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March 1, 2021

Culture Roundup: April 25th 2018

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Alexis Okeowo is one of the writers from Sydney Writers Festival appearing as part of Best of the Fest presented by the Byron Writers Festival at SAE Theatre on Saturday 5 May

Writers in the Stream

SAE Theatre | May 5 | 11.30am/1.30pm| FREE/$10

Sydney Writers Festival brings the world’s finest authors and esteemed thinkers to Byron Bay in real time through the Live & Local project.

Streamed LIVE and delivered locally by Byron Writers Festival, Live & Local promises an afternoon of new ideas, debate and enthralling discussion.

Held on Saturday 5 May at the SAE Theatre, Session One kicks off at 11.30am and will see foreign correspondent Peter Greste discuss his novel The First Casualty with Hugh Riminton. Greste spent two decades reporting from the frontline in the world’s most dangerous countries before making headlines himself following his incarceration in an Egyptian prison.

Session Two at 1.30pm invites four of the festival’s brightest minds – Masha Gessen, Alexis Okeowo, Mohammed Al Samawi and Sarah Krasnostein – to examine our evolving relationship with power.

Entry to both sessions is FREE for Byron Writers Festival members or $10 for non-members. Tickets available through Byron Writers Festival |6685 5115 | www.byronwritersfestival.com/whats-on


Alexis Okeowo is one of the writers from Sydney Writers Festival appearing as part of Best of the Fest presented by the Byron Writers Festival at SAE Theatre on Saturday 5 May

Artists Open Studios

Open Studios – Ballina, Byron & Beyond | May 5,6,12,13 | FREE

A group of local artists of different genres are opening their own working studios to the public so that people can discover and experience the diversity of an artist’s craft and work.

The Inaugural Open Studios – Ballina, Byron & Beyond will be held over two weekends, Saturday 5 May, Sunday 6 May, Saturday 12 May and Sunday 13 May.

Coordinator Paul Button says, ‘The sixteen working studios are generally located in the Ballina, Byron and Lismore local council areas and include a fascinating spectrum of arts such as painting, drawing, ceramics, pottery, metal sculptures, wood-carving, etching, jewellery, textiles, printmaking, mixed media, mosaics and other visual arts practices.’

Learn more about the creative and production process, discover original creations or sign up to a workshop. Where feasible, the public may be offered the opportunity to try their hand at the production process, or experience demonstrations or talks by the artists to discover what’s involved in being a visual artist.

‘It is also an excellent opportunity to buy a painting or piece of art direct from the artist,’ Paul says. ‘With Mothers Day on 13 May, why not buy something special for her or better still take Mum for a drive in our beautiful area to experience it herself.’

Supported by the sponsorship of McGrath Real Estate in Ballina/Byron, the intention of the event is to welcome the public into the many studios across our region. This area is rich with artistic talent with emerging, established and award-winning and internationally collected artists. The Open Studio hopes to raise public awareness of our region’s outstanding artistry and craftsmanship and to introduce more locals and visitors to the artistic diversity of the region.

A brochure on the artists with a map of the open studios is available at the Tourist Information Offices in Ballina, Byron Bay and Lismore, Art Aspects and Serpentine Gallery in Lismore, Artisans Gallery in Ballina, McGrath offices in Ballina and Byron Bay, and Macadamia Castle at Knockrow.

Details are also available on Facebook: Open Studios – Ballina, Byron & Beyond.


Saturday Picnic with the Scouts

Terrace Reserve, Brunswick Heads | April 28 | 11am-4pm | FREE

An exciting Saturday afternoon awaits families coming to Brunswick Heads this weekend.

This Saturday Brunswick Heads Scouts are hosting a free, family-friendly and community event Friends for Life at the Terrace Reserve over 11am–4pm. Event coordinator Sean Tonnet, a local relationship therapist, is a parent volunteer with Brunswick Heads Scouts and talked to The Echo about the fundraiser. ‘Friends For Life is the theme of next year’s Australian Jamboree (January 2019), and I think epitomises the significance of Brunswick Scouts in our community. It’s a place for young people to celebrate diversity, culture and most of all friendship.’

Tonnet believes scouts still hold important opportunities for our children. ‘They are learning a lifespan of skills and camaraderie. For most scouts the attendance at the jamboree is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and a highlight of their scouting experience.’

Families are encourage to bring a picnic lunch or enjoy the fabulous treats, meals and shopping from our local business sponsors positioned across the road from the event site.


Snow White at the Byron Theatre

Dancing Snow

Byron Theatre | May 4,5 | $28-$40

Snow White, a fairytale loved by both the young wand old, will spring to life in a full-length ballet spectacular at the Byron Theatre on 4 and 5 May. The Victorian State Ballet Company will be  returning after their recent successful visit to Byron of Beauty and the Beast, which delighted local audiences.

Yvonne Hall, the director of Byron Ballet, is currently auditioning some young ballet dancers for a role in the upcoming Snow White.

‘We are looking for dancers between approx 10 and 12 years to perform in a court dance at the king and queen’s wedding.

‘Two lucky students will also get to perform a solo as the young Snow White!’ said Yvonne Hall.

With a cast of internationally recognised artists and enchanting choreography by Michelle Sierra, this performance promises to be a ballet treat for all. The lead role of Snow White will be performed by the well-known Robyn Begg, who is also training for the lead role of Sleeping Beauty in the Australian Ballet’s Storytime tour.

