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Mysteries, Mazes and the Making of S-Town, with Brian Reed


Event Status

S-Town has rattled the conventions of longform audio journalism, broken podcast download records and provoked a deluge of obsessive online commentary and conjecture. Made by reporter Brian Reed with the team behind Serial and This American Lifethe series is enthralling and disquieting, and marks another shift in podcasting’s creative renaissance.

At the centre of Reed’s series – set in the small town of Woodstock, Alabama – is one unforgettable character: the obsessive, eccentric and doomsaying horologist, John B. McLemore. In Reed’s rendering, McLemore is as vivid and novelistic as any subject drawn from the hand of Truman Capote.

Bringing a literary aesthetic to audio storytelling, S-Town explores poverty, prejudice, apathy, intimacy, greed and mental illness in America today. In its reception, it’s stirred rich and widespread critical discussions of the form – as well as debates about journalistic ethics. At the Athenaeum Theatre, with host Sally Warhaft, Reed will discuss storytelling, the unsaid, and knowing John B. McLemore.



Brian Reed

Brian Reed is the host and co-creator of the groundbreaking podcast S-Town, which is a production of Serial and the public radio show This American Life. Reed is also the senior producer of This American Life. S-Town was downloaded 16 million times in its first week, setting a new record in podcast... Read more

Sally Warhaft

Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer. She is the host of The Fifth Estate, the Wheeler Centre’s live series focusing on journalism, politics, media, and international relations, and The Leap Year, a Wheeler Centre podcast about Australians’ lives in the fog of ... Read more


Athenaeum Theatre

188 Collins Street Melbourne Victoria 3000

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