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The Show of the Year


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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

Maxine Beneba Clarke is the author of the acclaimed memoir The Hate Race, the award-winning short fiction collection Foreign Soil, the poetry collections Carrying The World and How Decent Folk Behave, and many other books for adults and children. Her forthcoming poetry collection is It’s The S... Read more


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). The group toured Men of Substance... Read more

Sammy J

Sammy J is an award-winning comedian, writer and musician. A proud nerd, he abandoned his law degree to travel the world and sing funny songs for a living. You may have seen him on TV, at a festival, or as one half of the man/puppet duo Sammy J & Randy. He is the host of ABC Radio Melbourne Brea... Read more

Chloe Hooper

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 Mi... Read more

Henry Wagons

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’. After five albums with his band, Wagons, and a North American debut with the 2011 release of Rumble, Shake and Tumb... Read more

Hannah Gadsby
Hannah Gadsby

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. Y... Read more

Casey Bennetto

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

Lally Katz

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. Lally is a graduate of the University of Melbourne’s School of Studies in Cr... Read more

George Megalogenis

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 Austral... Read more

Tony Birch

Tony Birch is the author of four novels, five short fiction collections, and two poetry books. His most recent book is the novel, Women and Children (UQP). ... Read more

Catherine Deveny

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 Dutto... Read more

Alan Brough

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 act... Read more


Athenaeum Theatre

188 Collins Street Melbourne Victoria 3000

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The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the Traditional Owners of the land on which the Centre stands. We acknowledge and pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their Elders, past and present, as the custodians of the world’s oldest continuous living culture.