Culture Roundup: June 13th, 2018

The Ballina Players, HMS Pinafore

HMS Pinafore

Ballina Players Theatre | 1-15 July | 7.00pm | $15-25

From next week the Ballina Players are presenting a Gilbert & Sullivan classic, HMS PINAFORE, which is directed and choreographed by Jaime Sheehan with musical directors Warwick Binney and Marie Caldwell.

This Pinafore is not your traditional Gilbert & Sullivan production, written in the 1870s. This is a much more comic and lively version.

Pinafore was the first musical to bring together story, song words, and music into a balanced whole. The show’s popularity produced an American audience for musical theatre, and that the show has served as a model of the musical ever since. Pinafore played 570 times over two years in England and really put Gilbert & Sullivan on the map.

The character of Dick Deadeye has been expanded on the original role quite substantially. Deadeye is the grim realist of the crew, offering advice to whomever, whether sought or not, with no particular concern for his station in life. In the Players production, Deadeye is played by Peter Harding (recently seen in A Few Good Men). Peter has been with Ballina Payers on and off since 2003, appearing in many plays and musicals, and also acting as stage manager on many occasions. For this production he also co-designed the set, with a double-level ship’s bow and curved staircase.

Pinafore is ship-shaping-up (see what I did there?) to be a great production and a lot of fun for the entire family.

Tickets are available now: online at (No Fee) or; at Just Funkin’ Music in River St, Ballina, near the pedestrian lights ($2/ticket booking fee) in person or on 6686 2440. Tickets are $30/Adult and $22 (Child 16 & Under). Opening Night Special: Canapes and a complimentary glass of champagne from 7.15pm. 

Surf Festival Brunswick Picture House

Byron Surf Festival at Brunswick Picture House

Brunswick Picture House | June 20-24 |

The Brunswick Picture House is  excited to announce Surf’s Up in the House. The event is a multi-day film event in conjunction with the Byron Bay Surf Festival. The Picture House have an exciting opening night party planned for Wednesday June 20 with Bay FM’s The Sandpit live from the their front door from 4pm. That show will be followed by live music from 6pm and the first film for the event, the iconic Big Wednesday will screen at 7.15pm.

The festival runs over June 20–24 with multi-session discounts available. Screening classic surf films and new documentaries alike, there will be something for everyone and something to salivate over while you’re not in the water. Not only Big Wednesday, but other great titles such as Nevertown, Take Every Wave, and Between Land & Sea will keep everyone entertained. Dates, times, and tickets for all the films will be available on the website.

Ticket info 

Star Stuff

Elements of Byron Resort | July 7–8 | $129-159

Under the moonless sky, with the Milky Way high overhead in the dark skies of Byron Bay, Australia’s leading experts on Space, Cosmology, Astronomy, Astrophyics, Astrophotography and Science come together for Star Stuff II, a series of keynote talks on everything from Australia’s new space agency to space photography, and even a movie screening.

Sponsored by Celestron & Bintel, this unprecedented lineup in Australia’s most easterly location is sure to expand minds in a way that hasn’t been seen since the inaugural Star Stuff I in 2017, which was a sellout success. This will be an unforgettable event.

Speakers include: Fraser Cain (CAN / science publisher), Dr Alan Duffy (AU, computational astrophysicist), Amy Shira Teitel (USA – space historian), Geoff Notkin(USA / meteorite expert), Terry Lovejoy (AU comet discoverer), Dr David Malin(AU AAO astronomer), John Sarkissian OAM(AU CSIRO scientist), James Gilmour (AU Private Space Agency), Greg Quicke (AU Observatory, aka Space Gandalf), Cathal O’Connell (AU Nanotech / science writer), and Dylan O’Donnell (AU / Byron Bay astronomer).

During the event here will be onsite solar and nighttime viewing (weather permitting), telescope and equipment vendors, night photography tours, as well as plenty of giveaways and special promotions.

Star Stuff II | Elements of Byron Resort | July 7–8

Tickets are available at



Byron Theatre | Saturday 16 June, 7.30pm | Monday 18 June, 6.30pm | $28-40

Stolen by Jane Harrison and directed by Vicki Van Hout is a play following five individuals from the stolen generation.

On the 20th anniversary of its premiere season, this timely revival of Harrison’s landmark play is as powerful today as it was for its very first audience.

Stolen interweaves the stories of five children taken from their families – Ruby, Jimmy, Shirley, Sandy and Ann. Their stories are from different times and different places, but the five characters interact with each other as if their experiences were shared. Theirs are the stories of many.

With a background in dance, Wiradjuri director Vicki Van Hout’s acclaimed production is vibrant and inventive, with playground-inspired choreography, a rhythmic soundscape and an eerily colourful yarn-bombed tree as a key feature of the set.

With endearing characters and plenty of humour, Stolen is ultimately a play about love and loss, resilience and hope. As we recognise that more Indigenous children are being removed today than at any other time in Australian history, this contemporary retelling is a thoughtful and moving reminder of our past and our present that will resonate long after you return home.

‘What can I tell you about Stolen, the first play I ever wrote?’ says playwright Jane Harrison. ‘Firstly, that I was honoured to be given the opportunity to write this play, by Ilbijerri Theatre Company. It was an honour, and a deep responsibility, to be tasked with creating a story that, in its simple way, tries to encapsulate the experiences of the Stolen Generations. I can tell you that it took six years to write and workshop and finally get to the stage. And that it has taken on a life of its own since, touring many parts of the world along with cities and regional towns across Australia and that even in a place as culturally different as Japan it still resonated.

‘For audiences, I hope it brings understanding that we are all part of this story, it is part of our history and our present,’ says Jane. ‘For the Aboriginal community members in the audience, it is my profound hope that we do your stories justice.’

Ages 15+ Coarse language and adult themes. Book tickets here.

The Call

The Call at the Drill Hall

Drill Hall Theatre, Mullumbimby | 29 June- 15 July | $22-25

In June and July the Drill Hall Theatre Company will present The Call by Patricia Cornelius. The Call is based on the early life of David Hicks, the Australian who spent seven years in Guantanamo Bay as a prisoner of the US military. Regular patrons of the Drill Hall may have seen Patricia Cornelius’s Do Not Go Gentle last year.

Director Mike Russo has wanted to stage this play for several years. ‘I saw The Call at The Stables in Sydney some years ago and still regard it as the most exciting night I’ve ever spent in the theatre. It is sharp and to the point with not a single dull moment in the 75 minutes it takes to tell its story.’ Russo has a strong cast of young and talented actors who are fully committed to the truth of The Call.

Patricia Cornelius, whose writing is ‘raw, riveting and relevant’, has a genius for presenting unpalatable stories and confronting truths in the most compelling ways. The poetry and directness of her uncompromising writing draws the viewer into worlds the average theatre-goer knows little about and makes us realise that there is often more than one side to any event. She does not condone the actions of her characters but shows us that social disadvantage is often the greatest evil.

A champion of the social outcast Cornelius, in The Call, portrays a young man whose life is one of monetary, educational and cultural poverty who turns to Islam in a desperate effort to bring meaning to that life. Tinged with bitter humour and hugely confronting dialogue, The Call is an outstanding piece of Australian theatre that must be seen.

The Call opens at the Drill Hall on 29 June and plays for three weekends. The theatre is heated for your comfort.The Call contains very strong, uncompromising language.Bookings can be made at

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