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New theatre, community based storytelling of Mt Panorama-Wahluu.
STOP PRESS: Fast Cars is back!

The sold-out smash-hit of 2023 returns in 2024 as part of Superfest.

Monday 19 February, Tuesday 20 February, and Wednesday 21 February, 7.30pm at Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre.

Get yer backside trackside and book now! BUY TICKETS


made in bathurst

FAST CARS is a brand new Australian play with songs – an hilarious romp about wannabe winners, family feuds and dirty deals staged at a special site at the base of the beating heart of Bathurst, Wahluu/Mt. Panorama.

A project of Local Stages at Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre, with production support from Arts OutWest.

The three-year process had deep roots in community engagement and is a great case study of developing a multi-arts performance with community and professional involvement.

Original show:  Wednesday 22, Thursday 23, Friday 24 & Saturday 25 March 2023 at the Agricultural Research Station, Research Station Drive, CSU Campus Bathurst.

Arts OutWest managed behind-the-scenes production admin for the production including artist contracts and wages.

About the show:

Word on the street is Brocky-loving battlers, the Byrnes of Barb’s Burgers, are going bankrupt! Matriarch Barb dreams of cracking her PB walking the Mount; daughter Chez wants to be the King of the Mountain and son Tez wants to find true love. When dodgy Mayor Belle Farquhar announces that locals can enter the great V8 race and win big bucks, the Byrnes are in! Who will win the podium, and at what cost?

Dr Kate Smith

At the end of 2020 I approached then Local Stages producer Kylie Shead and BRAG Director Sarah Gurich to discuss the seed of an idea – Brock -The Musical. They loved it and supported me to apply for local, state and federal funding. I felt a bit like Kermit The Frog in the original Muppet Movie bringing the gang back together to hit Hollywood – or in this case Bath-vegas. My intention was to creatively respond to recent controversy regarding the proposed construction of a go-kart track on a sacred women’s site at Wahluu/Mount Panorama. Whilst this important conversation was in some ways divisive; in powerful ways it served to unite many voices in the community. A myriad of stories emerged about why people love the iconic mountain. And love of place is  indeed at the centre of this project.

Spiritual, romantic or familial, our individual and collective experience of place invites passionate responses because these things speak to belonging. They come from the heart; these connections to place are visceral, they define us personally and as a community. Wahluu /Mt Panorama is a sacred site for the traditional Wiradjuri custodians to enact initiation rites for young men; a place to scatter the ashes of loved ones and in days gone by for teenage romance at the old drive-in. It’s a spot to watch spectacular sunsets and to star-gaze over the horizon.Since 1938 the mountain road has been used for motorsport. Hundreds of thousands of fans flock to the iconic annual Bathurst 1000 gripped by speed, skill and the sheer madness it takes to win the title, King of the Mountain.
The stage play FAST CARS is a comedic, tongue-in-cheek celebration of all of it. An outrageous romp about having a go and backing the wrong horse. It’s about big dreams and broken hearts, dodgy deals and desperate Divas. Hopefully you will recognise, laugh and love the heroes and villains; rev heads and politicians, the lovers and dreamers who, just like us, want nothing more than to belong to their own ‘winning’ team.

FAST CARS has invited community participation every step of the way. From yarning with the Bathurst Wiradjuri elders; to local crafters knitting galahs and crocheting flower hubcaps; school
children parading handmade paper lanterns at Winter Festival; to the Fast Cars drum circle creating a joy storm every time they perform. This project lives and breathes ‘Bathurst’ with all the
quirks, complexities and characters of our city.

Thank you to the fabulous array of professional creatives – performers, designers, musicians, visual artists, directors and writers who joined us along the way. Our wish is that this beautiful project speaks to the beating heart of Bathurst- the iconic mountain Wahluu/Mt. Panorama and what it means to us all.


Funded by: Bathurst Regional Art Gallery, CreateNSW, Bathurst Regional Council, Arts On Tour.
The Fast Cars project has developed throughout a series of regional creative residencies over two years. These residencies have supported eleven professional artists to develop the production
design, set and costume elements, lanterns, storytelling, scriptwriting and the creation of an original score and songs for the site-specific performance.


Funded by Charles Sturt University Community Partnerships and Arts OutWest micro-grants.
In March 2021 we offered the community the opportunity to join a free weekly drum circle led by musician Rob Shannon. Two years later the group is still going strong and performing regularly
beyond the Fast Cars project at local community events. They truly are the beating heart of the Fast Cars project.


