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July 27, 2021

Culture Roundup: Thursday September 7, 2017

Latest News

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Melbourne’s Midsummer Night’s Dream


Lovers, fairies and mischief conspire under moonlight in Shakespeare’s classic tale. The enchantment will spread far and wide when Melbourne City Ballet will tour A Midsummer Night’s Dream to Byron Theatre on Saturday 16 September. Melbourne City Ballet artistic director Michael Pappalardo believes that ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream is such a fantastic ballet to tour as it appeals to a wide range of people. Action, comedy, drama, and of course a splash of fairy magic combine to make this the perfect ballet for people to bring their families along to see.’ To book your tickets to Melbourne City Ballet’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream on Saturday 16 September please go to http://www.byroncentre.com.au/whats-on/.

Get Your Joke ON


Comedy at the Court House make its quarterly return to Mullumbimby when Mandy Nolan brings a full house of new and emerging comedy talent to the stage. Nolan has been busy touring her smash hit comedy Women Like Us around the country, but hasn’t lost her passion for mentoring new talent. Nolan also welcomes the opportunity to try some of her new material in front of her home crowd. Be at the Court House Hotel in Mullumbimby on Thursday for a big, big night of laughs. 8pm. Free. Come early and try the delicious food. Best fun with your pants on.

Call for Little Mermaids

Ballina Players is presenting The Little Mermaid over 12–21 January 2018. Auditions for this production are occurring on Saturday 16 September at the Ballina Players Theatre, 24 Swift St, Ballina, 9am–5pm. Bookings are essential. Contact Mike on 0402 491 036.

Learning to Heal

In the moving documentary A Quest to Heal – Beyond the Physical, Michelle follows the journey of two of her friends – Lya Shaked from Melbourne, who has terminal cancer, and Fred Porter from USA, who has HIV – on a healing odyssey to Brazil to see controversial spiritual healer Joao Texeira de Faria. Also known as John of God, he has been attributed many unexplained miracles over the past 30 years. Thousands of people from all over the world have been flocking to his remote village in Brazil in search of cures for illnesses for which western medicine offers little hope.

The film follows Lya and Fred through the various healing processes at the healing centre consisting of meditation, prayer and procedures known as invisible spiritual operations. The filmmaker asks the question, ‘Is John of God another faith healer exploiting vulnerable people or can something be happening here beyond the western medical model? Are there some people like John of God and other healers like him such as indigenous shamans, Jesus, or even the Buddha who have access to a greater healing energy, and can we tap into this ourselves?’ The film will screen at Brunswick Picture House on Wednesday 13 September at 7pm. Tickets from www.aquesttohealbeyondthephysical.com

Deadly Funny


Local comedian Mandy Nolan presents two of her favourite comedians at the Mullum Ex-Services this Monday night. ‘Sean Choolburra and Andy Saunders present fresh voices in standup comedy,’ she says. ‘Humour is a huge part of Indigenous community and I think a huge part of their resilience as a culture.

We just don’t get to hear enough of the stories, the voices and the perspectives. Most of the standup you hear is always very white and middle class.’ Nolan also believes that these two should be starring on their own TV shows. ‘These guys are so funny. They do a lot of comedy on NITV, but they need to be on mainstream TV. They’re at the top of their game.’

Sean Choolburra and Andy Saunders perform at the Mullumbimby Ex-Services on Monday at 7.30pm. Tickets on mandynolan.com.au or at the door. $25/30

Puppet Arrival

NORPA and the Macadamia Castle are thrilled to present Spare Parts Puppet Theatre’s adaptation of acclaimed illustrator/author Shaun Tan’s story The Arrival – a truly warm and magical theatre experience. Built on the animation of the awesome images from Shaun Tan’s stunning new book The Arrival, Spare Parts Puppet Theatre is full of the exquisite puppetry and exceptional acting that you would expect from Australia’s leading puppet company.

Shaun Tan’s fantastical world comes to life in a strange and wonderful metropolis full of floating ships, mysterious lights, alien symbols and weird animals. It is in this new place that our hero Aki makes his home. Spare Parts Puppet Theatre will be conducting a free Paper Puppetry and Play workshop at Lismore City Hall for 7–12-year-olds on Tuesday 19 September at 12 midday.

