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Woollahra Festival

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by Emma Brown (subscribe)
I'm a freelance journalist and public relations consultant specialising in arts and entertainment.
If you see a walking minstrel staging an impromptu performance and a raging intellectual debate when you next visit Woollahra don't be alarmed it is just the Woollahra Festival of arts, culture and ideas in full flight.

The Australian first, free festival will take place over three days in Queen Street with live spectacles, entertainment and opportunities to get informed and interact with talks and debate, comedy, live music, dance and outdoor performance.

According to the website: "Woollahra opens its doors and minds for a unique festival".

The community based festival performance program includes SiteWorx: a series of short site specific performances involving musicians, singers, dancers, actors and other unusual street performers.

These wandering minstrels and vagabond artists will be unleashed onto Queen St, emerging and vanishing down laneways, in courtyards and shop fronts to intrigue, charm, and delight passers by."

The hot topics of the day will be discussed interspersed with some healthy doses of comedy in the Talks Program ranging from climate change, global politics and new media to contemporary art trends, the organic food industry and the perfect pinot noir.

Head of Drama at Screentime and creator of the Underbelly series Greg Haddrich will join the panel of crime writers including writer and critic Diana Simmonds; SMH journalist Kate McClymont; novelist Gabrielle Lord; and author and Head of Writing at UTS, John Dale.

The main hub of activity will be the National Council of Jewish Women of Australia's Hall at 111 Queen St and the adjacent carpark will house the main stage for theatre happenings with a second stage in Spicer St and activities in surrounding cafes, restaurants and galleries such as Woollahra post office steps and the courtyard in front of Bills cafe.

The Cleftomaniacs community choir from Bondi will perform, as will African gospel a cappella singers Pambazuka and the Fuego Blanco, a tango orchestra of young performers, the Pretty Big Dance Band, the Strelitzia Trio, the Bath Lady, the Woollahra Woollies and a one-woman rodeo show will all take part.

There will be something for everyone from burlesque stilt walkers, marching bands to children's book readings.
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Why? Engage in and enjoy talks, music and entertainment.
When: November 12-14
Where: Queen Street, Woollahra
Cost: Free
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