Arts and Entertainment for the Byron Shire for the week beginning July 21, 2020

Nell Schofield of Jewels on Queen, and Grant Rasheed of Ninbella Gallery, in front of the installation of jewellery creations by Zuzy Noy – on show until 1 August.

Bespoke Jewellery on Exhibition

Discover the work of Zuzy Noy – Bondi’s most beloved bespoke jeweller. Hosted by Jewels on Queen, this exhibition at Bangalow’s Ninbella Gallery features fabulous handcrafted silver sea creature collars, bold brass bathing-beauty brooches, and outrageous one-off silver sunnies set with turquoise, ebony and mother-of-pearl. The collection will be on display for two weeks only. Zuzy is an Israeli-born creator who came to Australia in 1986 and worked with Ilaria and Angelo Logi in their Paddington studio during the 1990s, making exquisite silver puzzles for clients as exclusive as Queen Elizabeth II. He started his own studio in Surry Hills, before settling in Bondi, where he resides and works today. His quirky work has a Gothic note. He etches many of his pieces with imaginary calligraphy, sometimes using enamel to achieve a primitive effect. His inventive clasps, using invisible hinges, give a magical quality to his pieces. Zuzy has largely flown under the radar, with his recent Sydney show at Jewels On Queen introducing him to a whole new audience. Now his signature jewellery will be available in the Northern Rivers. Documentary maker and director of family business, Jewels on Queen, Nell Schofield now calls the Northern Rivers home and has bought Zuzy’s work to Bangalow. ‘How good is Bangalow?! I love living in the postcode, and to now be showcasing the first of our jewellers here at Ninbella feels like such perfect fit! Loving it all!’ The jewellery was delivered by good friend and fellow artist/performer Gretel Killeen, who says of Nell, ‘I’ve known Nell for a million years. She recently hosted my first ever mini-exhibition. I adore her vision. She’s a great supporter of the arts and a wonderful curator’.

Zuzy’s work is on show exclusively at Ninbella Gallery, until Saturday 1 August. Open seven days, from 10am–3pm.

Big Song Sessions have resumed, live and in the flesh at Brunswick Memorial Hall on Mondays at 9.30am.

Big Song Sessions Resume             

Janet Swain’s Big Song Sessions started at Brunswick Picture House in 2018, and have grown in popularity. Whichever way you take your singing – as therapy, fun, a way to learn new songs to sing on the beach, as exercise, as healing – Big Song is about community connectedness, and is an easy way to get your singing fix for the week. People love the freedom of the Big Song format – the connections that are made, the laughter, the effect that the harmonies have on everyone, and the magic of singing together in a circle.

Come and learn vocal warm-ups, fun exercises, simple chants, improvisation and circle singing, lullabies, laments and rounds, and deepen your connection with your own authentic voice. You will discover ways of using singing as a simple and extremely effective way to de-stress.

Meetings will be at the Memorial Hall while Brunswick Picture House is undergoing renovations. Precautions will be taken to ensure people are singing at a safe distance, and masks will be available for those who would like to wear them. Limited numbers, so book online via the Song Dynasty website.

An exciting new addition to the website is the membership page, where you can find songs, videos, lyrics and sheet music, plus background stories.

Bookings via or email Janet for more info at [email protected]

The Brides – one of the featured performances at She-Rated Cabaret at The Drill Hall Theatre in Mullumbimby, on Sunday.

She-Rated Cabaret

Thanks to funding from Create NSW, Mullumbimby can look forward to two intimate, COVID-safe Cabaret shows, featuring stunning and diverse local female talent, hosted by Claudie Frock, Gabrielle Griffin, and Simone O’Brien (The Moxy Collective.)

Join the crew as they dust off the glamour, sweat, swords and stockings to perform live, up close (but not too close), and personal.

Thanks to a Regenerate grant from Create NSW, the She-Rated Cabaret team will be employing local theatre makers to take their sold-out Lismore cabaret show on the road: to Mullumbimby, Kyogle, and Murwillumbah.

First stop is hometown Mullum, with very limited audience capacity, owing to that damn virus, so get in quick: 12 tables of two only.

There will be live streaming for anyone who misses out, or are in isolation.

From dance to story-telling, lip-sync to acoustic guitar, this show has it all. Starring the likes of Sprung!!, Kimberley McIntyre & her Trio Menage, Indigenous dancer Sarah Bolt, circus sideshow freak Zoe L’Amour, and headliner Ainé Tyrell, all mixed up by your fabulous trio of MCs. With stylish décor by Mandy Peters, and strict COVID-safe protocols adhered to, this could be your first big night out in a bloody long time.

Tickets here –

Sunday Matinee 2–3.30, Evening 7–8.30 at The Drill Hall Theatre, Mullumbimby. Cost: Matinee $15, Evening $15/20

Ben Walsh, one of the acts on t the Beach Hotel

It’s still Peachy at the Beachie

The Beach Hotel continues to roll out some awesome socially distanced musical moments with Ben Walsh playing on Wednesday from 7pm. Thursday sees the Josh Hamilton duo step up to the podium, and Friday it’s the effervescent Jon J Bradley at 3pm, followed by the Dallas James duo at 8pm. So many bands are having to strip down to solos, or two- or three-handers to make it through under the stringent COVID conditions around entertainment. There is still no dancing, so those who become infected with the joy of music are going to have to be content with a nice cold beer and a good old bit of chair writhing. Saturday, its Jordan Mac at 1pm, Matt Hanley at 4.30pm and the Carly & Roo duo at 8pm. Monday welcomes Fernando Aragones at 7pm, and Tuesday its Max Foggon at 7pm. And on Wednesday it’s Jesse Balfour on the floor.

