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Invasion of the Pod People

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The Full Catastrophe

If you don’t laugh, you’ll cry. At The Full Catastrophe, our event based on the podcast of the same name, we’ll do a bit of both, as writers, comedians, politicians and performers publicly divulge the most excruciating and hilarious events of their lives.

Leave your judgement at the door for this storytelling-slash-therapy session, hosted by Rebecca Huntley and Sarah Macdonald. Nightmare job interviews, agonising family reunions, torturous dates, stories of public humiliation and epic despair – we’ll share them, we’ll hear them and we’ll kumbaya the hell out of them together.

Swing by the Wheeler Centre for an evening of catastrophe, cry-laughing and catharsis.

Who?

Portrait of Rebecca Huntley

Rebecca Huntley

Rebecca Huntley is one of Australia's most respected researchers on social and consumer trends, and head of research at Essential Media. She is the author of Still Lucky: Why You Should Feel Optimistic About Australia and Its People.

Portrait of Sarah Macdonald

Sarah Macdonald

Sarah Macdonald is a broadcaster, writer and facilitator. She currently presents Weekend Nightlife on ABC radio for insomniacs and night owls. Her bestselling book Holy Cow has sold more than a quarter of a million copies and been translated into several languages.

Portrait of Maxine McKew

Maxine McKew

Maxine McKew is an author and Hon Enterprise Professor of the Melbourne Graduate School of Education at the University of Melbourne.

Her most recent book, published by Melbourne University Press in 2014, is Class Act – a study of the key challenges in Australian schooling. This publication followed the success of her memoir, Tales From the Political Trenches, an account of her brief but tumultuous time in the Federal Parliament. 

Portrait of Libbi Gorr

Libbi Gorr

Libbi Gorr is a presenter and broadcaster working across print, radio and television. Libbi is currently a guest reporter for the ABC’s flagship current affairs program 7.30, and hosts ABC Radio Melbourne’s Sundays program. She is known for her iconic comedy creation Elle McFeast in the ‘90s and early 2000s for the ABC and Network 10.

Portrait of Sami Shah

Sami Shah

Comedian and writer Sami Shah has been profiled in the New York Times and ABC's Australian Story, and appeared on BBC Radio 4, BBC Asian Network, TEDx, The Project and the Soho Theatre. He is currently based in Melbourne, Australia and is co-presenter of 774 / ABC Breakfast Radio.

Portrait of Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen

Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen

Giselle Au-Nhien Nguyen is a Vietnamese-Australian writer and bookseller, and the Marketing & Communications Manager for the Feminist Writers Festival. She is a former Daily Life columnist, and has been featured in publications including Rookie, frankie, the Lifted Brow and Kill Your Darlings. 

How much?

This is a free event. Bookings are essential. We recommend arriving early to secure your seat. Read our ticketing FAQs here.Book your tickets

Invasion of the Pod People

In the last few years, podcasts have matured into the storytelling format du jour – with a little help from a certain sensationally popular true crime serial (ahem). Yet the surge of interest and excitement around audio features and podcasts has been gaining momentum for even longer, propelled by a diversity of formats.

Take the narrative artisanship of This American Life or the sonic vivacity of Radiolab; the topical deep dives of Slate’s Culture Gabfest or Phillip Adams’s Late Night Live; the animated storytelling of The Moth or Sum of All Parts; or the intimate conversations found in Death, Sex and Money or WTF with Marc Maron. The influence of these and countless other shows can be felt in today’s most interesting podcasts (insert shameless plug for the Wheeler Centre’s own successful forays into richly-produced feature-making, including Andrew Denton’s Better Off Dead, and The Messenger, here). 

Beloved for their sense of proximity, their active listenership, portability and in some cases, ambitiously-crafted audio, podcasts have a unique ability to keep listeners in the company of their own choosing – and to render mundane tasks bearable. And since design show 99% Invisible’s record-breaking Kickstarter campaigns – podcasts have also shown promise in otherwise dim times for media businesses. What’s next for podcasting – and how could it be done better?

In celebration of all things audible, we’re bringing you some of podcasting’s best and brightest to share their thoughts and insights on the art (and business) of listening. 

Where?

More about this venue, including large map, parking, public transport and accessibility.