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Byron Shire
September 20, 2021

Cinema Review: The Lady in the Van

Latest News

A new COVID-19 case flies into the Far North Coast

The Northern NSW Local Health District has confirmed that there is a new case of COVID-19 in Northern NSW today, and they will be included in NSW Health’s official reporting tomorrow.

Other News

Update: Lismore going into lockdown at 6pm

Lismore local government area (LGA) is going into lockdown for seven days from 6pm tonight following a positive case of COVID-19 in Goonellabah yesterday.

Local mum features in documentary about the impacts and possible solutions around suicide

Murwillumbah mum Ursula has lived every parents worst nightmare – her child, at the age of just 17, took his own life – and a lot of time and energy, questions and conjecture and finger-pointing can rumble around this, but at the end of the day Ursula’s precious boy is gone and he’s not coming back.

New cases of COVID-19 below 1,000 for the first time in 25 days

In what is now a general press conference, the Premier spoke to media at 11am this morning about the pandemic and other business.

Printmakers make their mark at Tweed Regional Gallery

A new exhibition featuring the work of some of Australia’s leading printmakers has been installed and is ready to be enjoyed by visitors when the Tweed Regional Gallery & Margaret Olley Art Centre reopens tomorrow.

Creatives feature in Lismore plan

Creative industries, climate resilience, building more homes and supporting a flourishing food sector are all aspirations within a 15-year vision for Lismore.

Berry bright future

At 25, Sarah Montgomery has her feet planted firmly on the ground and her hands deep in the soil....


Usually it is a leading man’s handsome good looks or an actress’s alluring curves that a director chooses to highlight. In Nicholas Hytner’s whimsical but incisive adaptation of Alan Bennett’s play, Maggie Smith’s bulbous right eye is frequently the camera’s focal point, and it’s uncanny how the shot draws you deeper into her character’s psyche whenever it’s used. Miss Shepherd (Smith) is an irascible, malodorous old biddy with a mysterious past as a novice nun, a WWII ambo and a concert pianist. Now on her uppers, she lives in the back of a yellow van. When she parks it in the driveway of the house that Alan (Alex Jennings) has just purchased in Camden Town, it is expected to be a temporary arrangement – but she stays for fifteen years. Remarkably, this is a true story, and Hytner, who collaborated with Bennett on The History Boys (2006) and The Madness of King George (1994), has again shown himself to have a receptive ‘ear’ for the writer’s wry humour and understated pathos. He has also reminded us that lightness of touch need not necessarily reflect lightweight content, for the movie deals with the serious issues of loneliness, guilt and the challenges of ageing. It opens with Miss Shepherd being pursued by the police after an accident in which somebody has come to grief – it’s the thorny problem that does not permit the screenplay to settle into idle cosiness, and the revisiting of the incident near the end is genuinely shocking. Smith, as always, is superb, but so too is the unsung Jennings, who understands perfectly well that this is also about Alan and the two worlds he occupies as dutiful son and as gay playwright – ‘writing is talking to yourself’, he stresses during one of his many voice-overs and conversations with himself. The device of having Jennings duplicated on screen is visually convincing and works a treat as we observe the understanding and empathy that grows between Miss Shepherd and her queer host. Heartwarming, funny and sad – a must-see.

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Found – Have you seen Steve? Missing person

Mullumbimby man Steve Mustchin went missing at 11am this morning from Byron Bay Hospital and his family are asking locals to keep an eye out for him.

Images released of men who robbed the Byron Bowlo

Detectives investigating the armed robbery of a licensed premises in Byron Bay earlier this year, have released CCTV images and are appealing for public information that may assist their inquiries.

New Nesbitt Park mountain bike skills course in Lismore

Though Lismore is currently in lockdown, the city has inaugurated a new sporting activity in Nesbitt Park that will make residents want to enjoy outdoors as soon as possible.

New cases of COVID-19 below 1,000 for the first time in 25 days

In what is now a general press conference, the Premier spoke to media at 11am this morning about the pandemic and other business.