Pete Murray, Amanda Coutts and Sue Coutts try their gurning form in Bangalow.
Pete Murray, Amanda Coutts and Sue Coutts try their gurning form in Bangalow.

Organisers hope face-pulling will pull crowd

By ANDY PARKS andy.parks@northernstar.com.au MUSICIAN Pete Murray says he pulls funny faces for his three-month-old baby all the time.

His partner Amanda Coutts does too. "I'm always pulling funny faces, it's more unusual when I'm not," she said.

The couple were out in Bangalow with Amanda's mother Sue for a 'trendite' a word they use for hanging out in cafes when The Northern Star approached them to ask if they would pull a funny face for us. "It's a shame our son Charlie isn't here, he's very good at pulling funny faces," Pete said.

The APRA award-winning musician will soon have a chance to get a full family portrait to put up on the wall next to his multi-platinum albums.

Local comedian Mandy Nolan and photographer Jules Ober are launching a funny face exhibition and competition as part of the Big Joke Comedy Festival.

They will set up a 'Gurning Booth' at the Bangalow and Byron Farmers Markets today and Saturday and at the Bangalow market on Sunday, November 25.

"Gurning is the very old English tradition of pulling a face. It comes from sideshows and freak shows," Mandy said. "Competitions were held in villages all over the country.

The tradition is to pull your bottom lip up over your face, but we're just encouraging people to pull their funniest face."

Mandy will introduce the concept of gurning to Bangalow via a continuous PowerPoint exhibition on a giant screen. From the photos taken at the market, people will be able to vote for the silliest face.

They will also be able to purchase framed photos of themselves or their loved ones at the festival.

"I'm hoping the winner will be the face of the Big Joke Festival in 2009," she said. "I want the comedy festival to have a real village feel.

I love the idea of getting people involved in it and want to try and capture the spirit of fun that resides deep within our community."



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