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Byron Shire
September 27, 2021

Culture in the Byron Shire and beyond for the week beginning 2 May, 2019

Latest News

New venues of concern in Ballina

The Northern NSW Local Health District has been notified of a number of new venues of concern associated with a confirmed case of COVID-19.

Other News

Lismore LGA to re-enter Queensland border bubble

Now that Lismore LGA is out of lockdown, the number of acceptable reasons for residents to cross the border into Queensland has increased.

More Byron COVID contact locations

The number of Byron 'venues of concern' associated with a confirmed case of COVID-19 from a worker on I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here! has increased.

A matter of choice

I have chosen to receive a vaccination. Others have chosen not to. Unless we are living in some totalitarian state, that...

Cartoon of the week – 22 September, 2021

We love to receive letters, but not every letter will be published; the publication of letters is at the discretion of the online and print letters editors.

Richmond Valley Council looks at thermal waste to energy

At last night’s Richmond Valley Council meeting, councillors looked at a recommendation that Council receives and notes the information on the next steps to seek Alternate Waste Treatment solutions for landfill and recyclable waste streams.

Teacher survey

The Echo’s survey of local teachers regarding vaccination was as illuminating as it was disappointing. One respondent popped their...

Mark Swivel Together with Dustyesky

Mark Swivel & The Together Party with Dustyesky

Hotel Brunswick  |  Saturday  |  4–6pm  |  Free

Australia’s favourite (only?) genuine fake Russian choir Dustyesky come together to launch local comedian Mark Swivel’s bid for a seat in Senate! The Together Party’s manifesto Making Australia Slightly Better than Average Again™ leads its ticket for a NSW seat in the federal Senate on 18 May.

‘Canberra is a toxic mess disconnected from what people want – gutsy government and a fairer deal for ordinary people,’ Swivel says.

Swivel is the MC of Dustyesky. They’ve been on The Project, Weekend Sunrise and all over ABC radio.

‘We sing songs of suffering and despair to fill your hearts with love and joy!’ Swivel said. The Russians love them after the choir was discovered by Moscow TV Channel 1 News.

Swivel and Dustyesky will be at the Hotel Brunswick for Saturday’s Campaign Launch for The Together Party from 4 till 6pm. The funniest Polli Pub Quiz you will ever see – and other surprises.

Andrew Sean Greer

Andrew Sean Greer in conversation with Jesse Blackadder

Byron Theatre, Community Centre  |  Wednesday 8 May  |  6pm  |  $25

Byron Writers Festival is bringing Pulitzer prize-winning author Andrew Sean Greer to town on Wednesday 8 May to talk about his book that took the literary world by storm, Less.

Less is a comic novel that tracks the adventures of a lovelorn, dejected, and gay writer Arthur Less, whose mishaps and misfortunes reveal the aches and insecurities of middle age. The first comic novel to win a Pulitzer in years, Less has since appeared on bestseller lists, received rave reviews and continues to make cultural waves via its hapless anti-hero protagonist. As Ron Charles from The Washington Post rightly said, ‘As a novel, it’s delightful. As a Pulitzer winner, it’s a unicorn.’

Andrew Sean Greer is the author of bestsellers The Confessions of Max Tivoli and Less. He has taught at a number of universities, been a TODAY Show pick, a New York Public Library Cullman Center Fellow, a judge for the National Book Award, and a winner of the California Book Award and the New York Public Library Young Lions Award.

Andrew Sean Greer will appear in conversation with local author Jesse Blackadder. 6pm Wednesday 8 May at the Byron Theatre. Tickets from $25 via byronwritersfestival.com/whats-on or call 6685 5115. 

Byron Comedy Festival

The Comedy Collective: Dave Thornton, Mel Buttle, Nikki Britton

Byron Comedy Fest, Byron Surf Club  |  Saturday 18 May  |  $50

The Byron Comedy Fest are excited to present The Comedy Collective, a triple bill that features Dave Thornton, Mel Buttle, and Nikki Britton, three sharply insightful and irreverent voices on the Australian comedy scene.

Dave Thornton has an easy charisma that has seen him become a regular on The Project. He spent four years as Fox FM’s breakfast show host Fifi Box, before ditching the big bucks to follow his first love: standup comedy. He can be seen on Hughesy We Have a Problem, Channel 9’s 20 to 1, and he’s even tried his hand at acting… on House Husbands!

Nikki Britton also has a penchant for acting. Warm, rapid fire, and self-deprecating she’s appeared on ABC’s Comedy Up Late, and on The Comedy Channel as apart of the Just For Laughs Festival. Her most recent solo show Romanticide was nominated for Best Comedy at FringeWorld in Perth. You might know her from the popular web series Sheila and previously toured 51 Shades of Maggie Muff, where she played an Irish woman – touring for two years to soldout crowds and critical acclaim.

