Entertainment in the Byron Shire and Beyond for the Week beginning 24 March, 2021 – The Echo

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Dustyesky: Photo by Lyn McCarthy

The Dusty’s are must sees this Friday

Our very own Dustyesky returns to the Picture House for two exclusive shows on Friday.

As featured on ABC TV’s Australian Story (twice!), join the choir dubbed the ‘Most Handsome Russian Male choir to be seen in the Southern Hemisphere’ – Dustyesky when they return to the Brunswick Picture House for a warm-up ahead of some very special interstate shows later this year.

When 28 bearded blokes from the Northern Rivers coastal community of Mullumbimby came together to share beers and sing Russian songs, something extraordinary – and frankly bizarre – happened, and Dustyesky was born. None of them have a connection to Russia or even speak the language, yet Dustyesky has gained global notoriety, and stardom in the motherland, for their spirited renditions of Red Army and traditional Russian folk songs. Performing in four-part harmonies with gusto and élan, Dustyesky have amazed crowds at Woodford Folk Festival, Mullum Music Festival, Falls Festival, Melbourne Fringe and most recently WOMADelaide – becoming instant festival icons with their extraordinarily powerful voices, potent masculinity and rustic charm.

The Dustyesky repertoire features the unforgettable ‘State Anthem of the Russian Federation’, alongside such classics as ‘Orchy Chornye’, ‘The Red Army is the Strongest’ and ‘Kalinka’, amidst lesser-known, but no less breathtaking show-stoppers.

The secret of Dustyesky is lost in the misty undergrowth of the famous Mullumgrad hinterland. Like the recipe for gherkin liqueur, the magic of their music lies in the heart of them all, never one man alone. As rough as a sawmiller’s beard yet as gentle as his touch, Dustyesky is elusive yet eternal. Like the wind of the Siberian steppes, they shall blow within you forever. Your heart will soar. You will smile and cry, for sure.

Friday at 6pm and again at 8pm at the Brunswick Picture House.


Cheeky Cabaret

Cheeky Cabaret is back, over four big nights

When the Brunswick Picture House switched on their twinkly lights back in Easter 2016, they opened big, with a program that included a two-hour adult cabaret that would showcase some of the best talent on offer. Big dreams!

And now, nearly five years on, The Cheeky Cabaret has become their signature show. It has redefined a night out at the theatre, smashing together circus, vaudeville, comedy, new burlesque and everything in between. They’ve taken it on the road (and will continue to do so…) with a brand new cast month after month. Patrons have spread the word up and down the coast about The Cheeky, and the Picture House crew are thrilled that some of the most incredible international artists from around the world are beating down the door to come perform at the venue.

Sexy and dangerous, with tongue placed firmly in cheek, this is one party you will not want to miss! The Cheeky has rightfully become the talk of the town – it’s circus like you’ve never seen before. This genre-bending cabaret is cheeky, clever and damn sexy, celebrating the weird, the wonderful and the wildly entertaining, leaving audiences gasping for more!

The Cheeky features a different cast of troubadours, miscreants, delectable divas and cabaret queens every month, so no two shows are ever the same! You’ll leave spellbound, titillated and amazed. As always, bring grandma, but leave the little ones at home.

As we all know, 2020 was turned upside down and we all continue to feel its effects today. Renovations planned for the Brunswick Picture House last year were moved to 2021 and as such, these cheeky Easter shows will be the last for some months as we close for our re-scheduled renovations. Get your fix for now and don’t miss out!

Book a seat for a show, Wednesday to Saturday next week.


Help our furry friends to stay alive

Funny and hard for The Greens

Mandy Nolan, who is about to embark on a political career with The Green party, is hosting the Hard Quiz – a Greens’ fundraiser whose aim is fun, though the topic is not.

The NSW Libs have rammed a new Koala SEPP (state environmental planning policy) through parliament but it’s designed by their dummy-spitting coalition partners, The Nats.

Under this policy our iconic furry friends will be wiped out. You can help stop this happening by joining your local Greens, plus State MP Tamara Smith and Cate Faehrmann MLC, when they go head-to-head on a Koala Hard Quiz, hosted by Greens Candidate for Richmond, Mandy Nolan.

How much do you know about koalas? Like, why do they hug trees? What was the name of the plush 1984 Aussie Olympic Mascot? What year did the last Koala SEPP end? Opening with some hard facts from Cate Faehrmann about what our koalas are facing, this is a fundraiser for the local council campaign.

To be held on 1 April in Mullumbimby at the Mullum Bowlo. Doors open 6pm for 7pm start. Food available – pizzas (vego, vegan, gf).


War Horse

Easter in Art – Exhibition On Screen, and War Horse.

The story of Christ’s death and resurrection has dominated western culture for the past 2000 years. It is perhaps the most significant historical event of all time, as recounted by the gospels but, equally, as depicted by the greatest artists in history.

