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Culture in the Byron Shire for the Week Beginning 29 January, 2020

The Byron Bay Brewery has relaunched the iconic Pighouse Flicks as Brew House Theatre with Country Witches Association presenting Gretel Killeen on Saturday

Gretel Killeen and Other Things at The Brew House Theatre

Brew House Theatre, Byron Brewery
Feb 1: Country Witches Association presents Gretel Killeen  |  Saturday 5pm and 7pm  |  $30
Feb 5: Films for change presents A Ballerina’s Tale
Feb 12: Films for change presents Choose Love
Feb 14: Byron Bay Surf Festival

Byron Bay Brewery has re-launched the iconic Pighouse Flicks under a new banner – Brew House Theatre. Since 1995 this intimate venue has been an integral community meeting point for theatre and art lovers.

After the short closure of Pighouse Flicks last year, the Brewery operators heard from many locals who were upset that the cinema had shut its doors, so they decided to continue the legacy of this characterful venue. The Brew House Theatre will be home to live stand-up comedy, arthouse films, family movies, surf premiers, intimate concerts, seminars, Q&A’s and much more. The Brew House Theatre (100 seats) is also available to hire for functions and events. The state-of-the-art sound system and projection equipment is included when hiring this space. Get in touch if you’re interested in hosting your next community event here.

Check out Brew House Theatre on Facebook for more information on upcoming events and shows @brewhousetheatrebbb

Featuring at The Brew House this Saturday is Gretel Killeen. Presented by The Country Witches Association (Mandy Nolan and Àine Tyrrell – who return with their sell-out show on Friday 21 Feb.) Gretel presents the low-down on what it is to be an outspoken woman in the media. Gretel has a well articulated point of view, she doesn’t tolerate bullshit, she’s a feminist, she’s compassionate, and she’s never one to stay silent. She also has a wonderful self-deprecating sense of humour.

Gretel Killeen–two shows – 5pm and 7pm on Saturday. Tickets are $30 at the door or from mandynolan.com.au


Kentaro Yoshida is one of the artists involved with the art show at the Surf Festival

Byron Bay Surf Festival Group Art Show

RVCA Gallery, Byron Bay  |  Friday 14 Feb  |  5–7pm  |  Free

This year BBSF group art show will be exhibited in the RVCA Gallery Byron Bay. They have brought a truly international group together for this 10th Anniversary show. They may be known for their surf culture contributions, in one way or another, heck they may have even painted a board or ten, but this lineup should not be restricted to the term ‘surf artist’.

Featuring the likes of Ozzie Wright, Ty Williams (US), Kentaro Yoshida (JPN), James McMillan, Jaleesa Vincent, Michele Lockwood (NYC/AUS) and Robin Falxa (FRA).

Friday, 14 Feb at RVCA Gallery in Byron 5–7pm, hosted by Byron Surf Festival.


Velma Celli’s Me & My Diva at the Brunswick Picture House Thursday at 7pm.

Velma Celli’s Me & My Divas

Brunswick Picture House  |  Thursday  |  7pm

Velma Celli, The UK’s queen of live `vocal drag returns to the Brunswick Picture House stage with her brand-new show, Me and My Divas. No diva is safe, there’s no riff she won’t sing – so strap yourself in and let the belt-off begin.

Her new show is an overindulgent diva-fest celebrating the songs and behaviour of all of your favourite divas including Celine, Mariah, Whitney, Aretha, Cher, Britney (maybe not…) and many more. ‘They’re all on massive pedestals for me, especially the likes of Whitney and Mariah, and Celine. I’m really looking forward to performing for the Picture House audience, they are such a fun crowd. There will be so many songs from the 90s divas, and other artists. I’ve changed their songs a bit, including one Beyonce song that is very different.’ Says Velma. Ms Celli has been making an annual pilgrimage from London to Australia for the last few years. Audiences have loved her show A Brief History of Drag and been impressed by her singing abilities.

Velma Celli’s Me and My Divas plays for one night only at the Brunswick Picture House, Thursday 7pm. Tix brunswickpicturehouse.com


Present Laughter

Present Laughter by Noel Coward

National Theatre Live Screening | Byron Theatre  |  Saturday  |  1pm

The National Theatre Live Screening at the Byron Theatre this month is Present Laughter by Noel Coward. This provocative comedy stars Andrew Scott (Sherlock, Fleabag) and follows the colourful life of the main character, star actor Garry Essendine, as he prepares to embark on an overseas tour. Engulfed by an escalating identity crisis, as his many and various relationships compete for his attention, Garry’s few remaining days at home are a chaotic whirlwind of love, sex, panic and soul-searching. His colourful life is in danger of spiralling out of control.

