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Byron Shire
March 6, 2021

Culture Roundup : Thursday August 10, 2017

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Penny Arcade


Legendary Warhol Factory superstar and New York’s undisputed queen of the underground Penny Arcade is a force of nature. Her latest award-winning show, the thought-provoking and subversively funny Longing Lasts Longer turns contemporary standup on its head in an outrageous blend of satire, memoir and comedy. Driven by her magnetic rock’n’roll energy, Arcade’s razor-sharp satire is mixed live to euphoric soundscapes inspired by four decades of pop culture as she strikes a blow against the golden age of stupidity. This passionate and exuberant performance anthem will have you thinking, laughing and dancing at the same time!

Outrageous and inspirational, Penny Arcade is one of a handful of artists who created performance art as we know it today. Since first climbing out of her bedroom window at age 14 to join a fabulously disenfranchised world of queers, junkies, whores, stars, deviants and geniuses, Penny Arcade has become one of the most influential performers in the world.

A former Andy Warhol Factory superstar, a contemporary of Patti Smith and Debbie Harry, and named the soulmate of the late great Quentin Crisp, Penny Arcade is above all an internationally respected writer, poet, actress, theatre-maker and icon of artistic resistance, and occupies a unique position in the American avant-garde.

She is inspired about how we are all self-censoring and from the book from the Jewish lesbian author Sarah Schulman The Gentrification of the Mind  tabout how ideas can become gentrified, about how people psychologically assimilate to the mainstream, about how an alternative way of thinking was erased when a whole generation of artists died of AIDS in the 1980s. You can stop this.

On the themes of the show, Penny said: ‘You need to be able to see the alternative in order to live the alternative… And what’s being done now in all of the cities – all over the world – is removing the alternative, removing the bohemian, taking the rock’n’roll, the funk, the poetry right out of it. I no longer think one person can change the world, but you can certainly change the world around you. So show up!’ Don’t miss New York’s undisputed queen of the underground in her hilarious Brunswick Heads debut!

Brunswick Picture House on Sunday 20 August at 4pm. Tickets are $30 Adult/$25 concession and available on line at brunswickpicturehouse.com.

Dancing Like Everyone is Watching


The explosive Australian Dance Theatre is coming to the northern rivers for the first time with choreographer Garry Stewart’s global tour de force Be Your Self Redux.

‘I’ve been trying to get ADT to come here since I first started at NORPA 10 years ago,’ said NORPA  artistic director Julian Louis. ‘They are absolutely one of the most exciting, adventurous dance companies in the world. You do not want to miss this show.’

Performed with a physicality that must be seen to be believed, Be Your Self Redux transforms the ADT dancers into erupting powerful and emotional entities that question the very essence of our being: what makes you you?

In this extraordinary creation, Stewart examines how the body is central to our identity and that our notion of the ‘self’ is indeed located in our bodies. Our emotions, moods and psychological states are just as much a component of our physical reality as any other bodily function including our heartbeat or respiration.

The movements of the dancers are accompanied by an actor onstage who delivers an astounding series of monologues that bring a sense of wonder at the marvels of the human body. Stewart worked on this text with Professor Ian Gibbons – former Professor of Physiology at Flinders University – as well as ADT physiotherapist Michael Heynen. In creating the piece, Stewart and the dancers spent a day with Professor Gibbons examining the preserved cadavers at Flinders Medical Centre in Adelaide. They also underwent a period of Buddhist meditation on the nature of the self. Training daily across a number of physical disciplines including breakdance, yoga and tumbling, the ADT dancers show an unrivalled breadth of skill as virtuosic performers who push the boundaries of what we commonly associate with contemporary dance.

NORPA presents The Australian Dance Theatre’s Be Yourself Redux on Friday 18 August and Saturday 19 August at Lismore City Hall. Bookings: 1300 066 772 (9am–4pm weekdays) or www.norpa.org.au. Diner and bar from 6pm.$55/$49/$25 with special discounts for performance groups for the matinee.

Doing jokes for the Dalai Lama!


It’s not every day that you get invited to perform for the Dalai Lama. That’s an honour bestowed on comedian Sean Choolburra.

Labeled the ‘Godfather of Indigenous Comedy’, this Townsville boy comes from a family of twelve and is one of the few comedians who chooses not to use profanity. His ability to perform family-friendly material has set him apart and touches a chord with all audiences of all backgrounds. He’s even performed for Prince Charles!

Formerly a dancer with the prestigious Bangarra dance troupe, Sean still has the moves and he isn’t afraid to use them! A regular on NITV, Sean’s humour is loved by generations. On the Monday, Sean will be at St John’s Primary school running an Indigenous Culture workshop for the kids and at night he’ll be strutting his stuff as one of this country’s most powerful and dynamic standup comics.

He is joined by Andy Saunders, a comedian who who shares Sean’s impressive and an extraordinary ability to use humour to break down barriers and stereotypes by taking satire to new heights. Just last week he released his new video Man Bun on YouTube with more than 10,000 views and climbing.

