Benalla youths to take on the Kelly Gang

The Last Hoorah is not your typical historical account of the Ned Kelly story but it promises to be just as memorable, according to Benalla Art Gallery Director Eric Nash.

Art by Jacqui Stokdale - Our Sunshine [installation view] 2020, metal and wool knitted by Melinda Christensen, 35 x 31 x 23cm

Thanks to an ARTC Inland Rail Community Sponsorships and Donations grant, youths aged 13 to 18 will have the opportunity to take part in workshops that culminate in a contemporary public performance of the shenanigans of the Kelly Gang.

Part of the Benalla Festival and the Gallery’s presentation of Jacqui Stockdale’s The Outlaws’ Inn exhibition, The Last Hoorah is a satirical take on the Kelly Gang where a lively bunch of cross-dressing teenage larrikins dance until they drop.

“It’s based on the game of elimination musical chairs, where competition creates mayhem and excitement, and the winner takes all,” Mr Nash said.

Artistic collaborators will host a variety of creative workshops at The Village Art Precinct on Saturday 5 November, exploring mask and costume making, cross-dressing and identity through gesture, movement and voice.

The grand finale will be a performance based on the Kelly Gang and involve traditional street theatre, Japanese Butoh, costuming, movement and a live ensemble of young voices.

The performance will also be translated for the deaf community by Melbourne artist Chelle Destefano through embedded poetic Auslan.

The Last Hoorah will be held on 5 November 2022.

For more information on the event visit the Benalla Art Gallery website.

Find out more about Inland Rail’s Community Sponsorships and Donations program here.

IMAGE: Jacqui Stockdale, Our Sunshine [installation view] 2020, metal and wool knitted by Melinda Christensen, 35 x 31 x 23cm. Photo: Theresa Harrison Photography