Bookings are essential. NORPA is also conducting a series of Puppetry and Visual Theatre workshops in local schools. The theatre foyer will be decorated with a paper-bird installation created by workshop students. For more information about NORPA workshops please contact Valley Lipcer: [email protected]

The Arrival at Lismore City Hall on Tuesday 19 September (11am and 6pm) and Wednesday 20 September (11am).Tickets: $20–47. Bookings: www.norpa.org.au or 1300 066 722

Carnival Cinema

Australia’s first and foremost documentarian for circus, local boy Hamish McCormick, returns for a second evening in an ongoing regular series of his films. Presenting Carnival Cinema, the Mullum Circus Festival Edition, on Friday from 8pm. at the Brunswick Picture House. Tickets from the website brunswickpicturehouse.com.

Shakespeare’s Merchant


The country’s premier Shakespeare company Bell Shakespear presents The Merchant of Venice at Lismore City Hall this Thursday and Friday. Featuring three-time Helpmann Award winner Mitchell Butel (Janet King and Rake) as the defiant Shylock, and Jessica Tovey (Wolf Creek and Wonderland) as Portia, the production is directed by Anne-Louise Sarks (Belvoir’s Jasper Jones and Medea), this masterfully envisioned production tackles the prejudices and preconceived notions of one of Shakespeare’s most challenging plays. NORPA at Lismore City Hall. 7pm. $20–55. Bookings: www.norpa.org.au or call 1300 066 772.

Stories in the Club

Local legend, beloved historian, former farmer and fire chief Frank Mills will be our featured teller for this Sunday’s Stories in the Club. Frank, now 90 and living north of the Shire, will be in conversation with Malcolm Price of Creative Mullumbimby and Social Habitat. Alongside Frank there will be three former members of the ‘Byron Circle of Tellers’: Teeya Blatt, writer, storyteller and Byron Youth Service manager, who will tell her Hymn to Persephone; Susan Perrow, internationally published author and founder and director of Periwinkle, will tell a flood tale from 1974, and professional storyteller Jenni Cargill-Strong, who will tell a tale of the feminine. Sunday at the Ex-Services in Mullumbimby from 4pm. $10/15.

Beatles songs & stories

An evening of Beatles songs and stories is planned for the Byron Theatre on 23 September as a fundraiser for the Steinway Grand Piano in the Byron theatre that needs some love, attention and money. The show will feature Joanne Petersen in conversation with award-winning journalist David Leser.

Joanne was The Beatles’ manager, Brian Epstein’s personal assistant. Her stories are amazing. She organised the Sergeant Peppers launch party at Brian Epstein’s Belgravia home in London and went, with her close friend singer Lulu, to the Sergeant Peppers party at Epstein’s country house in Sussex, where she found John Lennon and friends tripping inside his psychedelic Rolls-Royce. It’s 50 years since Sergeant Pepper changed the world and Joanne’s life forever. She will talk about those wild crazy years including the death of Brian Epstein at 32. Her time with The Beatles spans the years from Rubber Soul through to Sergeant Pepper. This will be the first time Joanne has told some of these tales in public. Joanne also has original photos, which will be projected onto the big screen throughout the interview. Beatles stories never heard before and photographs never seen before. Either side of the talk will be two sets of Beatles tunes in various musical genres.

There will be classical, country, a 20-piece choir, Middle Eastern, and guitar virtuosity – Phil Emmanuel, Tim Gaze, Gyan, Steve Russell, Claes Pierce, Shai Shriki to name a few! Tickets at byroncentre.com.au.

50 Shades of AC Grayling

Back by popular demand, AC Grayling takes centre stage at Byron Theatre on Wednesday 6 September for Byron Writers Festival to tackle Democracy and Its Crisis.

This talk will provide an urgent exploration of the challenges facing democracy. Prompted principally by events in recent years in the UK and the USA, but also in Russia and the Middle East, AC Grayling investigates why the institutions of representative democracy seem unable to sustain themselves against forces they were designed to manage, and why it matters. Wednesday 6 September, 6–7pm. Byron Theatre, $30 Members / $35 General. Bookings via the website www.byronwritersfestival.com or call 6685 5115.

