28 September

The Wheeler Centre launches The Interrobang Festival of Questions


Is there an unanswered question burning a hole in your brain? An uncertainty that you can’t seem to shake? A swirling storm of thoughts and ideas that aren’t quite taking shape? The Wheeler Centre wants to hear from you.

The Interrobang Festival of Questions, running over the last weekend in November, is Melbourne’s first-ever crowd-sourced festival where the topics of discussion are determined by the people. As of today, you’re invited to visit the website, submit any question, and vote on questions that need to be discussed. Every single one will help to shape the program of more than 25 live debates, lectures, workshops and shows. No question is too little, obscure, or broad. You can submit questions via the website, or via the @askinterrobang Twitter handle.

Read our full interview with Emily Sexton, head of programming at The Wheeler Centre. Read more

25 August

Stephen Fry announces ‘Telling Tales’ national tour in November


This year alone, Stephen Fry has married his partner Elliott Spencer, quit Instagram after saying he’d been ‘hounded off’, courted controversy over the colourful language he used when hosting the BAFTAs, and continued to preside over comedy panel show QI. ‘National treasure’ is a term perpetually orbiting around the British actor, author journalist, comedian, presenter and director: at the very least, the man has been instrumental to some of television’s finest comedies, has created first-class documentaries, novels and films, and has been advocating for LGBTIQ rights for decades.

You may only know him as the ‘Fry’ in A Bit of Fry and Laurie, or as Melchett in Blackadder. You may have raced through his autobiographical trilogy: Moab is my Washpot, The Fry Chronicles and More Fool Me. Or, maybe he’s just the QI guy.

Any way you look at it, Fry’s Australian tour is worth getting excited about.… Read more

24 July

Program announced for Melbourne Writers Festival 2015 (and it’s a beauty)


Melbourne Writers Festival 2015, our annual celebration for writers, readers and thinkers, kicks off Thursday August 20, and tickets for its biggest program to date go on sale noon today.

Each year the festival highlights the talent and ideas of hundreds of writers from Australia and around the world, through a thought-provoking program of storytelling, conversation and debates, music and art events. In fact, this year brings together over whopping 530 events.

Celebrating its 30th birthday, this year’s festival takes us on a literary tour of Australia and all corners of the globe. Here are our highlights:

Opening night address by Louis de Bernieres, author of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (Thu Aug 20, 6.30pm).
Rob Thomas, creator of arse-kicking teen-detective series Veronica Mars and new show iZombie, talks about how pint the sized PI made it from tele to silver screen (Thu Aug 20, 9pm).… Read more

21 July

Meet the one true matriarch of day time TV in ‘An Evening With Oprah’

Live The Life You Want Weekend, Houston

That’s right, Mother Oprah Winfrey herself will be gracing us lowly humans with her royal presence.

Due to tour Australia this December, ‘An Evening With Oprah’ will see the former daytime television matriarch on stage to share her personal story and all-around wisdom. The intimate event will highlight her astounding achievements as one of the most powerful women in the media landscape.

This is a woman who took a low-rating daytime slot and turned it into a 25-season behemoth, before launching her own media empire and going on to grace the cover of every issue of her magazine. Expect insight into her years spent in the media spotlight. No guarantee that the ticket price includes a celebrity couch jump or a free car, but you never know with this media matron – just be sure to check under your seats when you get there!

An Evening With Oprah will be held at the Rod laver Arena on Wednesday December 2.Read more

13 July

Melbourne is getting its own mini Festival of Dangerous Ideas

Naomi Klein

The Festival of Dangerous Ideas, or FODI – as it is known in Sydney – is making its way to Melbourne, where a selection of five leading thinkers from around the world will have us getting fired up over hot issues like addiction, climate change and shame culture at the Melbourne Writers Festival.

“We hope these incredible international names encourage Melburnians to save the date for MWF this year,” says festival director Lisa Dempster.

Stay tuned for the full program announcement for the festival on Friday July 24, which is also the date that tickets go on sale.

Tariq Ali: The Twilight of Democracy. In a climate where politicians must cater to the ‘Extreme Centre’ to be elected, this leftist English Pakistani commentator questions the future of true democracy. 4pm. Fri Aug 28.

Jon Ronson: Shame Culture. The recent author of So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed divulges what he learned from speaking to real-life targets of virtual mobs.… Read more