We could try to describe The Chaser’s new Q&A-style live event to you but Chris Taylor already did so in an email and it’s way easier for us to just copy/paste what he wrote.
Explains Chris: “Remember that amazing live stadium event Ben Hur where thousands of horses and chariots ran around Acer Arena until they realised there was no-one in the audience? Well, The Empty Vessel will be a lot like that, only with much fewer horses. And hopefully fewer Russell Crowes. The event’s a bit of a work in progress, but the basic idea is to put on a live discussion show. Or, if you like, a live version of Q&A – only without the annoying smart arse tweets. It’s a chance to talk to some really interesting people in an intimate setting, and to allow the audience to ask questions of their own as well. We’ve always felt Sydney doesn’t really have a good platform to let smart people talk – Justin Hemmes is hardly going to start Politics in the Pub at the Ivy anytime soon. So this is an attempt, I suppose, to fill that gap. And if goes well, we’d love to make it a regular thing. I mean, events like TedX and the Festival of Dangerous Ideas are really great, but they’re only on once a year. I’d love to live in a city where you can grab a beer and watch a fun, robust discussion once a week.
The trick with these things is to make sure they don’t become too earnest or dry. There’s no point getting Peter Singer in for a chat if it’s just going to get bogged down in a whinge about animal rights. I’d rather give him some kind of challenge – like, I’d promise to go vegetarian for a year if he agreed to eat an entire Big Mac on stage. And to mix it up, the evening won’t just be all chat. We’re hoping to intersperse the interviews with some comedy spots, such as a song or a character monologue, or even a literary critique of Rebecca Black’s lyrics. The format’s deliberately loose and flexible, and we want to encourage people outside of The Chaser team to get involved as well. If anyone’s got a great party piece, or a rant that they need to get off their chest, we’d love to include it. We’ve already invited Kristina Keneally to sing Loser by Beck for our first show.
I guess it remains to be seen whether there’s an appetite for this kind of event. It might be a woefully deluded idea to expect people to abandon their chatrooms and tweets in favour of listening to people live in the flesh. And I’m sure the first few outings will be a little bit bumpy as we work out what works and what doesn’t. But we’re really grateful to the FBi Social for providing a space for experiments like this to happen.”
The Empty Vessel takes place at FBI Social Level 2 Kings Cross Hotel on April 20th, May 11th and June 8th at 7pm. Tickets available for purchase here.