The Ballad of Edgar and Mary ~ The Film

Saturday 27th August ~ 7pm for 8pm (and also Sunday 4th September at 1pm)

Edgar & Mary

As a leadup to the Mullumbimby Drill Hall Centenary Open Day on Sunday 28th August, we also have a day of celebration on Saturday 27th.  

The Ballad of Edgar and Mary ~ The Movie

Activist, actor, and patron of the Drill Hall Theatre Company, Tony Barry will officially open the Drill Hall Theatre’s $100,000 plus upgrade of the venue before the world premiere of the film ‘The Ballad of Edgar and Mary’ on Saturday 27 August. Stage One and Two of the Drill Hall upgrade included widening the proscenium arch on stage, air-conditioning installed, new cladding on the outside of the hall and retractable tiered seating for 90+ people. The seating will be installed just a few days before the Centenary Celebrations.

The film of ‘The Ballad of Edgar and Mary’, the play commissioned for the October 2015 production for the Centenary Of The Drill Hall, premieres at 7pm for an 8pm screening 27 August, the opening night of the Centenary Celebrations. There will be a follow-up screening at 1pm Sunday 4 September. Claude Gonzalez co-writer and director of the stage play with Gregory Aitken, directed the film. Shot by outstanding cinematographer Sue Lumsdon, the film captures and highlights the superb performances of the players. The film is not a static shot of a theatre performance. Shot without an audience the camera gets up close and personal to the actors. I have seen a rough cut of the film and it is beautiful. If you enjoyed the stage production you will love the film. Claude and Sue are perfectionists. The cast is sensational and they will have a treasure chest of scenes for their show reel as they pursue their professional careers.

Claude Gonzalez twice nominated for Australian Film Industry (AFI) awards and an IF award will be at the premiere with Sue Lumsdon and the entire cast and crew of the film and the play. There are only a handful of tickets still available for the Centenary Premiere so get in quick. In addition to booking on line (30c booking fee), tickets are also available from The Bookshop, Mullumbimby ~ $15 for the Centenary premiere and $10 for the matinee on 4 September.

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Following is part of the review by Genevieve Rose Barr of the stage production of The Ballad Of Edgar and Mary:

‘The Ballad of Edgar and Mary’, is a big and wonderful music hall piece. It is a story of the darkness and the violence of war. And it is also the story of humanity and strength. The creative team behind ‘Edgar and Mary’ have produced a trans-generational musical, a stunning visual and evocative set piece, a nuanced and sensitive exploration of ordinary Australian’s role in the wars. It is under-stated in all aspects, and therein lies its power. It invokes in the audience, and I speak for myself and the people I was with, tears, memory, admiration and strength.’

Local filmmaker Jenny Grinlington’s short film Flashes from the Front will screen before the main feature.

And wait there’s more ~ A reading of The Whistleblower 2pm Saturday 27 August

The Whistleblower is a developing adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s play An Enemy of The People. Re-imagined for the Drill Hall Stage by Gregory Aitken, the play with music will open on Australia Day 2017 and play until 5 February. A free¬† public reading of the work in progress can be viewed at 2pm Saturday 27 August as part of the Drill Hall’s Centenary Celebrations.

The Whistleblower is a CSG mining satire. The style lurches from broad Australian comedy to political thriller. Set in the mythical town of Arkaroo in the Darling Downs, an upmarket Indigenous Spa has been built to attract international tourists. Pollution, presumably from CSG mining affects the purity of the water to the Hot Springs. The action pits the idealistic Gabrielle Stockmann against her former husband the pragmatic Mayor. The town too is divided in its response to the pollution problem. Fix it or keep quiet.

In keeping with Aitken’s, Oakman Project style (A Mid Summer Night’s Dream and The Ballad of Edgar and Mary), the production team includes choreographer Michael Hennessy and lighting designer, Sunita Bailey. The Whistleblower is produced by Michael Borenstein and directed by Gregory Aitken for the Drill Hall Theatre Company. The reading with a cast that includes Max Donati, Shelagh Pepper and Carl Taylor is part of the play’s script development. A question and answer will follow the reading.

Salsa and Paella before the Opening of The Celebrations

Between the reading of The Whistleblower and the film of The Ballad Of Edgar and Mary there will be paella and sangria on sale. Salsa dancing will add additional spice.