Birregurra Hall Ballyhoo Wrap Up – Saturday 28th April 2018

It’s been a long time coming but the Birregurra Hall Ballyhoo came and went last Saturday with a spectacular bang. 
The event was huge, complex but oh so much fun. The show was a collaboration of so many people – artists, community members, local trades, and many more. Almost everyone played some small or large part.

(Photo of The Illuminates b Eloise (Elle) Woods and Wild Honey Peforming Arts. Photo taken by Tony Long)
BCAG, an official partner on the project, was a key contributor to the event and the development of the landscape and while it may not have been overly obvious, so many of our members whiled away making the magic happen. 
From the bottom of my heart – I thank every single one of you who was involved for making this show and the project as a whole as real success and also for making my job much easier and pleasant, and saving me from a brain explosion. It was my first foray as a producer and production manager and while it was enormously hard work, I loved working with everyone to achieve this crazy thing that so many said was too ambitious. 
And on behalf of the enLIGHTen Me Oversight Team – we ALL thank you all for your ongoing support, hard work, enthusiasm and advocacy for this project. There is so much momentum and energy that has come out of it thus far, and while we aren’t quite finished, particularly with building works, we are on the home stretch.
The production along had a cast of 76, a crew of 34, over 30 additional artist contributors, hands on support from over 60 community members, an audience of 405 ticket holders and around 200 bystanders. Not bad for a tiny town like ours!!
Here is a brief rundown (although not comprehensive because that would take days to write) of our BCAG member’s contribution. Apologies if I have forgotten anyone – you are definitely appreciated, it’s just my brain isn’t working again at full swing yet.
  • Landscape Mural – Nat Newton, Beryl Bush, Deb McSephney, Chris Smith, Judy Goddard, Deb McIntyre, Barry Gill, Allison McClaren (I know there are many more here!)
  • Performing Artists – Linnet Hunter (producer of Whispers of a Building), Chris West (Whispers of a Building), Claire Coulson (vocalist), Susan Coulson (usher), Leisa Gittings & Rosie Gittings (ushers)
  • Musicians – Clive Brooker, Ron Eichler, Julie Payne (music director), Geoff Payne, Simon Oldfield, Mike and Vicki Fenton, Tom Gittings
  • Props & artist resources – Anne Brandscheid (Jacket puppet), Angie Smales (dance hall band bow ties), Susan Coulson (costumes), Gwen Koop (deb dresses)
  • Volunteers – Debbie McIntyre, Pam Fyfe, Jane Dennis, Anna Hoedeman, Anne Wood, Mary Fielding, Susie Coulson, Judy Goddard, Gwen Koop & Heather MacFarlane.
  • Photography – Lindy Fullarton, Stuart Fry
  • Landscape – oh boy, too many to count but I know Julie Payne, Anna Hoedeman, Susie Coulson, Pam Fyfe, Catriona Holyoake, John James, Jane Dennis, Dee Barter, Ian Court & Sue Walpole, Susan & Claire Coulson and likely many more have all contributed.
  • Oversight Team and project leaders – Chris Barter, Vicki Jeffrey, Fiona Brandscheid (me) and Susan Coulson
  • Accommodation providers – Chris & Dee Barter, Judy Goddard

The massive benefit of this project has been the arts connections made, the mentoring and skill development that took place, and the strengthening within community. Different groups, usually disparate, came together on Saturday and left in awe of the project and the show. Feedback has been incredibly positive with lots of great ideas now being thrown back and forth by people I would not have expected earlier – cinema, more drama, fundraising events and more. 
The key goal for this project has been to unite community with the common thread of the arts and music. I am happy to report, we are well on our way.
Fiona Brandscheid