Drill Hall Theatre actor and publicist Claire Atkins with one of five signs for the upcoming show Shit which were impounded by Byron Shire Council after complaints from residents.
Drill Hall Theatre actor and publicist Claire Atkins with one of five signs for the upcoming show Shit which were impounded by Byron Shire Council after complaints from residents.

‘Sh*t’ play needs residents help after complaints over signs

The Drill Hall Theatre is looking for Byron Shire residents willing to have a sign for their upcoming show in their front yards.

Just one thing: the name of the play is Shit, and the word is prominently featured on the sign. 

Byron Shire Council today returned to the production team five signs that were impounded some days ago, after complaints were received by the council about them.

The signs refer to the upcoming production of Patricia Cornellius’ play Shit.

The production of the award-winning drama is set to play at the Drill Hall Theatre in Mullumbimby from March 12 to 28.

Actor and publicist Clare Atkins said the council agreed to waive the fees relating to the impounding of the materials.

Normally, council would charge a $35 release fee per sign, and a $12 holding fee per sign per day. 

“We had a very cordial conversation with someone from council who confirmed the impounding was about the offensive word shit,” she said.

“She said they normally take commercial signage down, because they understand that community groups need those spaces, but in this case she said it was because they received complaints, but she didn’t say how many.”

Claire Atkins, Kate Foster and Kate Horsley in the play Shit, coming to the Drill Hall Theatre in Mullumbimby from March 12 to 28.
Claire Atkins, Kate Foster and Kate Horsley in the play Shit, coming to the Drill Hall Theatre in Mullumbimby from March 12 to 28.

Ms Atkins said they have received one offer from a Mullumbimby resident to have a sign in their frontyard for publicity.

She said was astounded that the main problem with a play about systemic abuse of women in the Byron Shire community was a semi-offensive word as the title.

“The title is disruptive because the play is confrontational, it’s meant to make people think,” she said.”

“Patricia Cornellius tells stories about the working class, stories that are uncomfortable and we don’t want to hear, and it’s very telling that we find the word ‘shit’ so offensive but not the systemic abuse of women.”

The production is set to play at the Drill Hall Theatre from March 12 to 28.

The play centres around the lives of three women who have been neglected and abused while they were in state care. 

Besides Ms Atkins, Kate Foster and Kate Horsley complete the cast.

The play enjoyed a sellout season in 2019 and returns to the Drill Hall by public demand.

For details and bookings, visit www.drillhalltheatre.org.au.

Please note this show features offensive language and adult themes, for mature audiences only.

Byron Shire Council was contacted for comment.


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