Let the wild rumpus start!
The Wheeler Centre kicks off our first season of events with a celebration of storytelling that revels in the deepest recesses of the imagination. This year, we dedicate our dearest tradition – our annual Gala Night – to a classic work celebrating its fiftieth birthday. Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are has captivated generations of children – and inspired countless creative artists to travel to their dark sides and back … in time for dinner.
We’ve gathered a diverse tribe of eleven Australian writers to take this much-loved classic as inspiration for their own creative work, to be performed at the Town Hall. There will be poets and dramatists, essayists and fiction writers, journalists and lyricists – with works that will transport you to faraway lands, explore the wildness within and ultimately transcend.
They’ll roar their terrible roars, gnash their terrible teeth and show their terrible claws. (Or something like that, anyway.)
Join us at the Town Hall for an imaginary journey like no other – a communal celebration of storytelling with some of Australia’s best creative minds.
What better way to start the new year?
We’ll open the night with a screening of Oslo Davis' short film Melbhattan.
All profits go to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.
Luka Lesson is a writer whose work touches the realms of hip-hop and performance poetry. A winner of Slams, including the Australian Poetry Slam final & Melbourne Poetry Festival final, and a song writer from way back, Luka has spent the last year touring writers’ festivals and independent venues throughout Australia, Asia, Oceania and North America.
Josephine Rowe was born in 1984 in Rockhampton and raised in Melbourne. Her novel, A Loving, Faithful Animal, was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Literary Award, selected as a New York Times Editors’ Choice and led to her being named a 2017 Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Novelist. Her work has appeared widely in Australia and overseas, including in McSweeney’s, Best Australian Stories, Meanjin, the Paris Review Daily and Freeman’s. The winner of the 2016 ABR Elizabeth Jolley Short Story Prize, Rowe has held fellowships with the University of Iowa, Stanford University, the Omi International Arts Center and Yaddo.
Monica Dux is a columnist with the Age, and the author of Things I Didn’t Expect (when I was expecting) (2013), co-author of The Great Feminist Denial (2008), and editor of the forthcoming anthology Mothermorphosis (April 2015). She can be heard regularly on ABC radio and 3RRR, and has published widely, especially on women’s issues. Monica is a founding board member of the Stella Prize.
Alison Lester grew up on a farm by the sea, and first rode a horse as a baby in her father's arms. Her picture books mix imaginary worlds with everyday life, encouraging children to believe in themselves and celebrate the differences that make them special. Alison is involved in many community art projects and spends part of every year travelling to remote Indigenous communities, using her books to help children and adults write and draw about their own lives.
Anthony Morgan has been working as a stand up comic since 1982. Anthony has performed his conversational stand up across Australia, as well as in London, Manchester and twice at the Edinburgh Festival.
David Marr is the author of Patrick White: A Life, Panic, The High Price of Heaven and Dark Victory (with Marian Wilkinson). He has written for the Sydney Morning Herald, the Age, the Saturday Paper, the Guardian and the Monthly, and been editor of the National Times, a reporter for Four Corners and presenter of ABC TV’s Media Watch.
He is the author of five bestselling Quarterly Essays in addition to the latest, Quarterly Essay 65, The White Queen: One Nation and the Politics of Race.
Hannie Rayson is a playwright and screenwriter best known for Hotel Sorrento.
Clare Bowditch is a singer, writer, and master storyteller, who first began performing in Melbourne pubs when she was 16. Seven albums later, Clare has toured the country a million times and been awarded EG Best Female Artists (2011), Rolling Stone Woman of the Year for her Contribution to Culture (2010), Yen Young Woman of the Year (2008), and an ARIA Award for Best Female Artist (2006), plus half a dozen other ARIA nominations for her albums.
Robyn Davidson is an award-winning travel writer, novelist, scriptwriter, essayist and reviewer whose work has been translated and published extensively around the world.
Arnold Zable is a highly acclaimed novelist, storyteller and human rights advocate. His works include Scraps of Heaven, Violin Lessons, The Fighter, which was shortlisted for a Victorian Premier’s Literary Award and a New South Wales Premier’s Literary Award, and his most recent work The Watermill. Zable lives in Melbourne.
Bruce Pascoe is a Yuin, Bunurong and Tasmanian man born in the Melbourne suburb of Richmond. He’s the author of the best-selling Dark Emu, Young Dark Emu: A Truer History, Loving Country: A Guide to Sacred Australia and over thirty other books including the short story collections Night Animals and Nightjar, and academic texts including The Little Red Yellow Black Book with AIATSIS. Dark Emu (Magabala Books) won Book of the Year and the Indigenous Writer’s Prize at the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards in 2016, and has now sold in excess of 200,000 copies.