Barry Versus Kelly • Theatre

Barry Versus Kelly is a play with music by Felix Meagher  (with additional music by Lou Hesterman) about the trial and execution of Ned Kelly  in November 1880. Barry Versus Kelly focuses on the confrontation between Ned and the Judge, Sir Redmond Barry.

Barry whose  harsh sentencing of Ned’s mother, Ellen, to three years goal  in 1878 sparked the Kelly Outbreak, is haunted by Ned’s last words to him – “I will see you where I go.” Barry is fiercely determined to see Irish rebels like Ned Kelly punished, but he fears he might be making a martyr out of Ned.

Declining in health and suffering delusions, Barry wrestles with his  conscience  and the fears that his family in Ireland sees him as a traitor.  Meanwhile Ellen Kelly, on the day before the hanging, sings to Ned that he is the Loyal Son.

Barry finally signs the papers that condemn Kelly and in a dying speech asks that his family be told that “I took a rebel with me.”

Stop Press:  With a new revised script the show played on Feb 6 to a full house in Wangaratta and a standing ovation!

Ned Kelly – Anthony Penhall
Judge Barry – Felix Meagher
Ellen Kelly – Cora Browne
Chief Secretary Berry – Danny Spooner
Chloe –  Luci Barratt

Cyril Moran
Lou Hesterman
Produced by Bushwahzee • Writtten by Felix Meagher

baz felix 300







In March 1987, The Lecture Hall at Port Fairy Folk Festival was the venue for an early Lurhmann – Meagher original show, The Pure Merino Fandango. This all-dancing, all-singing farce unearthed the amazing talents of Baz Lurhmann and his librettist, Felix Meagher (Pictured at the show). Several performances were packed out.

• Woody’s World – Family Folk Circus

One of the most exciting new family acts emerging out of Melbourne, Woody and his Alley-Cat “Hercules” have been entertaining children around the country. Following a successful tour to sell-out audiences in Tassy, and popular appearances across Melbourne, Woody’s World will delight families at Port Fairy.

Woody grew up touring with his parents and sister around Australia; the trusty Kombi took them to Aboriginal communities and folk festivals in the 80’s and now he is passing the legacy onto his own children who will be special guests on stage, performing songs that they have co-written and recorded.

So hold onto your hats kids, bring along mum, dad and grandparents, and prepare to have loads of fun as Woody’s World get you singing, laughing, clapping, and dancing with songs from their acclaimed album “Good Morning Kids”. Remember to wear your stripy socks – you might just need them in the show!

Stephen Whiteside • Workshops

Stephen Whiteside has been writing and performing rhyming verse for many years. Many of his poems have been published in magazines or anthologies, both in Australia and overseas, or won awards. He has also self-published several volumes of verse.

In 2014, Walker Books Australia published his collection of poetry for children, “‘The Billy That Died With Its Boots On’ and Other Australian Verse”. These are all poems to be recited, or read aloud, ‘around the campfire’.

Stephen is a great fan of the Australian poet C. J. Dennis. He is closely involved with the organisation of the annual “C. J. Dennis Poetry Festival” at Dennis’ former home in Toolangi, “The Singing Gardens”, in October.


Australian Bush Laureate Awards 2015 winners

An emotional appearance by the six-year-old granddaughter of the late Judith Hosier, one of the much loved founders of the Bush Laureate Awards, was a feature of this year’s presentation in Tamworth, Tuesday evening, January 20.

Young Lily presented the Judith Hosier Award for outstanding services to Australian Bush Poetry to veteran poet Milton Taylor from Hartley NSW, who was unable to attend the Awards because of ill health. His award was accepted on his behalf by another Judith Hosier Award winner Trisha Anderson.

Winners at this year’s Awards, which started in 1996, were:

Book of the Year: The Billy That Died With It’s Boots On by Stephen Whiteside from Melbourne.

Album of The Year: Bargo Bargo by Manfred Vijars from Brisbane.

Published Poem of the Year: The Ghost of Long Tan by Tom McIlveen from Port Macquarie, NSW

Single Recorded Performance of the Year: The Auction by Dave Proust from the NSW Central Coast.

Traditional Song Lyric of the Year: He’s Droving Once Again by Golden Guitar winner Graham Rodger from Nambour, Queensland.

Contemporary Song Lyric of the Year: The Lifesaver by rising country music star Amber Lawrence from Sydney.

The Judith Hosier Award for outstanding achievement in nuturing Australia’s unique heritage of rhymed verse: Milton Taylor from Hartley NSW.

Now in his 70s, Milton is a renowned and highly awarded poet. However it is Milton’s gentlemanly ways and his willingness to help others that has earned him this accolade. He has encouraged and mentored generations of young poets and has unstintingly supported bush poetry events all around Australia for many decades.


Kathryn Clements • Workshops

Kathryn Clements is one of Australia’s finest exponents of traditional Irish song. She has toured Ireland extensively and returns to Melbourne with her latest show: “From Ireland to Here” an intimate weaving of Irish music, song and story which will transport you to the very heart of an Irish pub. Kathryn is joined by two of Melbourne’s finest traditional musicians.