Juliette Binoche in How to be a Good Wife.

French Films on Screen!

The annual French Film Festival was one of the many nation-wide events that had to be cancelled because of COVID. The good news is, with cinemas opening with social distancing in place, this wonderful celebration of film will be resumed, everywhere except Melbourne, with sessions screening in Byron until 14 July. 

The Films include How to be a Good Wife, which is set in 1968 and is about the head of a housekeeping school for teenage girls, who has her pristine life implode when she encounters her long-lost first love, whilst simultaneously learning that her business is on the brink of financial ruin. Other gems are My Days of Glory, about a former child-star given the chance of a lead role in a big-budget biopic, but he must decide whether it’s worth casting aside the comforting familiarity of failure in order to finally stand on his own two feet. And the classic is Les Miserables – set in the troubled Parisian district of Montfermeil, this searing tale follows cop Stéphane, who works on the fringes of both the city and society.

To check session times, go to

Country Witches – Áine Tyrrell and Mandy Nolan head to the Bangalow Bowlo on Saturday, 1 August.

Country Witches Head to Bangalow!

With restrictions easing and community permitted to gather in small socially distanced groups, the girls are able to get back out there and perform. The Country Witches Association has decided to clear out the cobwebs with a few local shows. Their last Byron show was sold out – and this one will be too.

Bangalow Bowlo, Saturday 1 August at 7.30pm. Tix $35. Tix at

The Byron Writers Festival presents online schools programs from 3–7 August.

Byron Writers Festival, Free Online Programs for Schools

Byron Writers Festival is thrilled to announce that their ever-popular, annual Schools Programs have moved online, and are free to Primary and Secondary schools across the Northern Rivers, marking what would have been the Festival’s 24th annual gathering.

Running from 3–7 August, the programs feature some of Australia’s most entertaining writers and thinkers streamed on-demand into classrooms.

The Secondary Schools program invites students to explore their unique writing style, and voice, with Christos Tsiolkas (The Slap, Damascus), discover the stories behind the songs with musician and writer Clare Bowditch (Your Own Kind of Girl) and be inspired by former Socceroos captain Craig Foster (Fighting for Hakeem), who is now an Ambassador for Human Rights and Refugees with Amnesty Australia. The program also includes engaging sessions with former Triple J presenter, comedian, and writer Matt Okine (Being Black ‘N Chicken, and Chips), teen novelist Vivian Pham (The Coconut Children), award-winning writer and poet Ellen van Neerven (Comfort Food, Throat) and LGBTIQ rights activist, writer and Executive Director at, Sally Rugg (How Powerful We Are). These topical, enthralling conversations are exclusive to Byron Writers Festival and are facilitated by authors Sunil Badami, Zacharey Jane, Benjamin Law, Maeve Marsden, and Story Factory Executive Director, Cath Keenan.

Primary School students will be inspired and entertained by best-selling author of funny books for kids, Tristan Bancks (Nit Boy, and the Tom Weekly Series), beloved children’s author, Felice Arena (The Boy and the Spy, Fearless Fredric and A Great Escape), celebrated climate-change trilogy author Deborah Abela (Grimsdon, New City and Final Storm), award-winning children’s author, poet and NSW Aboriginal Woman of the Year, Kirli Saunders (The Incredible Freedom Machines, and Kindred) and author and illustrator Dub Leffler (Once There was a Boy and Sorry Day with Coral Vass).

Byron Writers Festival 2020 Schools Program – free, online, on-demand into  classrooms. Available 3–7 August, 2020. Registration and more info at: (Primary Schools) (Secondary Schools) Supported by Southern Cross University. Byron Writers Festival 2020 public online program will be announced next week.

Greg Sullivan headlines the Big Gig at the Ballina RSL on Thursday 30 July – register for a ticket on

Free Comedy At The Big Gig

The Ballina Big Gig is back in business with comedians Greg Sullivan and Mandy Nolan getting up to deliver the laughs after lockdown.

Comedy is something that fits neatly within Covid-19 guidelines – you do it seated and there’s rarely, if ever, any dancing!

Greg Sullivan is the feature this month. Since beginning his comedic career in 1995 he has performed at the famous Improv in Los Angeles, appeared on numerous TV shows and embodied a vast range of roles for Triple M Brisbane, spanning an incredible 14 years.

He is joined by Mandy Nolan as the host – giving the lowdown on life after lockdown! Last month there was some confusion, with a bogus emailing informing patrons that the gig was cancelled. This meant that half the audience missed out! The show is definitely on! And now, with extra numbers in socially distanced settings we ask that patrons register online so we can account for numbers. If you can’t make it – then you need to let the club know. The maximum number of patrons allowed in the space is 150.

Thursday 30 July at 8pm. To register go online at

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