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'Faceless' Finds Favour at Norfolk Island Theatre Festival

A play about alternative political systems and performed at the 18th Norfolk Island Theatre Festival earlier this month has earned its writer, performers and director accolades from audiences and the festival adjudicator, Barbara Lowing. The four are from the south east NSW town of Candelo and surrounds.

Faceless, by Mike Martin, and directed by David Stocker, was one of 12 plays from NSW, Queensland, Norfolk Island and New Zealand performed over the three days of the festival.

In her comments, Barbara Lowing, said the songs and singing in Faceless were terrific, and the connection with the audience inspired.

‘This was beautifully underplayed, which made it even more powerful,’ she said.

The writer, director and two cast members received financial assistance from Regional Arts NSW through the Quick Response Grant program and Candelo Arts Society.

Mike said it was a unique opportunity for professional development for all involved and this development will flow onto the community.

A member of the Candelo Arts Society, Mike said as well as performing, the group attended workshops and had the opportunity to network.

‘We can also take Barbara’s feedback about the need for development of the dialogue to give the a firm foundation for the characters to develop an even stronger work,’ he said.

The play centres around a political scientist (Mahamati Currie) doing research into the constitution and an environmental scientist (Marty Lyons) who meet regularly in a café and decide to be politically active through social media to have Australia adopt a Bill of Rights.

Mike plays the waiter who is also a busker who plays when there is nothing happening.

In real life Mike said he plays a lot of social justice and humanitarian songs and he decided to write a complete show that was also inspired by a number of political marches in Australia last year held to protest against a range of Australian government policies.

Norfolk Island is reported to be home to Australasia’s first theatre in 1793. The festival attracts entries and audiences from both sides of the Tasman.

Quick Response Grants (Quicks) are made available under the Regional Arts Fund allocation for NSW and offer funding of up to $1,500 for regional artists, arts organisations and communities to respond to unique arts opportunities that present themselves at very short notice.

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