Culture Round-up – August 5, 2015


William Tell or ‘Guillaume Tell’ at Palace Byron Bay on Sunday and Wednesday

She’ll Be Apples

Palace Cinema’s 2014–15 opera and ballet season concludes this week with Guillaume Tell (William Tell). Opening with one of the most exciting of all operatic overtures, this is Rossini’s final opera and greatest masterpiece. Its theme is liberty, and features the famous scene where Tell shoots an apple from his son’s head – a feat that inspires his fellow countrymen to revolution. Rossini’s outstanding score is brought to life by Gerald Finley as Tell and John Osborn as Arnold. Sung in French, with English subtitles, the opera was captured live from Covent Garden, London, earlier this month. At the Palace Byron Bay Cinema on Sunday 9 August at 1pm and Wednesday 12 August at 11am. 15+


BAFTA winner and Academy Award nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor 12 Years a Slave takes the title role in the National Theatre’s dynamic new production of Everyman, one of English drama’s oldest plays, directed by the National’s new director Rufus Norris.

Everyman is successful, popular and riding high when Death comes calling. He is forced to abandon the life he has built and embark on a last, frantic search to recruit a friend, anyone, to speak in his defence. But Death is close behind, and time is running out. Everyman screens at Palace Byron Bay Cinema at 1pm on Saturday and 12.30pm on Monday. Tickets $23–25.

Laughing in court

Court House Open Mic comedy is back on this Thursday, with Mandy Nolan back at the helm as MC. This long-running open mic (now almost four years old) is a creative platform for emerging comics, offering them a chance to fumble, fuss and fly in front of a live audience. Nolan also uses the open mic format to try out some of her latest ideas. ‘It’s a challenge being a country comic because our audiences are often full of people who come to see us nearly every time, so it’s imperative that I don’t get lazy!’ New and visiting comics welcome. Free. Thursday at the Court House Hotel in Mullumbimby from 8pm.

Psychic Calling

Ever wondered what message lies in the deep beyond for you? I’m not talking about those unplayed recordings on your Telstra Message Bank – we’re talking people from the ‘other side’! World-renowned psychic and medium Charmaine Wilson is at the Ballina RSL on Thursday. Why not find out what message she has for you! 16+ – must be accompanied by a parent at all times. 16–18 years at adult prices. $40.

Dead man STILL laughing

Premda Lowson presents his one-man show Dead Man Laughing at the Byron Community Centre this August. This actor, performer and contemporary storyteller was born in London in 1952, and spent his early childhood years on a tough, West London council estate before moving to the more rarefied and liberating atmosphere of a 16th-century pub near Oxford. At the unlikely age of fifteen, he joined the Royal Navy as a stoker to see the world and did five years of service before returning to the UK and completing his training as a psychiatric nurse.

Frustrated by what he saw as antiquated and dangerous methods of treating mental illness, Premda was attracted to the counterculture of the late 1960s, which was by then in full swing. An exposure to the ideas of RD Laing and his revolutionary approach to psychiatry made Premda realise that to be of any help to others he would first have to work on himself.

In the early 1970s he started to train in alternative, therapeutic methods offered in London and became deeply involved with the work of Veeresh and his pioneering experiments in treating addicts from a perspective of mental health rather than mental illness. Premda moved to Holland for five years to continue this work with Veeresh at his centre, the Humaniversity, developing new approaches to treating addiction and deepening self-inquiry. In early 2012, Premda was diagnosed with prostate cancer for which he received a course of radiation therapy. However, one year later, he was informed that the cancer had spread to his bones and was now inoperable. It is now over two years since Premda received that initial diagnosis. His unique life experience has always formed the basis of the material he uses for his shows and this new situation with his health has infused his performance with an added immediacy, authenticity and poignancy. He brings a sincerity and honesty to his storytelling that does not flinch from dealing with our last taboos around sex and death, while always insisting with great humour that it is okay to be human. He takes us with him on a rollercoaster ride through a life well lived along a path less travelled. He will be performing his hilarious and utterly unique one-man show Dead Man Laughing, directed by Howard Stanley, for one night only at 7pm on Saturday 15 August in the Byron Theatre.

Tickets are $20 each from The Byron Theatre booking office or online at

The show contains adult content and is rated 18+.

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