From the triumphant to the savage, from the ethereal to the tactile, some of western civilization’s greatest artworks focus on this pivotal moment. This beautifully crafted film explores the Easter story as depicted in art, from the time of the early Christians to the present day. Shot on location in Jerusalem, the United States and throughout Europe, the film explores the different ways artists have depicted the Easter story through the ages and thus depicts the history of us all. 31 March, 3.00pm–4.30pm

War Horse, which is based on the beloved novel by Michael Morpurgo has been adapted by Nick Stafford, in association with the award-winning Handspring Puppet Company. It is set at the outbreak of World War 1, when Albert’s beloved horse, Joey, is sold to the cavalry and shipped to France.

Though still not old enough to enlist Albert embarks on a treacherous mission to find Joey and bring him home.

Now seen by more than eight million people around the world, this powerfully moving and imaginative drama is a show of phenomenal inventiveness. At its heart are astonishing life-size puppets created by South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company, who bring breathing, galloping, charging horses to thrilling life on stage.

Byron Theatre, 27 March, 11.30am–2.15pm.


Pauline Menczer: Girls can’t surf

Dragons and surfing this week in Ballina

Ballina Cinemas have a great selection of films on offer at the moment with something for young and old.

Raya and the Last Dragon is a special surprise for kids – the Walt Disney Animation Studios film travels to the fantasy world of Kumandra, where humans and dragons lived together long ago in harmony. But when an evil force threatened the land, the dragons sacrificed themselves to save humanity. Now, 500 years later, that same evil has returned and it’s up to a lone warrior, Raya, to track down the legendary last dragon to restore the fractured land and its divided people.

For the grown ups there is Nomadland , Higher Ground, Chaos Walking, Blackbird and The Dry.

If you missed Girls Can’t Surf, now is your chance to catch it. Directed by Christopher Nelius and starring Jodie Cooper, Frieda Zamba, Pauline Menczer, Lisa Andersen, Pam Burridge, Wendy Botha and Layne Beachley, Girls Can’t Surf is an awesome doco about the 1980s world of professional surfing, which was a circus of fluoro colours, peroxide hair and radical male egos. The film follows the journey of a band of renegade surfers who took on the male-dominated professional surfing world to achieve equality and change the sport forever. Girls Can’t Surf is a wild ride of clashing personalities, sexism, adventure and heartbreak, with each woman fighting against the odds to make her dreams of competition surfing a reality.

Tickets from Ballina Fair Cinema.


The Big Lebowski

How Big?

Paradis Movie Club presents their homage to one of the greatest comedy movies ever made: The Big Lebowski (1998).

For this special event we will have the attendance of comedian Aaron Gocs for a pre-movie stand-up show. Why him? Because just like the Dude, he loves milk, wears comfy clothes, likes his sports (footy this time), and has long hair. But more importantly they’re both extremely funny.

Before the show, there is a Coen Brothers trivia hosted by Danny Salfield, you can play Ten Pin Bowling on the big screen or just enjoy a White Russian (you get a free one if you dress up!). Limited to the first 20 through the door.

Limited capacity, open to everyone. Saturday, 7.30pm at the Byron Bay Palace Cinema.


French Film Festival

French Film Festival

Returning to Palace Cinemas, Byron Bay, the Alliance Française French Film Festival, will beguile and engage audiences from 24 March until 14 April and of course, adhering to stringent COVID Safe protocols to guarantee Festival patrons a safe cinema experience.

Awash with high-octane drama, seductive romance, nail-biting suspense, historical tales that will enthral, and comedies guaranteed to elevate your spirits, the 2021 showcase will feature multiple screenings and special events; all revealed on the Festival’s website. This year’s choice line-up of 37 features has something to delight the most discerning cinephile.

Palace are delighted to announce that the effervescent Catriona Rowntree, one of the country’s most popular television presenters, will be their 2021 Festival Patron. Catriona, who is known to audiences throughout Australia as the host of Nine Network’s long-running travel show Getaway, has harboured a love for France and French cinema since childhood. Indeed, her passion for French culture has led her to the Alliance Française, where she’s currently a French-language student!

Courtesy of StudioCanal Australia, the Festival will launch on Wednesday 24 March at 6.30pm with the Premiere of Eiffel; a sumptuous, romantic, costume drama that explores the passionate love affair between celebrated engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built France’s iconic Eiffel Tower, and Adrienne, a mysterious woman from his past. Portraying these ardent lovers are French superstar Romain Duris, and the magnetic Emma Mackey.

And for Closing Night, on Wednesday 14 April, at 6.30pm the Festival will screen #Iamhere (Jesuislà) an endearing culture-clash comedy from director Éric Lartigau (The Bélier Family), starring Alain Chabat as an eminent French chef who travels to the other side of the world after he falls in love via Instagram.

What lies between is a myriad of delights, including a newly restored 4K edition of director Jean-Luc Godard’s masterpiece, Breathless (À bout de souffle) (1960), acknowledged as one of the earliest and most potent examples of French New Wave (La Nouvelle Vague) cinema.

With a screenplay by Jean-Luc Godard and starring Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg as a pair of narcissistic young lovers on the run from authorities following a violent and impulsive crime, no debut film since Citizen Kane (1942) has had as great an influence on cinematic trends and styles.

For information, or to purchase tickets, please visit the website: www.affrenchfilmfestival.org.

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