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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 Life, the 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 Raf Epstein, Reed will discuss storytelling, the unsaid, and knowing John B. McLemore.


Note: Due to overwhelming demand and the need to accommodate a second session, the time of this event has changed. If you previously booked for a 7.30pm–8.45pm event, we’ve contacted your booking email address with further information about the changes and your options.


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

Rafael Epstein

Rafael Epstein is a journalist who has worked in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Timor, Indonesia, Europe and the Middle East. He has covered national elections in the UK and Australia, East Timor’s vote for independence in 1999, the 2000 Sydney Olympics, the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami, the 2005 London ... Read more


Athenaeum Theatre

188 Collins Street Melbourne Victoria 3000

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