Birregurra Ballyhoo / by helen duncan



& Collaborating Artist

As a member of the oversight team and creative collaborator we worked with leading artists Craig Walsh (Projection Art) and Gorkem Acaroglu (Theatre Director) to bring to life an ambitious large scale live performance experience to the Birregurra Mechanics Institute Hall.   Armed with a vision of contemporary art and visual storytelling, we worked with a cast of 76, a crew of 34, over 30 additional artist contributors, hands on support from over 60 community members, an audience of 400+ ticketholders and around 200 bystanders. 

I was also invited to dust off my own dancing shoes and join in the festivities as one of three 'Comedic Disruptor' characters.  Also joining me in this role was the superb James Welsby & Anna Kallstrom.  The role required us to MC the event and bring life and energy to the dance hall party through dance, theatre, audience interaction and comedy.

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DIVE DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE at Birregurra Hall for one vivid evening of curious offbeat adventures as every dark nook and bright corner illuminates with a carousel of music, dancing, performance and projection.

So grab your glittering gowns, your favourite hats, your lairy leotards and sparkly dancing shoes…YOU’RE INVITED TO THE BALL!

Performance Details 

Venue: Birregurra Mechanics Institute Hall
Date: April 28, 2018
Time: 6:00 pm - 9:30 pm

Highlights from Birregurra Hall Ballyhoo - a one night only live art spectacular. Part of Birregurra's enLIGHTen Me: I Have a Hall in my Heart Small Town Transformation. Music: The Acfields "Dr Jeckyl & Mr Hyde" ( Video: Farmwalker Films ( More information about the project at


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The Birregurra Hall Ballyhoo is the first of its kind for The Otways – it’s part costume ball and part live art extravaganza that weaves Craig Walsh’s large scale projection works with a host of performance art, digital installations, music, dance and theatre scripted and curated by Gorkem Acaroglu.

Designed to celebrate the importance and contemporary relevance of small country halls, the Birregurra Hall Ballyhoo features more than 20 installations and performances in just over 3 hours that interrogate the community’s history and experiences of the Birregurra Mechanics Institute Hall.

Tne highlight event is a series of collaborative works from Off-Broadway composer, lyricist and performer, Meryl Leppard and Handspan Theatre’s Michelle Fifer, exploring the hall’s connection to past wars and debutante balls.

Wild Honey Performing Arts and Spyndrift artists, Eloise Wood and Hoya Wolfgang, will employ light, performance and sound to play with notions of the hall as Birregurra’s beating heart.

Other artists featured in the Birregurra Hall Ballyhoo include writer and poet, Linnet Hunter; Geelong-based digital artists: Laine Hogarty and Ella Forbes; choreographer and performer, Helen Duncan; Opera Australia soprano, Lee Abrahmsen; and a myriad local musicians and dancers.

The Birregurra Hall Ballyhoo is a culmination of enLIGHTen Me: I Have a Hall in my Heart and over 18 months of collaborations with the Birregurra community and professional artists as part of Small Town Transformations – a Victorian Government initiative delivered by Regional Arts Victoria.

EnLIGHTen Me: I Have a Hall in my Heart received $350,000 over two years to undertake an ambitious creative project to invigorate the use and function of the Birregurra Mechanics Institute Hall as well as inspire community connection through the arts.


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