Culture Roundup – January 22, 2016

Power Picnic

Enova Community Energy is celebrating the successful capital raising to commence Australia‘s first community owned renewable energy retailer by inviting investors, supporters and their families to a picnic on Saturday. With entertainment, children’s activities and information stalls. Be at the Bangalow Bowlo 2–5pm.

For event details, to register attendance, and to provide support/volunteer on the day, visit

Women Like Us go Federal

Well it looks like people really like Women Like Us. The show that brings together the comedy talents of Mandy Nolan and Ellen Briggs makes its way to the Federal Hall with one very special show on Saturday 5 March. Catch these two knockout standups as they present an hour each of their riotous humour, and find out why they have been selling out up and down the coast, with recent venues having to add extra performances. It’s been full steam ahead for the girls, who have their gaze on the Festival Market for 2016. ‘We’re performing the show at the Adelaide Fringe Festival and at the Melbourne Comedy Festival,’ says Ellen Briggs, who believes that getting two middle-aged mamas out of Mullumbimby is something of a triumph in itself. ‘It’s not as easy for us to tour as it is for male comedians,’ says Briggs. ‘Men on the circuit can up and leave for weeks at a time, but as busy hands-on mothers Mandy and I really have a lot of juggling to do to manage our careers.’

In demand on the comedy circuit and adored for their ability to find the humour in everyday experiences, Mandy Nolan and Ellen Briggs believe it’s their everyday lives that give them strength with audiences audiences.

‘We’re 40-something mothers of teenagers, we’re wives, and ex-wives! Ellen can wrangle a snake and operate a ride-on mower in the afternoon, and by evening she dons heels and a frock and she’s emceeing a charity ball. We’re smalltown showgirls. And boy do we have fun onstage!’

Women Like Us is Saturday 5 March. Federal Hall. Tickets: $25 presale or $30 at the door if any left.To find out more or to purchase tickets go to

Delicious home-cooked meal by Federal Loves Refugees. Licensed bar. (General admission seating)Doors open from 7pm with show at 8pm. Enquiries to 6619 0529.

Royal Opera’s Cavalleria Rusticana screening at Palace cinema Sunday

Royal Opera’s Cavalleria Rusticana screening at Palace cinema Sunday

Last chance for the Palace

Two complementary works telling dark tales of passionate love that sours to violent jealousy comprise the final opera presentation, Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci, to be screened before Palace Byron Bay closes its doors for the immediate future. Pietro Mascagni adapted Giovanni Verga’s play Cavalleria Rusticana (Rustic Chivalry) for a competition held by the music publisher Edoardo Sonzogno. His opera, a verismo masterpiece, won the competition and became a tremendous success on its premiere in May 1890. Cavalleria Rusticana was an undoubted influence on Ruggero Leoncavallo when he too wrote a short opera for Sonzogno, this time based on a true story. His Pagliacci, first performed in May 1892, was another huge success. The two works, sharing dramatic concision, melodic richness and an obsession with violent jealousy, were soon paired and have since become almost inseparable.

Antonio Pappano conducts a terrific cast including charismatic Dutch soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek, exciting Italian soprano Carmen Giannattasio and thrilling Latvian tenor Aleksandrs Antonenko. Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci, sung in Italian with English subtitles, was captured live from Covent Garden, London on 10 December 2015 and screens at Palace Byron Bay on Sunday at 1pm. The cinema closes on 27 January for rebuilding, with re-opening expected in early 2017.

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