Jo Turner and Helen Christinson, Demetrios Sirilas, Phillip Blackman and Katia Molino with Shenton Gregory and Greg Sheehan will all appear in this year's Norpa production Railway Wonderland. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star
Jo Turner and Helen Christinson, Demetrios Sirilas, Phillip Blackman and Katia Molino with Shenton Gregory and Greg Sheehan will all appear in this year's Norpa production Railway Wonderland. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star Marc Stapelberg

Reflecting on a year of great entertainment

DISCOVERING new talent and meeting the people behind the music, the theatre piece, the artwork or the films is one of the biggest pleasures of my job.

Sometimes it is hard to explain the extraordinary circumstances that allow me to gain access to artists, especially those we love and respect.

Falls Festival 2015

German psychedelic folk duo Milky Chance is one of those rare occasions where their 'chilled' attitude towards the media (and life) during a hot day backstage at Falls Festival allowed me to have a very unconventional chat to them.

The interview with Milky Chance was a big contrast to our face to face chat with Icelandic star Asgeir, who was ever so polite and formal, agreeing to a video chat and even blushing on camera during the interview.

Chance meeting

Another memorable encounter for us this year were our chats to Lismore's No Frills Twins. We met the girls on a plane to Sydney this year and we said hello to them. Their voices were so dim and their gazes so sheepish, their shyness was a big surprise considering the enormity of their looks and the strength of their online postings.

Northern Rivers theatre

Theatre was particularly strong this year on the Northern Rivers, with visiting and local troupes offering world-class productions.

Hamlet, by Bell Shakespeare, part of the Norpa season, was the finest example of a production not many regional areas can get access to.

Bangalow Theatre Company surprised us at the end of the year with their first ever production, The Drowsy Chaperone, a musical within a comedy, and it was a delightful surprise.

All of Ballina Players were strong productions this year, with Oliver! and It's a Wonderful Life being some of the 2015 highlights.

Lismore Theatre Company had a particularly strong production in Wait Until Dark, the story of a blind woman dealing with a home invasion.

The show that stole our hearts this year was the re-staging of Railway Wonderland.

The show was a real treat for the Northern Rivers community and confirmed that Norpa is a generator of artwork that showcases our local identity and our values.

Apologies to the talented local artists we did not mention. We are here to support you.

We can't wait for 2016. It will be a busy one, but we are ready.



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