Akmal’s unfiltered stand-up comedy
Akmal returns to the Byron Theatre with an hour of hilarious, unfiltered stand-up comedy. Anyone who’s experienced a live Akmal show knows the charmingly deranged energy this national treasure brings to the stage. Now imagine Akmal cooped up for months inside his own house during lockdown – forced to stare at the wall muttering madly to himself, instead of into a mic. The thoughts swirling, but never getting out, the unreleased funny building to a critical mass – oooh boy!
Pandemic’s got you down? Akmal is the perfect cure. He has the unique perspective of being born in Egypt and raised here from the age of 11.
He’s also one of our funniest exports, having toured the world, including to the Edinburgh and Montreal International Comedy Festivals. He’s a star of film and TV, notably one of the most reluctant guests on ‘I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here’ (he really did want to get out of there).
Get out, see Akmal Saleh, 27 November, 8pm at the Byron Theatre.
Stay tuned for more good stuff in Ballina
It’s been a big year and the Ballina RSL is getting ready to throw all the good things at you – starting with The Big Gig Free Live Comedy this Thursday 25 November at 8pm. Every month Mandy Nolan presents a free comedy night with local, national and international comedians.
Friday 3 December is the day the RSL gets back into live music, kicking off the month with Yolan, from 7pm. Yolan finds her style in everything from ’60s rock’n’roll, to heartfelt folk ballads, to soul, funk and blues. Her aim is to take the audience on a joyful musical journey.
Also on 3 December, Interactive Theatre International presents: Faulty Towers, The Dining Experience (doors 7pm, dinner and show: 7.30pm). Tickets $125 for dinner, drinks & show (18+).
The great news is Ballina RSL has dedicated the first Saturday of each month as a Blues Club evening. The first Blues Club will be on Saturday 4 December with the Soren Carlbergg Quartet, and the following event will be on 1 January next year – yes, New Year’s Day, 2022. The featured band will be FBI (Federal Blues Inc.). These guys play the blues like no one else.
If you love the blues, put it in your calendar, tell your friends – first Saturday of each month.
For more info, visit: Ballina RSL ballinarsl.com.au.
The Drill Hall Theatre Reopens with a Cliffhanger
After a lockdown-induced hiatus, the Drill Hall Theatre Company is champing at the bit to return Joanna Murray-Smith’s psychological thriller, Switzerland, to the stage.
Starring veteran actor/NIDA teacher Liz Chance (Blue Heelers, Water Rats, Tender Hooks) and rising star Charlie Burton, Switzerland is a sharp-witted two-hander by one of Australia’s finest playwrights, inspired by master crimewriter Patricia Highsmith.
Set in the Swiss Alps, where the best-selling novelist is holed up in her fortress-for-a-home, drinking away her remaining years, friendless and alone – a stranger knocks at the door – true to its genre. Enter Edward Ridgeway, a gawky underling from Highsmith’s publisher in New York, sent to persuade the famous writer to pen one last Ripley novel. A calculated contest of words and wit, power and control ensues as two people let their true selves emerge, and ‘only one’s going to survive’, says Highsmith.
Liz Chance nails the neurotic and cantankerous author, and Charlie Burton makes an astonishing theatrical debut as Ridgeway, but… who will make it out of Switzerland alive?
Switzerland plays 3–19 December at the Drill Hall Theatre, 4 Jubilee Ave, Mullumbimby. Tickets $25/$30. Bookings www.drillhalltheatre.org.au.
The end of Women Like Us?
The smash hit touring show Women Like Us featuring stand up comedians Mandy Nolan and Ellen Briggs is set to perform at Twin Towns on Friday 3 December, and it may be their last show, with Mandy stepping up as the Greens candidate for the Federal seat of Richmond, in which Nolan only needs a five per cent swing in the vote to win. ‘It feels sad to be thinking that my time on the road with Ellen, bitching about our husbands, complaining about our kids, and generally solving the world’s problems on stage might be at an end. However, I am immensely proud of what we have achieved: 200 shows. Over 20 000 downloads on our podcast. We created something out of nothing and we have bought joy to many. It’s a wonderful thing!’
Nolan says that after five years of touring there was only one time they had cross words. ‘We are collaborators. We build each other up. We appreciate each other and we both pull our weight. Ellen only finds me annoying when I’m driving. She hates my driving. She does talk about her dog a lot!’
Mandy says she and Ellen are women like us. ‘Women come up to us after a gig and hug us – they say “You made me feel good about myself”. Probably because they’re not us. They also said they hurt from laughing so much. I love that. I love the sense of community and connection we get after a gig.’
Women Like Us
Twin Towns on Friday 3 December, 8pm (Qld time).
Tix on womenlikeus.com.au.
The Juxtaposition of Leon and Potts
The fusion of the disciplines of Anne Leon and Potts’ work provides a platform that pushes the boundaries of both their works. Through experimentation, innovative artistic outcomes are achieved. This exhibition exemplifies their individual skills, and also includes some collaborative pieces.
Born in South Africa, Anne immigrated to Australia after completing her first year at the University of Natal. She continued studying at the Seven Hills College of Art, and graduated with a Diploma in Fine Art, majoring in ceramics. Anne has been evolving her design and art practice ever since – the versatility of Anne’s work reflects a rich artistic career, and includes screen-and-block-printing, painting and dyeing, on textiles and paper.
Born in Melbourne in 1955, Potts studied Graphic Design at The Prahran Institute of Technology. The crispness and clarity of Potts’ work reflects over twenty years’ experience in graphic design and illustration. Since moving to northern NSW in 1993, Potts has worked as a graphic artist, silk-screen printer, painter and sculptor, as well as teaching. His main inspirations are the beach, ocean and surf culture.
See Juxtaposition at the LAC Gallery
Until Thursday 2 December.
Open seven days, 10am–3pm (Covid public health restrictions permitting).
2/72 Ballina Street, Lennox Head.
The Mud Trail potters Christmas market
Looking for an event that combines a bunch of professional creative artisans, a stunning hinterland village and a shopping opportunity for unique Christmas gifts? Then you’ll be keen to hear about the Potters Market at Federal this weekend – 27 and 28 November. Mud Trail Potters will be there under the one roof.
In addition to the variety of hand crafted functional and sculptural ceramic wares, there will be a table of donated bowls from participating studios. One hundred per cent of the purchase price of any of these will be donated to the Federal Loves Refugees charity, so visitors will have a great opportunity to support this local organisation in the spirit of Christmas.
This will be a Covid Safe (double vaccinated) event with a cap on numbers inside the hall.
The Potters Market will be open from 9am–3pm on Saturday, 27 and Sunday 28 November in the Federal Hall/Jaspers Corner, (cnr Federal Drive and Roses Road).