Saunders is an impressive rapper and uses his comedic word play to his advantage. His star continues to rise with regular TV performances on the ABC and featured with the Melbourne Comedy Festival Roadshow and Gala performances.

Choolburra and Saunders regularly feature in the hugely popular Aboriginal Comedy Allstars national touring standup show.

Don’t miss these masters of standup comedy performing for the first time together here in Mullumbimby. Emceed by Mandy Nolan, Laugh Lines is A-grade hilarious standup from Australia’s best, most energetic comedians.  Monday 11 September at the Mullumbimby Ex-Services Club. Doors 7pm. Show 7.30pm.Tickets $25/30 at door or online at www.mandynolan.com.au.

Keep Coal in the Hole

Coal – Is it Worth it? is a new documentary by veteran filmmaker John Davis, who tragically died in a helicopter crash while trying to expose damage caused by the Shenhua coal mine. His family and friends completed the film in his memory. It screens on Wednesday 16 August at the Brunswick Picture House at 7pm.

Tickets are available from the website at brunswickpicturehouse.com.

Rocky Horror raises $

This is a fundraising event – all proceeds from the screening go directly to a Byron Shire family in great need.

Frock up and rock up to the Byron Theatre on Saturday 19 August for a special screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Now in its 42nd year, this 1975 cult classic is an experience you must have at least once in your life! Join young couple Brad and Janet as they embark on a night out they will remember for a very long time. Have you ever dreamt of strutting around onstage as Frank N. Furter or playing Janet as she sings Touch-a-touch-a-touch-a-touch me or being part of the infamous floor show? Then your dream has come true! This is your opportunity to become part of The Rocky Horror Picture Show shadow cast.

Dress up as your favourite character or just come as an eccentric version of yourself (there will be prizes for best costumes) and sing onstage along with the movie. Or if that is not your style just sit back and enjoy the spectacle that is Rocky Horror! So come up lab and see what’s on the slab! And together we will do the Time Warp once again! At the Byron Theatre, Friday 19 August 7–10pm. All tickets $25 at byroncentre.com.au.

Fired Up

The Hammer and Hand Jewellery and Metal Collective members are hosting their annual Winter Exhibition this Friday at 5–8pm. The Collective is a group of 12 local metal artists – jewellery, sculpture and tableware – who share a gallery and workshop in the Byron A&I Estate. This winter’s exhibition has the theme Fired Up. Each member has taken that concept and created a new collection based on what Fired Up inspires in them.

As well as fabulous new collections of metal art, there are the glowing fire drums and live music creating a gorgeous evening to warm you in the middle of the winter chill. This year, the live music is provided by pianist Justin Bannister. Justin has been playing piano for 20 years and loves playing in a variety of settings – so outside on a winter’s night beside a blazing fire drum at a metal-art exhibition will be just his thing. Justin plays in many different groups and genres including jazz, alternative country, rock funk, and acoustic.

Hammer and Hand is located at 4 Ti Tree Place, Byron A&I Estate.

The Artist Thief


A thief has ripped this book apart is an exhibition of Jake Jaquiss’s recent works. It’s a collection of collage, prints, bricolage and random acts of artistic larceny. The title comes from the date label in a discarded library book.

The book was a collection of John Deakin’s photographs. Deakin was Francis Bacon’s pet photographer. Someone (Thief) had helped himself to pages from the book and someone else wrote on the label. I love the interplay between art and the everyday, the way they relate and the tension that ensues and, as an artist, I’m always ready to slip something into my pocket.

To quote the warrior poet Omar from The Wire, ‘Rip and Run’!

A thief has ripped this book apart is a home show on for one night only, Friday 18 August 6–9pm at 45 Argyle Street, Mullumbimby.

The art of Jake Jaquiss can also be seen on instagram at @jakejaquissart.

’If you want to change the world, you need to change your story.’ Michael Margolis


Mullumbimby has Politics in the Pub and Art in the Pub, and starting this Sunday is Stories in the Club. Local storyteller Jenni Cargill Strong will be hosting and curating these monthly story concerts with Jennifer Grainger of the Ngara Institute (who put on Politics in the Pub).

Stories can be factual, fictional or factional – which is a blend of the two. Usually, six tellers will get 8–10 minutes, and in subsequent months there will be opportunities for beginner tellers.

August tellers will include well-known locals, traditional custodian and former screen actor Uncle Athol Compton; activist and actor Tony Barry; writer and performer Shona Anderson; author Graeme Innes; as well as the president of Mullumbimby Toastmasters, Louise Harrison, and possibly singer/songwriter Zack Lewis-Griffiths. Jenni will also tell a tale and emcee.

September tellers will include beloved longtime local historian, former farmer and Tweed/Byron fire chief Frank Mills and writer and storyteller and Byron Youth Service manager Teeya Blatt.

Sunday 13 August, 4–5.30pm. (Generally second Sunday of the month) at the Ex-Services Club Mullumbimby (except Oct where we’ll need to find another venue). Hosted and curated by local professional storyteller Jenni Cargill-Strong. For 14 years and older. Supported by Ngara Institute and Creative Mullumbimby. $10/ $5

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