Funded by Local Stages BMEC
Community artist Phil Relf led master classes with teachers from small rural schools Raglan, O’Connell and Perthville Public and three community lantern making workshops at Tremain’s Mill. In response to Kate’s comedic script, designer Anne Marie chose seven birds whose spots, stripes, and speckles create a palette of colour to adorn the sides of the lanterns. This selection was guided by local twitcher Tiffany Mason. Students used coloured paper to add birds on one side of the lantern and painted their own ‘story’ of the mountain on another side. Cross-country runners, helmuts, mountains, race-tracks and giant sneakers were some of the drawings they created to show their connection to the mountain. Three hundred school students and one hundred community members participated.


Funded by Country Arts Support Program Grant (NSW Government via Arts OutWest)

The ‘Fast Cars Yarners’ knitted galahs and crocheted ‘flower’ hubcaps to adorn the set of the stage play. Ledby artist Leanne Wicks and Jo Albany from Kandos and Rylstone, individuals and groups across the central west participated including; New Horizons Aged-Care Support Group facilitated by Michelle Bolt and the Bathurst River Yarners. In future the RiverYarners will care-take the ‘flock’ of birds as a creative way to raise awareness about protecting wildlife.


Bathurst Winter Festival 2022
Bathurst Writers & Readers Festival
Regional Arts Accelerator Fund
Workshops facilitated by Ikara Celebratory Events resulted in a three hundred strong crowd joining the Fast Cars Drummers to parade lanterns down Keppel St. despite the snow and sleet!
Spectators were greeted at Tremain’s Mill by fire-twirling, poetry, and live music and digital arts works.


The exquisite moving image artwork ‘Wiradyuri Ngurambang Ngayirr – Sacred Country’ screened on the side of the historic mill. A collaboration by artist Nicole Welch, and Wiradyuri Elder Wirribee. Drone footage by Henry Denyer-Simmons with sound by Tim Roebuck. This work explores shared understandings between First Nation and Non-First Nation women, connecting to the landscape from Tarana along the Wambuul/ Macquarie River to Wahluu/ Mt. Panorama. It offers a space for contemplation toward a healing of people, community, place, and shared stories. Elder Wirribee, voices part of the narrative of Custodianship of Country collaboratively working with visual artist Artist Nicole Welch, whose world-renowned work is linked to care-taking the environment.

FAST CARS is a brand new Australian play with songs – an hilarious romp about wannabe winners, family feuds and dirty deals.

Location: Bathurst

When: 2021-2023. Performance 23-25 March 2023.

Return performance: 19-21 February 2024 at BMEC. 

Funded by: the Australian Government’s Regional Arts Fund Accelerator Fund and supported by Arts OutWest (including through an Arts Restart Micro Grant and the Country Arts Support Program) and Local Stages at BMEC

Return season supported by: Superfest

Lead by: Kate Smith

Creative team:

Writer/Director – Kate Smith
Composer – Tim Hansen
Lyrics – Kate Smith & Tim Hansen
Production Design – Annemaree Dalziel & Harrie Fasher
Movement Director – Adam Deusien
Digital Artist – Nicole Welch
Community Artist – Phil Relf
Caricature Artist – Jock Alexander
First Nations Consultant – Aleshia Lonsdale from Arts OutWest
Vocalist – Akayla Newman
Composer – Yanhadarrambal Flynn ‘Lay My Soul’

Creative Producer – Annabel Scholes
Stage Manager – Kylie Shead
Deputy Stage Manager – Ruby Conolan
Assistant Stage Manager – Richard King
Technical Manager -Bannon Rees
Sound/AV Design – Dom Ingersole
Sound Op – Harrison Davis
Lighting – Bannon Rees
Costume – Annemaree Dalziel
Set – Harrie Fasher
Set Construction/Props – Karl Shead
Graphic Design  -Lauren Carlson
Images – Greer Films & Bill Moseley
Videography – Thomas Druit, Jonty Millsteed, Henry Denyer-Simmons


Guitar – Rob Shannon
Bass – Tiffany Mason
Violin – Cindy Fox
Drums – Edward Brown & Fast Cars Drummers


Barb Byrnes – Jude Bowler
Chez Byrnes – Catherine McNamara (Madelaine Osborn for the return season)
Tez Byrnes – Tim Hansen
Belle Farquhar – Kate Smith
Pearson/ Brockette/Cyclist – Jack Dodds
Reporter/Brockette/ Ma Byrne/Brocky – Adam Deusien


First Nations Custodians:

Mallyan Merriganoury (Uncle Brian Grant)
Wirribee Wiradjyuri (Aunty Leanna Carr-Smith)
Dinawan Dyirribang (Uncle Bill Allen Jnr)
Yahnadarrambal (Jade Flynn)