2013 has been quite the year. And we’re about to celebrate it all — shocking, absurd and sublime — in storytelling and song.
Thatcher died. A royal baby was born. Kevin Rudd became prime minister (again); Tony Abbott replaced him three months later. Australia opened for business, and the US government shut down. Edward Snowden unleashed one of the biggest intelligence leaks in world history. The AFL doping scandal dominated the front page of every Victorian newspaper. Gotye won a Grammy. A meteor smashed spectacularly into Russia. India sent an orbiter to Mars. Syria opened its doors to chemical weapons inspectors. Miley Cyrus threw eyebrows to the ceiling with her MTV Awards reinvention. ‘Guilty pleasure’ was added to the dictionary.
Casey Bennetto will create the Wheeler Centre’s first ever cabaret show: as sophisticated, silver-tongued and sharply surprising as Casey himself.
He’ll be joined by some of Australia’s favourite entertainers and writers, including Lally Katz, Hannah Gadsby, Tony Birch and Tripod. They’ll reflect on the year in their own distinctive (and very personal) ways.
Sit back, relax and enjoy the show – delivered in five-minute bursts of song, stories and slam poetry – as we farewell the year in style; with a bang, with a whimper and everything in between.
Guests include: Maxine Beneba Clarke, Casey Bennetto, Tony Birch, Alan Brough, Catherine Deveny, Hannah Gadsby, Sammy J, Lally Katz, George Megalogenis, Tripod, Maude Davey, Chloe Hooper and Henry Wagons.
Maxine Beneba Clarke is a widely published Australian writer of Afro-Caribbean descent. Maxine's short fiction, non-fiction and poetry have been published in numerous publications including Overland, the Age, Meanjin, the Saturday Paper and the Big Issue. Her critically acclaimed short fiction collection Foreign Soil won the ABIA for Literary Fiction Book of the Year 2015 and the 2015 Indie Book Award for Debut Fiction, and was shortlisted for the Matt Richell Award for New Writing at the 2015 ABIAs and the 2015 Stella Prize. She was also named as one of the Sydney Morning Herald's Best Young Novelists for 2015.
Tripod is a musical comedy trio, absorbing a broad range of performance styles into their armoury of parody, satire and improvisation. Their latest studio album is Men of Substance, and in early 2013, they starred in the title role of The Dragon (Malthouse Theatre).
Sammy J is an award-winning comedian, writer, and songbird.
Chloe Hooper’s The Tall Man: Death and Life on Palm Island (2008) won the Victorian, New South Wales, West Australian and Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards, as well as the John Button Prize for Political Writing, and a Ned Kelly Award for crime writing. Her latest book is The Arsonist: A Mind on Fire (2018). She is also the author of two novels, A Child’s Book of True Crime and The Engagement.
Singer/songwriter Henry Wagons was recently named one of Melbourne’s Top 100 Influential People. Rolling Stone compared his sound to ‘the lovechild of Nick Cave and Johnny Cash’.
Hannah Gadsby is an award-winning Australian comedian who thinks quickly and moves slowly. She quickly rose to prominence after winning the national final of the Raw Comedy competition for new comedians in 2006. She has toured internationally and appeared on Australian and New Zealand television.
Casey Bennetto is an award-winning writer, musician and radio broadcaster. He wrote the musical KEATING!, hosts the program Superfluity on Melbourne’s 3RRR, and has appeared in places as diverse as ABCTV’s Spicks and Specks, the Melbourne International Arts Festival and the Festival of Dangerous Ideas at Sydney Opera House.
Lally Katz is an award-winning Melbourne based playwright. Her play Goodbye Vaudeville Charlie Mudd premiered at Malthouse Theatre and won the Louis Esson Prize for Drama at the 2009 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards.
George Megalogenis is an author and journalist with three decades' experience in the media. The Australian Moment won the 2013 Prime Minister's Literary Award for Non-fiction and the 2012 Walkley Award for Non-fiction, and formed the basis for his ABC documentary series Making Australia Great.
Tony Birch is the author of three novels: the bestselling The White Girl, winner of the 2020 NSW Premier's Award for Indigenous Writing, and shortlisted for the 2020 Miles Franklin Literary Prize; Ghost River, winner of the 2016 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Indigenous Writing, and Blood, which was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award in 2012. He is also the author of Shadowboxing, and three short story collections – Father’s Day, The Promise and Common People.
In 2017 Tony was awarded the Patrick White Literary Award. In 2021 he will release two new books, a poetry collection, Whisper Songs, and a new short story collection, Dark as Last Night. Tony Birch is also an activist, historian and essayist.
Catherine Deveny has been a comedian, writer and professional speaker for 23 years.
She’s the author of seven books and over 1,000 columns for the Age newspaper, and is an ABC regular. She has appeared on Q&A five times — sitting next to John Elliott, Tony Abbott, Corey Bernardi, Peter Dutton and Archbishop Peter Jensen.
Alan Brough was born in New Zealand and is quite a bit older than he'd like to be. Alan has always loved books and, from an early age, wanted to be a writer. Then he and his Dad went to see Star Wars and Alan decided that, actually, he really, really, really, really, really wanted to be an actor.
After having been an actor for a while Alan realised there wasn't that much work for a 6'4" guy with a slightly lopsided face and thick curly hair so he tried his hand at directing, broadcasting, composing, dancing (true!), singing and, in an unexpected turn of events, being a professional music nerd.
Recently, he got around to being a writer.
One day he hopes to have a bio that includes phrases like 'bestselling', 'award-winning' and 'so successful that he recently bought a solid gold toilet' but, until then, he's just happy to look at his copy of Charlie and the War Against the Grannies and think: 'Cool! I wrote a book!'