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Entertainment in the Byron Shire for the week beginning November 18, 2020

Dusty Rich, the wild man of South African comedy, and Steve Allison, regarded by his fellow comedians as the best comic that nobody has ever heard of, perform at Ballina RSL on Thursday 26 November.

Doubling the Laughs

Last month saw comedy lovers surprised by a free gig by Tom Gleeson. After rolling out some of the best comedy gigs on the North Coast for the past 14 years, the Ballina RSL doesn’t fail to disappoint this month when they present two feature comics in a stand up comedy double header: Dusty Rich & Steve Allison.

Steve Allison is regarded by his fellow comedians as the best comic around that nobody has ever heard of, even though he is one of the most worked acts in Australia. For more than 30 years Steve has been making people around the world laugh.

Dusty Rich, the wild man of South African comedy is sharp, freewheeling and electrified. Rich shot to fame for the off-the-wall style of his shows, for throwing the rehearsed, practised stand up format out the window, and replacing it with a fire and ice rollercoaster of continual spontaneous improvisation and crowd interaction. A huge name in South Africa where he toured as support for Trevor Noah, Rich moved to Australia just a few years back, and his star is definitely on the rise.

Ballina RSL, Thursday 26 November at 8pm. Free.
Bookings essential as numbers limited – ballinarsl.com.au


Karla Dickens’ A Dickensian Sideshow is on at the Lismore Regional Gallery until 31 January.

A Dickensian Sideshow

A Dickensian Sideshow stems from recently acclaimed work that Karla Dickens created for the 2020 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art and the 22nd Biennale of Sydney. It brings together these bodies of work, along with new pieces Karla created in lockdown, creating another immersive installation that steps deep into the dark corners of the circus tent to interrogate what lies beneath the glitter and lights. 

A Dickensian Sideshow unlocks stories of insidious discrimination against Aboriginal people, but also greatness in adversity, including stories of the Lismore-born and world-famous Aboriginal tightrope walker, Con Colleano, known as ‘The Wizard of the Wire’ who became one of the most highly-paid circus performers of his time. 

Working in her trademark method of collecting found objects, largely found in the Lismore area, Dickens has amassed what she classifies as ‘the memories, whispers and materials’ from which these works have been constructed. The result is a powerful, multifaceted memorial for a bygone sideshow; where narratives are unearthed of tender and melancholy co-existence between circus and boxing-tent performers of Indigenous descent with other performers and crew, and of their haunting interactions with audiences.

 Says Karla ‘A Dickensian Sideshow celebrates the unheralded Indigenous performers of times-gone-by whose extraordinary talents and skills have entertained Australians for over a century. I have interwoven many current issues and stereotypes into their stories. The works engage with racism, politics, consumerism and the environment.’

This exhibition is being developed in partnership with Orange Regional Gallery, where it will be exhibited in late 2021.

On show at the Lismore Regional Gallery until 31 January.


Eleven Seconds sees eleven students investigate ‘space and place’.

Final Showing for BSA Students

Byron School of Art second year students are presenting Eleven Seconds, at The BSA Project Space until 25 November. 

During 2020, eleven students investigated contemporary art practices, including printmaking, sculpture, assemblage and painting. This exhibition is the result of an unusual year of negotiating and investigating ‘space and place’ in the expanded field – both literally and metaphorically – to come to a position of resolve.

Eleven Seconds features works by Cindy Alice, Tamara Cox, Sue Davidson, Shanti Des Fours, Elizabeth Dwyer, Tiffany Gee, Jen Hogan, Priya Link, Bill Meertens, Anastasia Rashid and Jen Schirmer. All welcome.


The Buckleys play Great Southern Nights at Byron YAC

Gigs at the YAC!

Byron Youth Service are hosting two live gigs for Great Southern Nights this month on Saturday and Sunday with eight amazing local young artists performing their original tunes!

This initiative is to kick-start the live music scene again after the extremely challenging six months the arts and entertainment industries have faced. BYS will be partnering with Byron Music and ACEntertainment, with support from Destination NSW and ARIA.

To book your free tickets please visit bys.org.au/projects
The two events are from 4–7pm and will be outside in the fresh air, are drug and alcohol free and COVID Safe.


Local potters will open their studios next weekend for the Ballina, Byron & Beyond arts trail.

Open Studios

The 2020 Open Studios – Ballina, Byron & Beyond arts trail is coming up very soon – Sat/Sun 28/29 Nov and Sat/Sun 5/6 Dec.  

The weekend of 21 and 22 November is the Australian Ceramics Open Studios weekend that was delayed from August.

Several local potters will open their studios, including Richard Jones of Rainforest Ceramics, Ruby and Frank’s studio at Federal and Jenn Johnston Ceramics of Mullumbimby.

Rainforest Ceramics donate 20 per cent of all their takings to Rainforest Trust to save forests globally. They estimate they’ve saved 25,000 acres to date.

In case you haven’t experienced the trail before, Open Studios – Ballina, Byron & Beyond is an exciting arts studio adventure trail where local artists of all genres open their studios to welcome you, inspire you and show you how they create their magic. Enjoy the journey over four days, discovering studios in hideaway locations you would never normally be able to visit. To find out more about visiting all these COVID Safe studios go to os-bbb.com 


Cafe No One is set to take Australia by storm.

Cafe No One at Courthouse

Exciting new Indie Rock band, Cafe No One, plays The Courthouse Hotel in Mullumbimby this Friday at 7.30pm.

With lead singer Joey Vidakovic as their frontman, this Brisbane band, in the tradition of Powder Finger (and endorsed by John Collins), is set to take Australia by storm.
Entry is free and numbers are limited owing to Public Health restrictions.


Steve Balbi, solo ‘n’ Acoustic, is playing at the Ballina RSL on Saturday 28 Nov.

Balbi in Ballina

Great Southern Nights present Steve Balbi, Solo ‘n’ Acoustic at the Ballina RSL for two shows on one night. Celebrating the release of his new record I think I know for Sure, this is Balbi’s first show in the Northern Rivers for many years. Look forward to a passionate and equally enlightening remedy to six months of living in relative isolation; featuring an electrifying and profoundly emotive set that includes all the songs from the new record, played start to finish, alongside reimagined out-takes, hit picks and favourties from Balbi’s catalogoue. The COVID-19 lockdown was a creative time for chameleon Steve Balbi, who used it to peel back yet another layer. Reflecting on isolation, Balbi concedes ‘It allowed me to sit back, slow down and take stock. It became clear to me what mattered. Simply that family, friends and creativity are my world. I willingly went back to basics and was inspired to make a body of work that echoes the music that inspired me as a child. It seems to be the opposite of what is popular right now. Perhaps for that reason alone, I love it even more.’ 

Steve Balbi is at the Ballina RSL on Saturday 28 Nov at 6.30pm and 9pm. Tix on ballinarsl.com.au


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