Mike’s Big Gig
Mike van Acker has spent most of his adult life trying to stay away from standup comedy. It was easy when he left high school – there was no comedy in Brisbane. He became a singing-telegram performer instead. Keen, wasn’t he? In January 1992 Mike was minding his own business contract cleaning when his acting agent called, reminded him who she was, and told him the ‘Sit Down Comedy Club’ was about to open in Brisbane. It was a defining moment for him. As he stood in his trusty storeroom surrounded by mops and Chux supa-wipes (the extra-absorbent type) he received ‘the comedy calling’ – a strange, dizzy feeling that seemed to bring stomach cramps as well. Two weeks later as he failed miserably on his standup debut he realised it was not the comedy but the ammonia calling. It really wasn’t a well-ventilated storeroom. Mike sold his contract-cleaning company and began making a full-time living as a performer. To facilitate this, there may have been a time when he regularly dressed up as (among other things) a clown, a spy, a waiter, and at one memorable gig the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz. Mike continued to avoid doing standup where possible – he even took a year off to sing and dance in a theatre restaurant on the Gold Coast, but always found his way back to standup. Stints as the audience warm-up comedian for Channel 7’s Family Feud did little to dampen his enthusiasm, and after his fourth successful tour of New Zealand’s comedy clubs (both of them) he decided to give the street theatre and magic gigs a big miss, and gracefully accept that he and standup comedy were going to be together a long time. Mike’s list of foreign countries worked in reads like a list of foreign countries worked in, and includes England, USA, Indonesia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and New Zealand. Some people are impressed by stuff like that. In demand nationally as a standup comic, van Acker headlines Ballina RSL Club on Thursday 30 June at 8pm for the monthly Big Gig Comedy Night, with Greg Sullivan as support and Mandy Nolan as MC.
Memories are made of this…
Sam Sosnowski’s new exhibition Memories will open at the Lone Goat Gallery on Friday 1 July at 6pm. In this exhibition, Sam’s childhood memories are depicted through a variety of media ranging from etchings, woodblocks, paintings to sculptures and installations. Scenes such as the whimsical New Red Tricycle, the comic-book homage War Games and Dog Fight as well as the aquatic-inspired OMG Godzilla is in the Fish Tank all bear testimony to Sam’s vivid imagination. These strong images from his youth are skilfully rendered for all to share, and perhaps will encourage viewers to re-live some of their own memories. All are welcome! There will be live music playing covers from the 60s and 70s and retro-inspired party canapes!
Naidoc Week Films
The Arakwal Corporation, Flickerfest & iQ are thrilled to present two inspiring Aboriginal short films selected from the finalists of Flickerfest 2016: local short Nan and a Whole Lot of Trouble and Under Skin in Blood, plus the acclaimed feature Spear directed by Bangarra Dance Theatre’s artistic director and choreographer Stephen Page. This outstanding film is produced by John Harvey and stars Hunter Page-Lochard & Aaron Pedersen. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Spear producer John Harvey and Flickerfest director Bronwyn Kidd.
Tickets: The Byron Theatre and byroncentre.com.au, or at door – $12/10. Screening for NAIDOC Week on Tuesday 5 July. Program details and info: www.iQ.org.au | 0414 779 881.
Daughters of Dolma
In Daughters of Dolma writer-director Adam Miklos takes viewers on an inspirational journey to the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal, revealing a distinctively female experience of Tibetan Buddhism. This feature-length documentary offers a fascinating insight into the lives of individual nuns who are very aware of and interested in the world outside their beautiful valley. Daughters of Dolma screens at 7.30pm on Friday 1 July at the Drill Hall, Mullumbimby. Tickets $15 available from Mullum Bookshop or email [email protected]
Cheeky tickets gone, but more to come!
After selling out all of its instalments since its inception, the Brunswick Picture House’s notorious Cheeky Cabaret returns, featuring a new lineup and some of the best exponents of cabaret, new burlesque, circus sideshow and contemporary vaudeville that Australia has to offer. Be wowed by this house production, brought to you by the creators of international award-winning show La Soirée. We promise you’ll leave spellbound, titillated and amazed. As always, bring Grandma but leave the little ones at home. This Cheeky Cabaret has sold out but get your tickets now for the next four instalments! 22/23 July and 19/20 August.
Love you to Depp
Edward Scissorhands is pure magic. The first collaboration between director Tim Burton and Johnny Depp is a true modern-day fairytale, simultaneously haunting and romantic. Gothic suburbia has never been better portrayed than this! The genesis of this beautiful film draws heavily from Tim Burton’s teenage years, reflecting his feelings of isolation, loneliness, trouble communicating with others and retaining friendships, and finally self-discovery. Burton considers this film his most personal and favourite work. This is the Sunday Family Flick at the Brunswick Picture House. 4pm.
Oddball under the stars
Join in for some family fun at St John’s Catholic School in Mullumbimby on Friday for the screening of Oddball. This is a school fundraiser open to families around the Shire who want to get a little movie action under the stars. With food available from 4pm and movie at 5pm, it’s suggested that you bring a blanket or chair, or rug. Show goes ahead rain, hail or shine!
There is No One Way to live this life!
Byron Youth Theatre’s latest production explores issues faced by young people in the LGBTIAQ+ community. With funding from Country Arts Support Program, Regional Arts NSW, Byron Council and the support of Byron Youth Service, both Lismore-based ACON and HeadSpace as well as some wonderful community members, BYT have been busy researching interviewing and surveying local young people and organisations to create this new performance.
‘This piece is bold, confronting and courageous, embracing the themes of acceptance and understanding against the backdrop of homophobic behaviour,’ shared director Lisa Apostolides. The production will tour local schools, encouraging safe learning environments, as well as providing information to young people of where and how to access help. A public performance will be held at the Drill Hall, Mullumbimby, on Sunday 26 June 6.30pm with suggested entry donation of $15. Appropriate for ages 14+,