FULL STEAM AHEAD: Railway Wonderland has been three years in the making and promises to delight.
FULL STEAM AHEAD: Railway Wonderland has been three years in the making and promises to delight.

For culture vultures

WORD from the Bluesfest camp is that tickets for performances by The Pogues, Roger Daltry and Crosby Stills and Nash are already selling strongly.

 

Meanwhile, NORPA has just released its stunning program for 2012, with something to please even the fussiest culture vulture.

 

"Next year is full of spectacle and our season looks to fill the Lismore City Hall with dazzling performance skill and arresting drama," enthuses director Julian Louis.

 

"For me the four highlights would be: Railway Wonderland, because I love creating theatre that is outside people's expectations and which has brilliant local and national artists; CIRCA, which is the best of CIRCA from the last five years in one show and has astounded audiences all over the world; The School for Wives, a modern makeover of Moliere that will be hilarious; and Caravan Burlesque, a worldwide smash hit that brings together a Parisian nightclub with jaw-dropping cabaret and burlesque.

 

"This year there are also major companies who are developing world premieres with NORPA including the Legs on the Wall. And we are showcasing works by companies who have returned from sold-out international tours - so we really are presenting the best on offer in Australia."

 

Railway Wonderland, on March 27-31, kicks off the season with a lively combination of music, comedy and romance. The show, which has been three years in the making, follows the experiences of Anna, a young Italian proxy bride, from her arrival in the 1950s through to the present day. The stage is Lismore railway station platform.

 

In Bindjareb Pinjarra, from Eckchair Theatre in Western Australia, on May 23, audiences will travel back to one of the bloodiest days in Western Australian history, the 1834 Pinjarra Massacre. At turns confronting and comical, this largely improvised production is played out in front of a dramatic backdrop painted by Nyoongar artist Tjyllyungoo.

 

Enjoy classic comedy from Bell Shakespeare, an irreverent look at the woes of a modern man in What a Man's Gotta Do, on July 21, and a joyous take on female relationships in Biddies, on June 15, in which five women find themselves back in the school classroom of their youth, plying their needles in a good, old-fashioned session of "stitch and bitch".

 

Those who love musical extravanganzas will enjoy Zombatland, the hit of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, a mad tale set in a caravan park, on April 21; and Caravan Burlesque, subversive and seductive cabaret from Finucane and Smith, on Friday, September 14. The caravan tips a wink to Australia's wild past of touring vaudeville and variety shows with intoxicating Ethiopian dance, sultry songs, underdressed sirens and whip-cracking dames, Bollywood love gods, backroom ballet and gothic divas.

 

Louis says families are well-catered for too with a puppetry show, Erth's I, Bunyip on June 25 and 26 and children's theatre with The Bugalugs Bum Thief on May 11.

 

It's all colourful, thought-provoking and rich in storyline, music or dance.

 

So, for more fun in 2012, get out your diary, and get ready to be entertained.



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