And then there’s Mel. No buts about Buttle, she’s bloody brilliant. She is an incredible storyteller. Her comedy show Dog Bitch had audiences rolling over begging for more of Mel’s observations and her ability to create on-the-spot characters that are both hysterical and spot on. She has a regular column for the Courier Mail; she appeared on Please Like Me, and has written for ABC’s Ronny Cheng International Student and Network Ten’s This Week Live. If you love cooking shows, then you’ll recognise her from Bake Off, where she teams up with colleague and comedian Clair Hooper!

The Comedy Collective are all about keeping it real. Saturday 18 May at the Byron Surf Club – Tix are $50 at

Still from Carmen and Lola, one of 30 Spanish films screening at the Palace Cinema in Byron from 10 till 26 May

2019 Moro Spanish Film Festival

Palace Cinema Byron  |  10–26 May

With more than 30 different films, the Moro Spanish Film Festival screening at Palace Byron Bay Cinemas over May 10–26 promises audiences a true cinematic cultural celebration. The program offers dramas, comedies, thrillers and documentaries from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, and of course Spain, and this year the festival also throws the spotlight on female directors.

The Spanish Film Festival’s opening night promises to be a night to remember as guests enjoy a pre-film sangria, and a post-film fiesta in the new cinema’s spacious foyer, with drinks and delicious tapas plus music from Spanish guitarist Bart Stenhouse. The opening-night film Champions, Javier Fesser’s critically acclaimed, award-winning box-office smash hit, is a ‘comedic slam-dunk’, a crowd-pleasing, feelgood film about the importance of trust, sympathy, and breaking down prejudice.

As part of its Spotlight on Female Directors, the festival features 11 films from established directors and fresh new voices, including The Good Girls, a scathing and glamorous depiction of the wives of upper-class men in 1982 Mexico. Break, a comedy/drama about six old friends who reunite for a weekend away with their children only to have revelations of secrets, lies, unrequited desires, and accumulated frustrations arise. In Carmen & Lola, Bilbao-born writer/director Arantxa Echevarría and her exceptional non-professional cast deliver an empathetic portrayal of forbidden love in a repressive society that is inspiring, necessary, and beautiful.

Also sure to be popular are 70 Big Ones featuring barrel-loads of intrigue, suspense, and action with a perfect peppering of black humour; A March To Remember, a recreation of real-life events from March 1976 when a general strike was called in the Spanish city of Vitoria and five workers were murdered by the central government; and the debut feature Love Beats, Roberto Buseo’s rollercoaster tale of heartbreak and joy starring newcomer Gonzálo Fernández and Spanish-British actor/model Charlotte Vega.

Looking For a Boyfriend… For My Wife is an entertaining and heartfelt comedy about a man in a matrimonial crisis who cooks up a foolish scheme to trick his wife into wanting to separate, and in Super Crazy actress Natalia Oreiro delivers a powerhouse performance of energy and charisma as a woman who takes a remedy that makes her unable to stop speaking her mind.

There’s no shortage of gripping thrillers and heart-stopping dramas including Rojo, a critically lauded, superbly sinister and stylish thriller from Benjamin Nais that lays bare the complacency and corruption of pre-coup Argentina, and Common Blood, Miguel Cohan’s wicked Argentinian thriller featuring powerhouse performances by Latin American titans Óscar Martínez and Paulina García.

The 2019 Moro Spanish Film Festival. 10–26 May at Palace Byron Bay Cinemas. More info available at the cinema and online at www.palacecinemas.com.au

Dr Carl Cleves shares his insights into the philosophy and the ethics of travel and nationality at the Byron Services Club on Thursday

Dr Carl Cleves

Byron Services Club  |  Thursday  |  7pm  | $10

In a world where climate change is an issue should we be travelling for pleasure? Join Dr Carl Cleves for an entertaining and thought-provoking evening at the Byron Services Club on Thursday when he shares his insights into the philosophy and the ethics of travel and nationality. What are our motives and responsibilities in a world where air travel is too cheap to ignore? How do we step out of the travelling frame, and what are we truly seeing? What does nationality means in a globalised world with rising populism? Carl has written and recorded six solo albums and six award-winning albums with The Hottentots.

In his memoir Tarab. Travels with My Guitar Carl takes the reader on adventure-strewn journeys through Africa, Asia, the Pacific region, and South America.

Only 40 attendees. To reserve please go to the Meet Up website of the Philo Cafe. 

