CWA – The Country Witches Association’s Baroque Room Meetings!
Tired of waiting for change, creative women around the world are getting ready to stir the political pot – Welcome to the CWA!
The (dis)organisation everyone’s been waiting for! The Country Witches Association!
Where musician Áine Tyrrell and comedian Mandy Nolan mix genre’s in the cauldron to bring dangerous dialogues and uncomfortable collaborations to the boil!
This is angry feminism made fun! Musician Àine Tyrrell says ‘if you’re not doing something that you would have been burnt for 400 years ago then you’re not trying hard enough.’ While women aren’t being literally burnt in 2020 , Tyrrell and Nolan acknowledge the role the media often plays in ‘burning’ powerful women. ‘We know that if we raise our voices that we’ll be targets on social media. Look what happened to Julia Guillard when she had an empty fruit bowl!’
The CWA tells the stories of what happens when you stand up to a bunch of women tired of being asked to take their seat.
The idea came about quite by accident when the two were raising money for a local cause and while sweeping the floor after a gig joked ‘we’re like the CWA – except we’re the Country Witches Association. When Mandy mentioned it on stage as a joke someone yelled out ‘start it’. And so did another and another. After publishing a wild rant on the tribulations of combining motherhood with touring and the bad mama judgements that come with the territory of having a career AND kids, the feedback was, ‘you two have to be on stage together saying this.’ So they thought, why don't we? Is this the Country Witches Association?
So for women tired of waiting for permission to join the conversation, sick of judgement and expectation, of being tired, of violence, and oppression and nothing changing now’s the time to join the Country Witches! The two got slammed with their first show selling out in just over a day. A second show was added. Then a third. A Women of the World festival show. a week at season at Melbourne’s legendary Butterfly Club in May. And a meeting at the glorious Baroque Room at Katoomba’s historic Carrington Hotel.
The girls designed a logo ordered matching jumpsuits and it was Show Time.
Country Witches has sold out every show so far proving that its not just a show, it touches a vein and women want in. Audience members joked ‘it was like a cross between a religious revival meeting, a political gathering, a comedy and music show.’ They created a secret handshake, invited audience members to set the agenda and planned upcoming actions for the greater group.
Mandy says: ‘As performers we get a bit tired of sticking to the rules, so the idea of the CWA is to unleash our more deviant selves. This is a creative space to navigate topics at a deeper level than you’d do in a traditional pub format. Everyone in the entertainment industry has to play it safe but we don’t want to. Playing it safe is boring. And it just won’t bring change. We really want to stir the pot on stage and in the audience.’
The CWA Meeting format invites the audience to participate by becoming members and suggesting topics to be discussed on the Agenda by Mandy and Áine. This will be one of the show’s highlights as it has an unscripted improvised format decided by the audience. The content will form the basis of the CWA podcast to be recorded as part of this innovative live show.
The CWA Meeting features comedy and story telling by Mandy and music by Áine plus a few surprises along the way!
Multi-talented Mandy Nolan is an accomplished comedian, artist, journalist, scriptwriter and memoirist. A stand up comedian for well over 28 years, audiences adore Mandy on stage, and around Byron Bay where she lives, Mandy-jokes are as much a part of the vernacular as any surf speak.
Her humour is sharp, honest, sometimes self-depreciating, somewhat outrageous, but never cruel or pretentious. Frequently irreverent, it speaks to a diverse audience with no set demographic, no gender, race or religion, occupation or tribe.
She is a columnist for the Byron Shire Echo, and writes regularly for Mamamia – where she’s also a featured podcast host The Split which just won an award for best Native Post in Berlin. Mandy has written four books, is demand on the national circuit and tours nationally with her comedy show Women Like Us with colleague Ellen Briggs.
‘Mandy can make a rock laugh!’ Australian Stage
Australia’s favourite adopted Irish sister, Áine Tyrrell is a modern day Pirate Queen, except instead of ships, she captures audiences, one heart at a time. Her latest offering Return to the Sea was written and recorded in her homeland but mastered and crowdfunded with one boot in the red dirt of Australia and the other in the lush green grass of her homeland. The album is alive with contemporary narratives rising from a solid respect for tradition. Critics worldwide lauding Tyrrell as a force of nature and this album full of anthems for humanity. Return To The Sea is a call to arms, a sirens wisdoms and warnings, and most importantly the soundtrack of a woman who walks her own beat. She’s had a number one in Ireland, she’s toured with Paul Kelly, she’s headlined festivals around the world and is currently showcasing in New Orleans for the Folk Alliance!