Kathryn has a depth of experience teaching Traditional Irish singing in workshops at Port Fairy Folk Festival; National Folk Festival and National Celtic Folk Festival and she is a past Recipient of the Lis Johnson Memorial Award at the National Folk Festival.

Kathryn has also taught Traditional Irish Singing at the Council of Adult Education and has been part of the Melbourne Arts Festival.

Kathryn’s haunting voice will move you to tears as she unfolds her beautiful stories and songs from the Irish tradition. However it is her capacity to engage with and entice her audiences, to open their hearts to all that the beauty of song can offer, that has people coming back asking for more!

“From Ireland to Here”….a journey through music, song and story.

This intimate show invites the audience to share a journey which transports them to the very heart of Ireland. Kathryn’s stories are seamlessly interwoven amongst the haunting beauty of Traditional Irish music and song.


Geoffrey Graham • Workshops

A Theatrical entertainer, Geoffrey has a long history of packaging one-man shows into a unique format. EG Ratbags and Romantics, A Taste of the Outback, and Are we there yet  His ’Banjo’ Paterson impersonation show The Man from Ironbark still remains his masthead-with glowing testimonials from many people including Ted Egan.

His latest show, We’ll Meet Again, looks at World War One through the eyes of a digger retaining Geoffrey’s unique perspective as the character tries to make sense of the great war. Provides entertainment for schools, festivals; conducts performance seminar /workshops and comperes.  Geoffrey has produced 2 books and three CDs.

CJ Dennis  – Geoffrey will be performing with Stephen Whiteside presenting a CJ Dennis performance celebrating 100 yrs since the Sentimental bloke reared his head. This production also involves Jim Haynes, so these three blokes; have this genre well & truly covered.    

Fromseier & Hockings • Denmark

Fromseier Hockings perform as a lively, impulsive and playful duo full of virtuosity. They have toured together worldwide and have through many years of partnership developed a unique intimacy in their music. Old swingy traditional tunes and songs are combined with Ditte and Sigurd’s own compositions.

Fromseier Hockings explore every aspect of the duo format and with their performances invite the audience into their musical world with a sensitivity and warmth that invites both dance and reflection.

Ditte Fromseier started her musical life at the age of 4 on the little Danish island of Bornholm. Since then she has played her way around the world and has trained as both a classical and folk violinist.

Sigurd Hockings is one of the most skilful and versatile folk guitarists in Denmark. Inspiration for his very individual and accomplished playing style has come largely from both Scandinavian and Celtic music traditions.


Jim Haynes

Born in Sydney, Jim went bush to teach in towns on the Darling River, and in Northern NSW. He spent several years working in Britain and gained two masters’ degrees in literature, Jim started the Bandy Bill & Co Bush Band in 1977 and also worked in radio on 2NZ Inverell and the ABC’s popular Australia All Over program.

In 1988 he signed as a solo recording artist to Festival Records. Other record deals followed, along with hits like Mow Ya Lawn, Since Cheryl Went Feral and Don’t Call Wagga Wagga Wagga. He created the first morning variety shows at the Tamworth Country Music Festival and toured his own shows, as well as touring with artists like Slim Dusty.

Jim has released many albums of his own songs, verse and humour and written and compiled over twenty books. His latest book releases with Allen & Unwin are ‘Best Australian Bush Stories’ and  ‘Best Australian Yarns and Other True Stories’. He still works as an entertainer and has a weekend Australiana segment on Radio 2UE.


Laurie McDonald Bio Port Fairy 2015

 Laurie McDonald is a Canberra city-bush poet who regularly performs at functions and festivals, his poetry featuring such larger than life characters as Merkyl Crud, Jimbo, Slugger McGraw and others with their gallant tales of derring-do, along with more pensive observations of life’s many foibles. A winner of reciters awards, his CD “Laurie McDonald Live…at the Murrumbateman Pub” was a finalist for Album of the Year in the Australian Bush Laureate Awards at Tamworth in 2014.


Laurie McDonald-1














The Max Rudd Band • frINge

Crafty and youthful Australian songwriting meets strong American blues and roots influences in this super-tight jam band from Victoria. The Max Rudd Band are some of Australia’s youngest musicians with musical influences uncommon in those of their generation. Conceived more than a decade ago by inseparable Torquay brothers Max and Iggy Rudd, these boys have been busy etching their unmatched sound within the local musical landscape, with their debut self-titled album release in 2014.

Street IN•vaderS • MarimbaTaters

The MarimbaTaters are senior primary students from Tate Street Primary School in East Geelong who love to play marimba! Not only are they great players but they even built some of their own instruments! They play exciting African-inspired marimba tunes and are led by teacher and Community Music leader, Dani Rocca and accompanied by Adam Burke and Andy Rigby. The MarimbaTaters are mallet-wavingly excited to be at Port Fairy to share their first album, Mavambo.