Captured live from The Old Vic in London, Present Laughter is a giddy and surprisingly modern reflection of fame, desire and loneliness. Screening at the Byron Theatre, at the Community Centre, on Saturday at 1pm. Tickets from byroncentre.com.au


Liz Chance is teaching a dynamic course in acting techniques for aspiring performers

Let Your Imagination Loose in Theatre Workshops!

Interviews will take place on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 February

The Drill Hall Theatre’s new artistic director Liz Chance is teaching a dynamic course in acting techniques for aspiring performers this February.

Liz comes with 30 years of experience as an actor/director, and taught stars of stage and screen for 12 years at NIDA, including Cate Blanchett, Sam Worthington, Damon Gameau and Jeremy Simms.

The course runs on Sundays, from 16 February to 5 April, 9am–1.30pm at The Drill Hall Theatre in Mullumbimby.

Classes cost $225 and are designed for two age groups,17–25 and 30–45 year-olds. Places are limited, and are by interview.

Interviews will take place on Saturday 8 and Sunday 9 February. Email [email protected] for more information, or to arrange an interview.


Jenny Wynter and Kat Davidson perform under the Women Like Us banner at the Ballina RSL on Friday 6 March.

Women Like Us: New Women, New Show!

Women like Us Starring Kat Davidson & Jenny Wynter  |  Ballina RSL  |  Friday 6 March  |  8pm  |  $35
V-Day Byron Bay  |  14 Feb  |  6.30am  |  Main Beach
The Vagina Conversations  |  Byron Theatre, Community Centre  |  14 and 15 Feb  |  7pm

Mandy Nolan and Ellen Briggs have been touring their smash hit comedy show Women Like Us around the country for over four years. With more than 140 shows, and after selling out at venues around the country several times over, the girls decided it was time to use their Women Like Us mojo and welcome new talent to the Women like Us tribe. Their upcoming show at The Ballina RSL features the cracking wit of Katrina Davidson and Jenny Wynter.

With 20 years of comedy experience, Katrina has brilliant stories that keep the laughs flowing. Heard across ABC radio in QLD she has headlined the best clubs in Australia and Canada. She also co-produces the Ladies Comedy Nights in Brisbane and can be found at sea performing on P&O cruise ships. She’s shared the stage with some of the world’s best comics, tackling relationships, observations and random events with equal passion. A fellow middle-aged mama of mirth, Katrina is thrilled to be joining the touring team that an Adelaide Festival reviewer declared to be ‘Goddesses’, asserting ‘Everything they say and do is the absolute word of sacred truth!’

Jenny Wynter is an award-winning comedian, cabaret performer and writer who has performed throughout Australia, Canada and the USA. Her awards include the ABC iView Pitch Perfect Award for her web series Viking Mama, Best Variety Show at United Solo Festival in New York City, Excellence in Cabaret at Melbourne Fringe Festival, a Green Room Award Nomination for Best Cabaret Writing and the Ausmumpreneur Big Idea Award. Jenny’s strengths are her powerful charisma and her incredible ability to improvise songs on the spot. Audiences are left stunned as she pens one-of-a-kind love songs on the spot!

Women Like Us is stand-up at its best, where Katrina and Jenny drill down on the everyday! They’re overworked, overwhelmed and over it…

And they’re at Ballina RSL on Friday 6 March. Doors open 7pm with show at 8pm. Tickets are $35 at the club or online from womenlikeus.com.au or ballinarsl.com.au


Tanya Oglivie-White ’s Up in the Trees on show at the Lennox Arts Collective in Lennox from Friday

Up in the Trees – A Sensory Art Experience by Tanya Ogilvie-White

Lennox Arts Collective  |  Friday  |  5.30pm  |  (running till 13 Feb)

Are you a fan of our region’s colourful wildlife? If you are, and you’d like to finish your week with an immersive art experience, head down to LAC Gallery in Lennox Head later this month. There, you’ll find more than thirty original artworks by local artist and wildlife photographer, Tanya Ogilvie-White, who uses her hot-wax paintings to draw attention to the exquisite beauty of the natural world.