Alice In Byron Land


Come along and experience Alice’s wonderful adventures as she takes a trip down the rabbit hole in this pantomime version of the classic tale Alice In Wonderland, where nothing is as it seems. Alice meets all the usual suspects: the White Rabbit, the Mad Hatter and the Cheshire Cat, to name just a few. Alice plays croquet, has a tea party, and learns about spelling with her fairy godmother.

Presented by the kids from Bright Lights Theatre, this 60-minute musical pantomime is suitable for all ages! Two shows only. Saturday 2pm and 6.30pm Byron Theatre. Tix available online www.byroncentre.com.au or by calling 6685 6807.

David Gilmour Live at Pompeii

Forty-five years after Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour filmed Live at Pompeii in the legendary Roman amphitheatre, he returned for two spectacular shows. The performances were the first-ever rock concerts for an audience in the stone Roman amphitheatre, and, for two nights only, the crowd of 2,600 stood exactly where gladiators would have fought in the first century CE. David Gilmour Live at Pompeii is an audiovisual spectacle, featuring lasers, pyrotechnics and a huge circular screen on which specially created films complement selected songs, but above all is the astonishing music and stellar performances from an all-star band. The show includes songs from throughout David’s career, as well as many Pink Floyd classics. Screening one night only, Wednesday 13 September, 8pm at Pighouse Flicks. Presale tickets at the website www.pighouseflicks.com.au or at cinema.

Byron Bay Film Festival around the corner

It’s time to answer the siren call of Byron Bay – to its beautiful beaches and bush, and to the rich cultural feast that is the Byron Bay Film Festival (BBFF). Now in its 11th year, BBFF spans ten days in six venues, featuring more than 175 independent films, and attracting filmmakers and film-lovers from all over the world; it is Australia’s most loved regional film festival. Last year the festival celebrated its milestone 10th birthday, with celebrity endorsements from some of the film world’s top names – including A-listers Idris Elba, Chris Hemsworth, and Tom Hiddleston, who said it was ‘certainly the best film festival in Australia’.

This year the festival launched with a stirring video made by acclaimedStorm Surfers director and now local resident Justin McMillan, with director of water photography Stefan José joining other Byron locals to help out. The video captures not just the glory of surfing on this part of the coast but the freedom to be found in the Byron landscape, and embodies the high-quality aesthetic of the festival, and lights up the sensory experience of both the unique Byron Bay experience, as well as the immersive wonder of film. It captivates and offers the viewer Cinema for the Senses – the perfect taster of what festival-goers might experience in 2017. Once again there is a unique and diverse lineup from around the world. This is truly an international event, with documentaries, drama and comedy from some of the most remote corners of the earth, as well as the best from young Australian filmmakers and their contemporaries overseas. Virtual reality (VR) and other high tech of the moving image will be explored and shared.

The Byron Bay Film Festival has been a pioneer and leader in the burgeoning Byron Bay innovation movement, which has created countless entrepreneurial and industrial opportunities for the creative industries and beyond. The Ncubat8 Program offers the opportunity for a young filmmaker to work on VR with a local industry professional. More information on this can be found on the festival website. The Byron Bay Film Festival is illuminated with two dazzling red-carpet gala events in the heart of town. Opening night offers a chance for industry networking and a taste of the flavour of the festival to come, and features a highlight film screening. The culminating celebration event is an exciting night of recognition for filmmakers, the festival, Byron Bay, and the international film industry, and is not to be missed. Early ticket purchases are recommended to avoid disappointment to these two popular events.

The 11th Annual Byron Bay Film Festival is held over Friday 6 till Sunday 15 October 2017 in multiple venues throughout Byron Bay and surrounding locations. See more at bbff.com.au

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  1. As we enter spring, Shakespeare’s classic tale of a Midsummer Night’s Dream will enthral with lovers on tippy toe, fairies and their mischief all conspiring to build your romantic imagination, making it bright in the light of the silvery moon.


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