To mark the 250th anniversary of James Cook’s visit to Botany Bay, Southern Sydney Folk Club presents the world premiere performance of ‘Bound for Botany Bay’, a new show by award-winning artists PP Cranney and Christina Mimmocchi.
The new production uses original and traditional songs, humour and spoken word to explore the history of Botany Bay from pre-European times, through Cook’s arrival and legacy, to today’s battle over plans for cruise terminal at Yarra Bay.
Cranney and Mimmocchi have been presenting shows for several years now exploring the lives of people from diverse communities, as well as historical events such as in their recent show, 1917 Strike!, which toured the country during the centenary of Australia’s largest industrial dispute.
Both artists are well known in the St George and Sutherland Shire regions. Mimmocchi has been a choir-maker for close to 20 years and is the founding conductor for Hurstville’s Fiestaville Multicultural Choir, and Bayside Council’s Sing Your Heart Out Seniors Choir. She is a also a singer/songwriter, who performs solo and in collaboration with her trio Strawberry Thieves
She has a special interest in social history and folklore, and in 2009/10, held the National Folk Fellowship, awarded by the National Library of Australia and the National Folk Festival.
Cranney grew up in Kogarah Bay and has worked all over Australia collaborating with communities to tell their story on stage, in print, video and radio He has been nominated six times for an Australian Writers Guild Award (AWGIE), and has won twice – both for scripts produced by Carlton’s Shopfront Theatre (now Arts Co-op).
He is also a recipient of the Federal Government’s Centenary Medal. He currently resides in Sutherland and volunteers as a producer of community radio projects at Kogarah’s 90.1 NBC FM.
Cranney promises that there’ll be something in the show for everyone to enjoy.
Audiences will be entertained by the wonderful singing and musicianship of Christina Mimmocchi playing traditional and new original songs, and they’ll also learn aspects of their history they might not have been aware of.
‘In my spoken word pieces – which are sometimes slurred or mumbled, sometimes shouted – I like to explore history with a sense of humour,’ says Cranney. ‘We obviously acknowledge and respect the fact that First Nations people don’t see much to laugh about in being invaded and dispossessed, and we don’t make light of that.
‘But Captain Cook is celebrated for ‘discovering’ a land that Europeans had already visited many times before and that had been occupied for over 60,000 years! I can see room for humour in that.’
Cranney says that if there is time at the end of the performance, there will be a Q&A session with the audience. ‘I have so many questions about so many things, and I’m hoping the audience will have some answers for me.’
40 Degrees South.
Supporting on the day will be “40 Degrees South” A Sydney-based group which has been maintaining a tradition of unaccompanied singing since 1988. With strong maritime and industrial themes, their robust songs tell of real people, their lives and work.
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