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Jeez Louise: Memoir


‘Everything is copy’ – that was Nora Ephron’s famous dictum. And for better or worse, comedians are expert at mining their personal lives (and those of others) for the sake of comedy.

But is it fair – let alone funny – to use real-life events for the sake of a punchline? Do different rules apply for women when it comes to writing about personal stuff?

At this year’s Jeez Louise talk, in partnership with the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, we’ll discuss these questions with a panel of top comedians and comedy writers. Has Hannah Gadsby’s Nanette changed the way comedians, especially female comedians, tell personal stories? And where else, if not your own life, do you get ideas for comedy anyway?

Find out – with host Louise Swinn and guests Em Rusciano, Cassie Workman and Joanne Brookfield.

Presented in partnership with Melbourne International Comedy Festival.


Louise Swinn

Louise Swinn is a journalist, editor, critic and writer, co-founder of Sleepers independent publishers, the Small Press Network, and the Stella Prize. Louise edited Choice Words (Allen & Unwin, 2019), a collection of pieces demystifying abortion, and currently works as a journalist with the Aust... Read more

Joanne Brookfield

Journalist, writer, comedian, producer, publicist; in one way or another Joanne Brookfield has spent her entire career moving within the world of comedy, so it makes complete sense that her first book should be about women in comedy. Joanne interviewed 60 women for No Apologies: Women in Comedy Clai... Read more

Cassie Workman

Cassie Workman is probably the most experienced newcomer to comedy in the country, owing to the fact that she previously performed under another name. She has recently returned to the stage after beginning her transition, and is already making waves. Cassie Workman is known for her heartfelt and emo... Read more

Em Rusciano

Em Rusciano is one of the most talented and in demand entertainers in Australia. Em is a comedian, singer, writer, storyteller and broadcaster. She hosts the Emsolation podcast which was Australia’s first Spotify exclusive show. Em is also a regular panellist on Network Ten’s The Project. Em... Read more


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