Relief paper sculptures in dynamic colour on show by Collleen DaRosa at Lone Goat Gallery, opening Friday 26 April and running until 15 May

Luminous Art Show by Colleen DaRosa

Lone Goat Gallery, Byron  |  Until 15 May

Luminous celebrates the study of light by Northern Rivers-based artist Colleen DaRosa. Colleen DaRosa is particularly concerned with the impact of what she identifies as slow light on an object… the way natural ambient light is constantly changing its effect on a work. DaRosa’s work in encaustic, Plexiglas, and paper offer a palpable experience of light at play. Her paintings highlight the translucence and lustrous quality of encaustic medium. At night, these works operate as glowing objects of dynamic colour when lit by LED lights. Lustrous reflections and variation in transparency and opacity capture and confound light’s pathways. Ella Dreyfus of the National Art School has described DaRosa’s surfaces as ‘luminous and luscious… moments of saturated colour contrast with the absence of weight and the presence of light’. A Nordic-influenced aesthetic is tangible in Luminous. DaRosa’s motifs and architectonic devices echo the way in which the glow of light and natural forms seep into the fabric of Nordic design and architecture. DaRosa’s light-box series Light Confections (2017) are installed above The Coffee Grinder (in Lateen Lane as part of the Elysium Project). The Light Pools series (which forms part of her new Luminous exhibition) relates to a similar thematic, but here she seeks to amplify the presence of ambient light. In her relief-paper sculptures the encaustic saturation allows light to penetrate into pools of colour.

The exhibition runs at Lone Goat Gallery, Byron, until 15 May. Click for more info

Poet Bronwen, manager at Garden Gallery in Murwillumbah on Saturday

Poetry & Video: Marie Craven, Matt Hetherington, Bronwen Manger

Garden Gallery, 8 Bagoo Ave Murwillumbah  |  Saturday  |  7.30pm  |  $10

Poetry + Video is a touring program of shorts from around the world. This hour-long collection surveys diverse contemporary expressions of poetry in video.

Video poetry is an area of filmmaking with origins reaching far back into cinema history, especially within the areas of the experimental and avant garde. Beyond this, it is a modern manifestation of poetry itself, which began in ancient time as an oral form, and has been adapting and evolving with new technologies ever since.

Curated by Marie Caraven and featuring poets Matt Hetherington and Bronwen Manger. Garden Gallery in Murwillumbah on Saturday at 7.30pm – $10. See more here.

NORPA’s Dreamland at Bangalow A&I Hall 15–25 May

Dreamland by NORPA

Bangalow A&I Hall  |  Wed 15 – Sat 25 May  |  7.30pm  |  $25–49

I got married at the Bangalow A&I Hall. I wanted a garden wedding, but it was pissing down. Everyone kept saying, ‘It’s good luck’. It didn’t feel like good luck, and I guess considering we’re divorced now, it wasn’t such good luck after all. We had 200 people coming to our ceremony – so we had to do it in the hall. I was really disappointed. I love the hall but it didn’t have the magic of an outdoor setting. Well, at least I thought it didn’t. I will never forget the silk draped on every wall, the giant rose wall sculptures – and the sound – the echoes of our laughter, of our family and friends, kept safe and dry within the four walls, and the thunderous sound of rain on tin. It was incredible. It really made me love that hall more than I did already.

NORPA had a huge success with their show Dreamland back in 2016, which focused on the stories of Eureka Hall. This time they tell the story of the Bangalow A&I Hall. Set at the Bangalow A&I Hall, directed and devised by NORPA artistic director Julian Louis with writer Janis Balodis and a multi-talented cast, Dreamland was initially developed in association with Arts Northern Rivers’ If These Halls Could Talk project. Bangalow A&I Hall, Wed 15 – Sat 25 May, 7.30pm

Bookings: www.norpa.org.au or 1300 066 772

Lyall Brooks – A Prudent Man

A Prudent Man

Byron Theatre, Community Centre  |  Friday 10 May  |  8pm  |  Full $30 | Conc $25 | BT Club $25

What makes the Trumps, the Abbotts, and the Hansons of this world tick? What would happen if their world started to shift ever so slightly?

Embodying their slogans, mannerisms and headlines, A Prudent Man is an amalgamation of recent history’s conservative politicians.

Hot on the tail of the US elections, this speculative piece inspired by real-life political events and people is a dark comedic political thriller that was the critical and audience hit at both the 2016 Melbourne Fringe Festival and the 2017 Perth Fringe World Festival.

Writer and director Katy Warner recently won the 2016 AWGIE for Best Children’s Theatre for Reasons to Stay Inside and the 2017 Neilma Sidney Short Story Prize for The Trip. Her 2013 Melbourne Fringe play Dropped was nominated for two Green Room Awards and has been performed in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, and Edinburgh. Her debut novel will be published by Black Ink in 2018.

Performer Lyall Brooks has appeared in the Helpmann Award-nominated North by Northwest (Arts Centre Melbourne), The Heretic (MTC), and Sunday in the Park with George (Victorian Opera). He has received three Green Room award nominations for Patricia Cornelius’s Savages, The Pride for Red Stitch and The Thing About Men (Magnormos). Recent TV appearances include Neighbours and the final season of HBO’s The Leftovers. At the Byron Theatre on Friday 10 May. Bookings: www.byroncentre.com.au

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