dial including Sunrise and The Project.

Chalk and cheese in every way, the odd couple of Jackie and Gretel first performed together in 2014 to standing ovations. But his year they’re even faster, stronger and more fabulous.

Bringing together the best of internationally acclaimed comic, musician and outrageous femme fatale Jackie Loeb with national icon, comic and outspoken infamous smart-arse Gretel Killeen. In Search of a G-Chord is two women at the top of their game, hitting hard and hilariously.

Joined by Mandy Nolan as MC, direct from her short but sold-out season at the Melbourne Comedy Festival!

This fabulous show hits the stage Monday 18 May at the Byron Services Club.

Show at 8pm. Tix are $25/30 at the club or book on 6619 0529.


Byron Bay library

Thursday 7 May 10.30am – ‘The Devil Wears Clogs’ with Jennifer Burge. Thursday

Bay Singers

The Bay Singers (BB Community Choir) meets Mondays 10.30–11.30 at the Community Centre each week. More info: [email protected]


Improvisation & Performance Peer Practice Mondays 4–6pm at Kulchajam, Byron ind est. More info: Gabrielle 0418 438 396.


Live music from Hide The Potato with dance caller, last Sunday of every month 3–5pm at Brunswick Heads RSL Hall. Next dance Sunday 26 April.


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Entertainment in the Byron Shire for the week beginning 22 September, 2021

Please check, at the end of lockdown to see whats on.

Speech pathology student numbers soar at SCU

The number of domestic applications for the undergraduate speech pathology course at Southern Cross University have increased 79 per cent compared to the same time last year.

BREAKING: Byron and Tweed shires go into week-long lockdown

Stay-at-home orders will be introduced for the Byron Shire, Tweed and Kempsey Local Government Areas (LGAs) from 5pm today for seven days due to an increased COVID-19 public health risk.

Ballina charity ball to raise funds for men’s mental health

Locals will have the chance to support local men with their mental health when the Night of Hope Charity Ball takes place in Ballina on October Ball.