The 18th Bangalow Music Festival 2019 (BMF)
Bangalow’s A&I Hall | Friday 9 August till Sunday 11 August
The 18th Bangalow Music Festival 2019 (BMF) is one of Australia’s most formidable and longrunning chamber music ensembles. They have just unveiled their 2019 program with the theme of Conversations through Chamber Music. This year’s thematic is woven into a fascinating program that explores the intangible language of music, the oldest language form.
The 18th BMF 2019 program was officially launched by Southern Cross Soloists’ chair Greg Thompson and artistic director Tania Frazer.
This year’s festival celebrates and explores through its program the true essence of chamber music: communication, collaboration, and conversation. It was first published 110 years ago that chamber music is the music of friends. A truly democratic form of collaborative music without hierarchy and, without conductor, inclusively equal.
Tickets for this vibrant, popular chamber music festival, along with its very popular pre-festival events with local flavour – the Festival Prelude Event – Celebrating Bangalow: Emerging Stars of the Region (Thursday 8 August, 7.30pm), the Schools’ Concert (Friday 9 August, 11am) and Zentveld’s Coffee Plantation and Roastery Concert at Newrybar are on sale now. Last year’s 17th BMF had seven sellout performances.
Over three days, peerless musicians will explore musical heritage across nine curated concerts in beautiful Bangalow’s A&I Hall from Friday 9 August till Sunday 11 August. Tickets can be purchased through SXS’s website: www.southernxsoloists.com.
Drill Hall Theatre, Mullumbimby | From Friday 2 August
James Grant, Cate Feldmann, Steven Browning, and Diva Corey make up the cast for Extinction, written by Hannie Rayson and directed by Richard Vinycomb, which is opening this Friday at the Drill Hall in Mullumbimby.
Grant, who plays Andy, says he is so grateful to be able to work with the team and explore his character. ‘The rehearsal process has been really supportive and the freedom that Richard provides has been exciting,’ he says. ‘The journey of researching and developing Andy as a character has expanded my perspective on a wide range of topics, from ethics to genetics to what it means to love and be loved.’
Cate Feldmann says her character, Heather Dixon Brown, claims that she uses her head not her heart. ‘I am definitely playing against type,’ says Feldmann. ‘Acting and various roles for The Drill Hall Theatre Company and other roles on stage and film are what nourish me. After being in Hotel Sorrento, another Hannie Rayson play, the opportunity to be in Extinction was too good to refuse. It is enriching to be a part of a wonderful ensemble in a play with such a complex, but unfortunately extremely relevant, topic in today’s frightening gallop towards… Extinction.’
Steven Browning says he lost his virginity in the old Drill Hall Theatre. ‘My onstage acting virginity that is,’ he says. ‘After opening my salon Mullum Madness in 1992 I started doing or styling hair for local theatre productions. Cast and crew continually suggested that I should be on stage not backstage. After participating in my first acting workshop the fire was ignited.’
Browning won a Best Actor Award at the Gold Coast theatre awards for his role in Art. Browning has worked with a number of theatre companies and has really enjoyed the process. ‘It’s lovely to be back wearing somebody else’s shoes again!’
Diva Corey grew up watching famous musicals and theatre in Toronto, where she developed a love for the stage and film.
‘I studied Cultural Anthropology at the University of Toronto, and took short courses in Acting at Humber College and acted in several short films. I have now been living in Australia for the last ten years. After building a business and raising kids, I reignited my passion for acting and have spent the last couple of years studying Stanford Meisner Technique and onscreen acting with Rob Horton and Mark Piper at the Byron Bay Film and Television School. Working on short films, TV, and commercials.
‘I love the process of finding my character, exploring a script, and forming something from words on a page into real life is such a creative, transcending and exciting process. I am so thrilled to be a part of the cast of Extinction.’
Extinction: Drill Hall Theatre from Friday 2 August
Lambs of God
Brunswick Heads Picture House | 6pm | Thursday 8 August
Northern Rivers-based author Marele Day recently had her bestselling book Lambs of God adapted into a gripping four-part TV series for Foxtel. Screenworks is holding a special screening of the first two episodes at the Brunswick Picture House on Thursday 8 August with Marele Day and the screenwriter Sarah Lambert (Love Child, Love My Way) in conversation following the screening.
‘The series is getting rave reviews,’ says Screenworks CEO Ken Crouch. ‘We are delighted to be bringing the talented team behind the Lambs of God TV series to Brunswick Picture House so that not only can patrons enjoy the experience of watching it on the big screen with an audience but they can also ask questions and speak to the creators after the screening.’
Lambs of God is a gothic and gripping tale about three nuns, each a generation apart, living on an isolated island. The three sisters of St Agnes must defend their very existence when a young priest with a hidden agenda suddenly arrives at their dilapidated monastery. What unfolds is an epic and fantastical tale of faith, love, and redemption.
An international all-star cast delivers knock-out performances, led by Emmy Award-winning actress Ann Dowd (The Handmaid’s Tale, The Leftovers), Australian stage and screen star Essie Davis (Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries) and UK actress, Jessica Barden (The End of the F**** World).
Thursday 8 August at the Brunswick Heads Picture House at 6pm
Writers at the Rails
Railway Hotel | Sunday | 2pm | FREE
One of the Writers Festival’s longtime satellite events is the Writers at the Rails, which will celebrate its 27th anniversary on Sunday 4 August. The show will feature festival guest Melanie Mununggurr-Williams, the first Indigenous poet to win the Australian Poetry Slam, along with Sydney performance poet Tug Dumbly.
Host David Hallett will start the anniversary show at 2pm, which will include invited readings and a poetry slam. Entry is free.
Railway Hotel Sunday 2pm
One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest
Ballina Players Theatre | 23 August to 1 September | 8pm except for Sundays, which are at 2pm | $15–25
One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest delivers Cheswick (Bill Graham), Martini (Mike Harris), Scanlon (Graeme Speed), Billy (Weylin Martens-Mullane), and Harding (Gray Wilson), who have all appeared on north coast stages with Lismore Theatre Company, Ballina Players, and Bangalow Theatre Company, and have many years of stage work behind them. The exception is Weylin, who appears in his first production outside of school.
These five men form the basis of the institutionalised inmates at the hospital where the action takes place, and all have their own particular reasons and behaviours for being there. In a very early scene from the play, Martini’s hallucinatory behaviour manifests itself in a card game where, to the frustration of his fellow patients, he keeps dealing to imaginary card players! Billy is a stuttering self-harmer; Scanlon wants to blow up the world; while Harding has severe problems with his wife’s appearance and the attention she gets from other men. All these men are voluntary patients, which causes McMurphy (John Rado), who is the protagonist for all the play’s action, real problems when he arrives on the scene.
Cuckoo’s Nest is a drama that takes audiences to places and experiences that are unsettling and confrontational but will have them laughing at the same time.
One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest opens at Ballina Players Theatre, 24 Swift St, Ballina, on 23 August for seven performances, finishing on 1 September. Tickets are $25/adult, $15/child (16 & under), and are available at Just Funkin Music shop at 124 River St, Ballina, 6686 2440 (a $2 booking fee applies) or online at www.ballinaplayers.com.au (no booking fee). All shows are at 8pm except for Sundays, which are at 2pm.