Up in the Trees opens at 5.30pm on Friday at LAC Gallery, 2/72 Ballina Street, Lennox Head (0404 348 215). Drinks and nibbles will be provided. If you can’t make it to the opening, take the time to see the exhibition, which runs until 13 February, with 20% of all profits from artwork sales going directly to wildlife rescue associated with the drought and bushfires.

Lennox Arts Collective, 2/72 Ballina Street, Lennox Head. Opening 5.30 pm, Friday and running until 13 February.


Ashen Segkar supports Mad Mike Bennett at the Ballina RSL on Thursday

Big Gig Comedy: Mike Bennett, Ashwin Segkar, Mandy Nolan.

Ballina RSL  |  Thursday  |  8pm  |  Free

This Thursday sees Big Gig Comedy return for 2020 with Mad Mike Bennett. And they don’t call him Mad Mike for nothing!

For more than 20 years, Mad Mike’s charisma-filled physical and observational comedy has been drawing hysterical responses from audiences all over Australia and New Zealand, his birth place. Mike’s comedy insight and experience is unmatched throughout much of our great country, and his unique ability to extract side-splitting comedy from all manner of seemingly mundane and everyday material makes Mike one of the most loved comedians currently touring.

Mike is an award-winning comedian, winning the coveted Big ‘E’ Award for Best Atmosphere/Street Performer of the world’s theme parks by IAAPA (International Association for Amusement Parks and Attractions) in 2006. Mike brings all of his 15 years as a street performer to the stage when he performs; Able to improvise like the pro that he is, as well as deliver flawlessly crafted extended gag after extended gag. There is not much that Mad Mike has not done and cannot do in the field of comedy, from entertaining big crowds at some of the best known theme parks, to having crowds crying with laughter on fancy cruise ships. Mike is a comedy force to be reckoned with.

Don’t miss this opportunity to see Mad Mike this month at The Big Gig at the Ballina RSL. He is supported by Ashwin Segkar who focuses on the hilarity and tension of growing up between Australia and Asia. He also created the online comedy cartoon, Boymongoose, viewed over ten million times online! MC’d by Mandy Nolan. Ballina RSL on Thursday at 8pm for free.


Still from Division Series – screening as part of Flickerfest at the Mullum Civic Hall from Thursday to Saturday

Mullum Flickerfest & Byron All Shorts (Northern Rivers short film competition, winners screening.)

Mullum Civic Hall  |  Thursday–Saturday

Flickerfest returns to the Northern Rivers from Thursday to Saturday for its 22nd year, screening a smorgasbord of the best short films from the Byron region, Australia and the world, across one cinema-packed short-film weekend at the Mullumbimby Civic Hall.

Flickerfest remains Australia’s only Academy qualifying and BAFTA recognised short film festival, and presents an A-list short film program that’s recognised among the best in the world. Flickerfest remains a platform for celebrating the most entertaining and innovative short films from Australia and around the world.

The Flickerfest program includes the Opening Night Party and Best Of International Shorts (Thurs, drinks 7pm, Films start 8pm) and the Best Of Australian Shorts (Friday, films start 8pm), curated from the Flickerfest International and Australian programs in competition at Bondi; and Short Laughs Comedy (Saturday, films start 8pm) an off-kilter selection of clever comedy shorts from across the world. This is a one-off chance to see these amazing short films before they continue their journey around the world; expect to experience the best in short films that Australia and the world have to offer.

The Flickerfest 2020 program in Bondi was selected from over 3,500 entries and 100 countries, giving local Flickerfest audiences the first look at the hottest short films in the world today. At Flickerfest Mullumbimby they will be screening an entertaining, inspiring and award-winning range of over 30 Flickerfest short films, curated into three highlight programs over three nights, many of which are world or Australian premieres.

Flickerfest also presents the best of Northern Rivers shorts with the Byron All Shorts (Sat 1 Feb, 4pm) finalist’s screening, selected from around 50 entries, showcasing a wonderful new collection of creative shorts from our very talented local filmmakers, on a range of themes that reflect Northern Rivers life.

Mullum Flickerfest and Byron All Shorts, Northern Rivers short film competition, winners screening will take place at

Mullum Civic Hall, Thursday–Saturday. Event info and tix iQ.org.au


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