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Unfinished business: JUTE launches 2021 season with the return of killer comedy

BY Pip Miller | 04-Feb-2021
Thursday 4 February 2021. Featuring the stellar stage presence of Steven Tandy, Natalie Taylor and Paula Nazarski, the heartwarming comedy, To Kill A Cassowary by Laurie Trott is making a much-anticipated return to launch JUTE’s 2021’s season of plays. Prematurely cut short by lockdown restrictions in its maiden 2020 season, To Kill A Cassowary is back in 2021 (5 – 13 March) and destined to delight audiences.
Venue: Bulmba-Ja Arts Centre
Address: 96 Abbott Street Cairns
Date: 5 March to 13 March 2021
Time: 6.30pm or 7.30pm plus 11am matinee
Ticket: $22.19
Buy / Ticket: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/to-kill-a-cassowary-saturday-6-march-730pm-performance-tickets-137376108639
Web: https://jute.com.au/to-kill-a-cassowary/
: https://fb.watch/3qVj8jOq4H/
EMail: info@jute.com.au
Call: 07) 4281 6832
Unfinished business
Amos, played by Steven Tandy is determined to make amends for past wrongdoings and that includes preserving his piece of paradise from the hands of developers
JUTE Theatre Company’s Artistic Director and CEO Suellen Maunder said calling a halt to last year’s season of To Kill A Cassowary after just two sell-out shows was heartbreaking.

“Like everyone else, the future was uncertain, and we had no choice but comply with regulations. It was hard for audiences and equally, our cast and crew who had been so invested in the delivery of this wonderful production.

“To Kill A Cassowary was very much ‘unfinished business’ and here we are a year down the track with the great fortune of being able to pick up where we left off.

“JUTE’s culture and resilience has never been more evident, and I could not think of a more perfect way to celebrate the start of our 30th year of operation than with a remount of To Kill a Cassowary,” Ms Maunder said.

Written by Mission Beach local and JUTE’s Write Sparks alumnus, Laurie Trott, To Kill A Cassowary is a story about place, family inheritance and the interwoven issues of this small, tropical rainforest community.

According to Laurie, To Kill A Cassowary applies a good deal of warmth and wit to highlight its more serious themes of legacy, ageism and environmental heritage.

“This is an engaging and entertaining play of our times and one that focusses predominantly on relationships – relationships not just between people but the land and sea on which we live,” Ms Trott said.

“For me, writing To Kill a Cassowary was as much about creativity as communication and using the stage to promote public awareness about the urgent need to preserve and conserve the Cassowary Coast.

“Where possible I have included reference to some of the many threats to biodiversity including introduced species, habitat modification and loss, unsustainable development, tourism and climate change,” she said.

From a ramshackle verandah in the rainforest, To Kill a Cassowary, directed by the award winning Bridget Doyle, is a colourful story about an ageing conservationist father, Amos (played by Steven Tandy) and his pro-development daughter, Paula (played by Natalie Taylor) who are ready to do battle over a patch of paradise found, also known as the Cassowary Coast. Throwing a spanner in the works is neighbour, Josie (played by Paula Nazarski) and a rich natural setting abounding in flora and fauna - and the elusive cassowary.

Director, Bridget Boyle is supported by a stellar cast of three; Steven Tandy (of The Sullivans fame); Natalie Taylor who people will remember from Here We All Are. Assembled and Paula Nazarski, new to the JUTE stage along with an award-winning creative team who will transform the stage of Bulmba-ja Arts Centre into a verdant rainforest.

Tickets for To Kill A Cassowary at Bulmba-ja for the season, 5-13 March 2020 can be purchased from jute.com.au | eventbrite.com.au | 4281 6832

To find out more, visit www.jute.com.au

About JUTE

JUTE is a company rendered unique by place, brimming with unique voices and stories, choosing to see difference as strength.

JUTE’s story is a simple one; the best stories are. Yet, like all the best stories, ours is rich with courage, resilience, hope and joy. It began with a simple passionate idea, but one that has endured for over a quarter of a century, engaging the talents and the hearts of artists and audiences alike. Over time, our story has developed a compelling plot; one that twists and turns, adapts and refines, delivering inspiring experiences time after time. But our story is also grounded in reality, with a clear eye on the practical challenges of the current world and foreseeable landscape. It is a story with no denouement in sight – for it has a vision, a mission and a strategy to build upon its past successes and to forge ahead into a bright and ambitious future.

JUTE is uniquely placed to promote diversity through the performing arts from its base in northern Queensland. It has the proven capability, through a series of successful collaborations, to witness its creative impact being realised deep into the regions beyond.

JUTE dares to develop and tell stories that challenge, inspire and bring us together through the power and magic of theatre. The core values of JUTE are to empower the use of self-expression, passion and drive to change lives through theatre, telling untold stories that represent our diverse society.

JUTE does this by:

• Developing, producing and touring exceptional theatre experiences
• Nurturing and presenting cultural diversity through theatre
• Being a catalyst for regional and international partnerships, co-productions and touring
• Developing audiences through multiple channel delivery of work, education and engagement
• Organisational efficiency, effectiveness and resilience
• Financially astute, commercially and growth oriented

About the playwright, Laurie Trott

The author is a knowledgeable and passionate environmentalist and a Wet Tropics Management Authority-certified tour guide. She is a long-term active volunteer member of Community for Coastal and Cassowary Conservation (C4), a member of Queensland Wildlife Preservation Society, and Birdlife Australia. She takes part in field activities such as the annual Pied Imperial Pigeon count.

Why is the project needed? What makes it an important and significant project to the environment?

The Cassowary Coast shares in part of the World Heritage listed Wet Tropics of North Queensland, where large tracts of high-biodiversity rainforest land are under significant pressures from climate change, the threat of invasive flora and fauna, and fragmentation by development for tourism, housing and agriculture. Communities and individuals need to be constantly engaged in the themes surrounding biodiversity conservation with innovative, striking projects in order for an enthusiastic dialogue toward positive change be continued.

The “To Kill A Cassowary” project is seen as a vehicle for delivering that engagement, manifesting community education benefits in an entertaining and impactful manner.

The theatrical nature of this project and the intrinsically theatrical elements of the work is seen to play a critical part in grabbing the attention of the public, specifically that of the Far North initially, but also the wider Australian audiences.

The challenges and needs of biodiversity conservation will benefit with the increased media engagement and social discourse that will be generated.