Literati and glitterati to appear at The Noosa Longweekend Festival

10 05 2011

From June 17 to 26 Queensland’s favourite 10 day cultural event, The Noosa Longweekend Festival will host the best of Australia’s literati and glitterati at a number of literary events, lunches and forums.

Festival Director, Ian Mackellar said that the calibre of authors, academics, playwrights, poets and journalist/interviewers featuring as part of the festival’s 10th anniversary program – including return guests such as Thomas Keneally, Ita Buttrose, Barrie Cassidy, David Williamson, Kristin Williamson, Hugh Mackay and Peter Goldsworthy – was evidence of the reputation that the festival had gained in its short, ten year history.

“Some of Australia’s best known literary legends and media personalities will be joining us for our literary and forum events which are designed to be provocative, stimulating, compelling and entertaining, Ian said.

“From author readings to observations of Australian culture to sex, politics, religion and everything in between, if you’re a book lover or like to think outside the square this year’s festival program is for you.”

Literary legends such as Australian novelist, playwright and author Thomas Keneally will be in the spotlight when interviewed by author and broadcast journalist Peter Thompson. Celebrated author, playwright, poet and opera librettist Peter Goldsworthy will share the stage with author, publisher and media personality Ita Buttrose.

At last year’s festival Peter Thompson teased and probed into Ita’s life and career in a highly entertaining interview. This year the tables will be turned when Ita interviews Peter about his life as a communicator and some of the 250 personalities he met during his six years with ABC-TV’s Talking Heads.

Satirist, poet, social commentator and author Dr Anita Heiss will discuss her new book Paris Dreaming and author and Art Gallery of NSW curator Hetti Perkins will give a presentation based on her highly successful ABNC-TV series Art and Soul and her book of the same name on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Indigenous art. In another session these two leading advocates on social issues affecting Aboriginal Australians will also discuss the topic of ‘Fathers’ and how their own dads influenced their lives. Broadcaster and presenter Alexandria Bernard will chair all three sessions.

Writer, clinical psychologist and sex therapist Bettina Arndt intends to unveil the secrets of what men really want in the bedroom. The 7.30 Report’s Heather Ewart will host Bettina’s celebrity lunch. Also, author, commentator, ethicist, researcher and social activist Dr Leslie Cannold will chat with Ita Buttrose about the motivation behind her first novel, The Book of Rachael, a controversial story of Jesus of Nazareth’s sister.

Storyteller supreme, film scriptwriter and environmentalist Richard Flanagan will share with ABC broadcaster Richard Fidler anecdotes about his life and his upcoming novel about one day in a Japanese prisoner of war camp. In another session he will stroll down memory lane with good friend, leading playwright and scriptwriter David Williamson who this year celebrates his 40th anniversary in Australian theatre.

Actor, writer and playwright Brendan Cowell will discuss his views on youth and contemporary society and his book How it Feels with noted psychologist, social researcher and author Hugh Mackay who also has own session on his book What Makes us Tick?.

Journalist, researcher, university lecturer, writer and social justice advocate Meg Mundell will talk about her debut novel Black Glass and long haul truck drivers, who are the subject of her ‘currently under construction’ work of non-fiction entitled Braking Distance with Alexandria Bernard.

William McInnes will share nibbles and drinks with audience members as he reads from his latest book The Making of Modern Australia and then returns to talk with Richard Fidler about his life as a novelist.

Broadcaster, editor and scriptwriter Virginia Duigan will be interviewed by fellow author Kristin Williamson about her third novel, a psychological thriller titled The Precipice which deals with obsession, isolation and suspicion. Walkley Award winner and investigative reporter turned author Caroline Overington will talk about her new book, I came to Say Goodbye and get up close and personal with Alexandria Bernard about her life as a writer and her reputation for taking on the big issues.

Engaging and insightful forums including Australia Talks’ Paul Barclay on The Great Barrier Reef, Graeme Dobell on Nukes, madmen and religion – the makings of a nuclear holocaust?, political journalist and commentator Mungo Wentworth MacCallum discussing political leadership and author, journalist and former press secretary to Bob Hawke, Barrie Cassidy talks to the topic ‘Julia and Tony: Who’ll last the distance?’.

Other 2011 festival highlights include –

• Theatre: Exclusive world preview performances of David Williamson and Mohamed Khadra’s At Any Cost and three, One Act Play Festival performance and presentations of Jenny Bullimore’s Star Crossed, Mark Langham’s Nothing and Bruce Olive’s The Knock on the Door.
• Musical theatre: (title of show) musical performed by Oscar Theatre Company.
• Music, cabaret and supper clubs: direct from the UK, The Magnets; Avigail Herman; Sydney Cabaret Showcase 2010 Winner Toby Francis; Mrs Bang (aka Sheridan Harbridge) A Series of Seductions in 55 minutes; direct from New York, the ‘Crown Prince of Cabaret’ – Steve Ross; direct from Paris, French chanteuse Caroline Nin; Marika Aubrey with Redheads and Mitchell Butel with Killing Time; Mitchell Butel’s Excellent Adventure supper club performance; dual piano concert L’ail Kreiss with Yayoi Negishi and Yasuhiro Saruta direct from Japan(exclusive Australian performance); Brilliant Brahms Noosa Chorale with Noosa Sinfonia Orchestra and Opera Australia soloists, Gaynor Morgan and Patrick Donnelly; Karin Schaupp and Katie Noonan’s duet show; local Sunshine Coast teen star, Stephanie Brownlee and leading Australian independent band, Skipping Girl Vinegar; and a ‘best of the fest’ concert featuring a selection of festival highlights and special guests including X Factor finalist Andrew Lawson.
• Dance: Romeo and Juliet ballet by the Queensland National Dance Company.
• Film and film events: Short film selection by Noosa Film Society; Slow Food with Film event – screening of Julie and Julia with French food
• Workshops: Magic workshop with Nickleby the Magician; Plan to be Published poetry workshop with Les Wicks; Bollywood Dancing learn to dance workshop with Bollywood Dreams; Playwrighting Master Class with Michael Futcher; Voice and Song Master Class with Avigail Herman; and a Theatre Directing Master Class with Sandra Bates.
• Food: Progressive food events including the Crab Crawl, Gourmet Hinterland Safari , Street Beach Promenade and Beef Burlesque events at some of Noosa’s and the Sunshine Coast hinterland’s most successful restaurants and chocolate shops.
• Special guest interviewers: Heather Ewart; Peter Thompson; Ita Buttrose; Alexandria Bernard; Kristin Williamson; Richard Fidler; David Williamson; Hugh Mackay and Barrie Cassidy.
• Celebrity special events: David Williamson gala tribute dinner hosted by Richard Fidler.
• Free events: Heritage walks and presentations (9) at key historic locales including Noosa, Tewantin, Mill Point, Pomona, Eumundi, Cooran, Cooroy and Kin Kin; and a free children’s magic performance.

TICKET SALES AND FESTIVAL PROGRAMS
• The full festival program can be viewed on line at http://www.noosalongweekend.com. Printed versions are available by phoning the festival office on (07) 5474 9941
• Tickets for all festival events are on sale NOW. Tickets can be purchased at http://www.noosalongweekend.com or from The J Box office (in person, by phone (07) 5455 4455.
• Ticket prices range from $10 to $190 (for the David Williamson gala tribute dinner inclusive of all food and beverage).

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