The horror, the glory, the sublime and the ridiculous – 2016 served it all up in enormous doses. Once again, the Wheeler Centre is celebrating a year’s worth of highlights and lowlights at our annual Show of the Year.
What happened in 2016? Well, the Panama Papers dropped. The Louvre flooded. A woman in New Jersey got stuck up a tree while playing Pokémon Go in a cemetery. And Brangelina was reduced to its component parts.
What else? England voted for Boaty McBoatface … then Brexit. Brazil impeached its president. Ceasefire attempts failed in Syria and we were rocked by attacks in Brussels, Paris, Orlando and Baghdad. This was the year the United States elected Donald Trump. It was also the year we said goodbye to David Bowie, Muhammad Ali, Harper Lee, Leonard Cohen and Prince.
Closer to home, Turnbull was returned (only just) as Prime Minister. Our census was a mess, but Chloe Esposito triumphed in the modern pentathlon at Rio and the Western Bulldogs won the AFL Grand Final. We were the crowd favourites at Eurovision and we fell in love with Matilda all over again with Tim Minchin’s Matilda the Musical.
The Show of the Year will once again be hosted by silver-tongued songbird Casey Bennetto. Sit back, relax and relive the best and worst as a bevy of Australia’s finest writers and entertainers farewell the year that was – in five-minute bursts of stories and song.
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... Read more
Deborah Conway is a singer/songwriter who shot to fame as the lead singer of Do Re Mi. She is a significant and eloquent contributor to Australian music, singing songs that chronicle the essential elements of life, love, loss, memory, the mundane and the spiritual for the past 30 years. As lead sing... Read more
Osamah Sami is a failed cricketer and a struggling Muslim. As a writer, he has completed two feature films (Ali’s Wedding – a Muslim romantic comedy based on his book Good Muslim Boy, and Be Less Beautiful, filming in 2016). He has also written a vague number of plays; co‐created a d... Read more
With an unselfconscious charm and a superb skill for finding the funny in true stories Geraldine Hickey has been described as a ‘deceptively cheery dame who’ll quietly take out your innards.’ She is revered in the industry as a comedian’s comedian and has been shortlisted for the ‘Piec... Read more
Cal Wilson came across the Tasman in 2003 and has gone on to become one of our most popular comedians, a perennial favourite on television shows such as Have You Been Paying Attention?, Spicks and Specks, Good News Week and Thank God You’re Here. Her stand up shows are as engaging as they are... Read more
Willy Zygier is a musician, producer and composer. Willy’s first recorded appearance was with his band Tootieville on the Cooking With George Mark Too compilation record, released by Triple J in 1985. He first appears in the Deborah Conway story (officially) on the credits of the 19... Read more
Benson Saulo is a descendent of the Wemba Wemba and Gundjitmara Aboriginal nations of western Victoria and the New Ireland Provence of Papua New Guinea. Saulo has served as the Australian Youth Representative to the United Nations (2011), and in 2012 became the Founding Director of the Nat... Read more
Singer-songwriter Geraldine Quinn (Spicks and Specks, The Weekly With Charlie Pickering, Adam Hills Tonight) is an award-winning rock-cabaret writer-performer who tours Australia, New Zealand and the UK. She has been nominated for 14 Green Room Awards (winning three), two Golden... Read more
Shireen Morris is a lawyer, postdoctoral fellow at the University of Melbourne Law School, and a senior adviser on constitutional reform to Cape York Institute. She is the author of Radical Heart (MUP, 2018), the co-editor of The Forgotten People: Liberal and Conservative Approaches to Recognising... Read more
Nkechi Anele is a Nigerian-Irish Australian who grew up in Naarm (Melbourne) and spent over a decade in the Australian music industry as the lead singer in Saskwatch. In 2015, along with her best friend Lucie Cutting, she started The Pin, a discussion platform about race, identity, and culture throu... Read more
Jennifer Byrne is a senior journalist and broadcaster who has worked in all arms of the media: print, radio and television. Having done her cadetship at the Age and worked on UK’s Fleet Street, she was a founding reporter with Channel Nine’s Sunday programme and spent some 12 years traveling the... Read more
Tom Ballard is a comedian, writer, broadcaster, actor, philanthropist and philanderer. In 2009 he became the youngest person ever to win the Melbourne International Comedy Festival’s Best Newcomer Award. Since then he’s co-hosted the Triple J breakfast show for four years,... Read more
A touring headline comedian for over a decade, Danny has performed on four continents – and gigged for royalty, Prime Ministers and Arnold Schwarzenegger. He’s been on the television numerous times: Utopia, The Project, The Footy Show, Rove [Live], The Circle, Santo Sam & Ed’s Tot... Read more
Tim Flannery is a scientist, an explorer, a conservationist and a leading writer on climate change. He has held various academic positions including visiting Professor in Evolutionary and Organismic Biology at Harvard University, Director of the South Australian Museum, Principal Research Scientist ... Read more
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