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Brunswick East Entertanment Festival - Members Statement


Brunswick East Entertainment Festival—four women in fluoro wigs and hot pink dancing on their lawn to 1980s disco classics.

Dr READ (Brunswick): If you wander up Nicholson Street, just up there, in the late afternoon, you might catch the Brunswick East Entertainment Festival—four women in fluoro wigs and hot pink dancing on their lawn to 1980s disco classics. They are greeted by toots and waves of support from grateful locals, starved of any variation from the sameness of lockdown.

They are performers, exponents of physical theatre, with nowhere else to perform. Indoor performance was first to close and likely will be last to reopen, thanks to the COVID shutdown. Performers and the whole ecosystem of creative and technical people who support them have no work and no income, save for the recently diminished JobSeeker and an inadequate patchwork of small grants.

There is nothing quite like live performance. Every performance risks something going wrong or falling flat, and that risk excites the audience and we are relieved when it all works—they got away with it, we had fun watching.

Perhaps that is part of the healing power of the arts, something we all need right now. So with indoor performance cancelled for some time yet, I encourage the state government to support indoor performers so they are still there to delight us in the future.

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Dr Tim Read
Greens MP for Brunswick
15 October 2020
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