‘The Victorian State Ballet company is renowned for its artistry and excellent ballet technique and gives many up-and-coming young performers wonderful opportunities.’

To find out more about the opportunities for young dancers, email Yvonne at [email protected] and for tickets to Snow White go to byroncentre.com.au


Bruns Bubs’ Club

The Brunswick Picture House | April 28 | from 9.30am

The Brunswick Picture House is keen to make itself an asset to the local community – and it’s certainly doing just that with  a Bubs’ Club. This is a Saturday morning screening of a classic kids film and The Big Picture House Storytelling with big pictures up on the screen as the authors read. This Saturday you can drop the kids inside and enjoy a coffee at the Ballyhoo Kiosk with The Wizard of Oz onscreen! A classic film in the vintage surrounds. Saturday from 9.30am. Bus Clubbers can enjoy The Graduate on Wednesday at 11am for just $15 – and the buses are free! (To watch the film that is!) For more info go to brunswickpicturehouse.com


Ghost Modern, an exhibition by Hayden Mathrick & Jake Jaquiss at 45 Argyle St, Mullumbimby on Friday

Ghost Modern Art Exhibition

45 Argyle Street, Mullumbimby | April 27, 6pm-10pm | April 28, 10am-2pm | FREE

Ghost Modern is an exhibition of recent works by locals artists, sculptor Hayden Mathrick and painter Jake Jaquiss. The exhibition features moody pieces made with dark contemplation and organic inspiration.

The exhibition opens on Friday at 6pm. All are welcome!


Alan Glover

Glover and Sorrensen at Country Club Comedy

Ocean Shores Country Club | May 1 | 7pm | FREE

Alan Glover has been cracking ’em up throughout Australia since 1983. With a almost 35 years’ experience delivering gag at gigs he’s grown standup comedy routines that are at times personal, at others ridiculous, but always engaging and funny. His subject matter can range from the forests of Australia to the jungle of Canberra and into the rocking chair on his expansive veranda in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales.

Internationally, Alan’s honest Australian-ness has given foreign audiences a very funny and educational experience. He’s performed many times in Singapore, Canada, the USA, Ireland, the Netherlands and New Zealand, and at the beginning of this century he spent a year in London, the busy comedy hub of the UK.  These days Alan is a regular on the folk festival circuit where he performs with his comedy buddy S Sorrensen, the two creating a kind of hippy version of the two old blokes in the stalls in the muppet show.

He’s smack bang in comedian, poet and writer S Sorrensen’s backyard so it seemed only fitting that S should join his mate Alan as support at Country Club Comedy at the Ocean Shores Country Club as MC.

MC Mandy Nolan is away on a book tour this month and so she carefully handpicked a comedian who knows how to work the crowd. S lives nestled in the hills of Nimbin and when he’s not chilling out in his sarong he’s onstage or overseas.

Sorensen and Glover are joined by Matt Ford as support. At the age of 24 Matt has been performing standup comedy since he was a teenager after winning the 2010 National Class Clown Competition in his last year of high school, and has since appeared regularly at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Brisbane Comedy Festival, and Adelaide Fringe. Since 2016 Matt has toured with the Aboriginal Comedy Allstars performing sold-out shows nationwide and appeared on ABC, NITV and SBS.

Country Club Comedy: Fast getting a reputation for a cracking good night! 


Julia Wilson headlines at the Big Gig comedy night on Thursday with Ellen Briggs as support and Mandy Nolan as MC

Women like Julia Wilson

Ballina RSL | April 26 | 7.30 | FREE

By far the toughest woman in comedy Julia Wilson is a ruthless comedy animal, tearing people and venues apart, and that’s just when she’s onstage. Offstage, this ex-convent schoolgirl and bouncer, enjoys scrabble, long walks on the beach and, wait for it, likes to play gridiron. ‘Offensive Centre’, no less… I mean, how many women do you know who play American Football just for fun?

Just that is a good enough reason to come along and see Julia tear her way through the patient and polite Ballina RSL crowd, but wait – there are even more reasons. What is there not to be excited about by a comedian who lives life on the edge between danger and pain, who’d rather glean her comedy material from a life of wounding and scaring than from a life spent safe and sound inside the comfort zone.

Julia’s humour refuses to be pigeonholed and her personality can’t be ignored. It’s Julia’s love of rough action on and off the stage that drives her comedy to new heights of rough and tumble; she is always on the lookout for a dangerous kind of fun that we mortals shy away from but that give meaning to Julia’s insatiable, larger-than-life comedy. Supported by Ellen Briggs and MCed by Mandy Nolan just days ahead of their national book launch of Women Like Us. With free comedy onstage and books, signed by the girls, ahead of Mothers Day!


Young Guns Comedy Tour

Young Guns of Comedy

Byron Brewery | May 9

In the last decade standup comedy has flourished with lots of new voices finding their way onto the circuit. The Young Guns of Comedy features young, funny comedians from Sydney and the central coast showcasing their talent. Edgy, unconventional and raw, many of the acts you will have seen with the comedy roadshows, but the Young Guns show gives a chance to see them perform a longer set. ‘There’s not been anything like this before,’ says comedian and organiser Pat Doherty. The comedians, although young, have a huge depth of talent in their ranks with Billy Darcy competing in the national finals of a national comedy competition at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.


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