Bonfire and ‘Chamber of Rhetoric’ Storytelling Event

On the evening of Satruday 2nd June, at approximately 6pm a large bonfire will be lit on the Kalbarri River Foreshore area. The bonfire heralds the Chamber of Rhetoric Storytelling Event, which will be presented nearby.

Chambers of Rhetoric (Dutch: rederijkerskamers) were dramatic societies during the 15th and 16th Centuries in the Low countries.  The members were trained to perform not only in the semiprivate sphere of their chamber, but also in the public sphere, often in the context of festivals.  The magnificance of their performances, the humour and seriousness of their plays, their candid criticism of church and society earned them respect from the magistrates who saw them play in the town hall just as much as from the bourgeoisie who saw them play in the market square.

The ZEST FESTIVAL is taking the essence of the Chamber of Rhetoric from Amsterdam and holding a storytelling event around a bonfire.  The bonfire represents the beacon of the Zuytdorp survivors on the top of the cliffs, which is believed to have been kept burning in vain as a signal fire for a much yearned rescue ship, which never came.

Here audiences can watch the flames and listen to stories, poems and plays that thrill, move and celebrate our region and our history.

The Kalbarri District High school with the support from the CHE’s Education and Outreach Officer will write, direct and perfom a play about the Zuytdorp shipwreck and its survivors for the June 2012 Chamber of Rhetoric.

Over four months leading up to the ZEST FESTIVAL drama groups, writers and locals will be given the opportunity to write and create riveting tales that will be performed around the flickering light of the bonfire.

Those interested in performing in the storytelling event may provide submissions here.

For more information contact Bec Millar, Zest Festival Co-ordinator, Kalbarri Development Association.  Phone +61 8 0428 931 362 or Email


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