The Wheeler Centre has unveiled the full program for The Interrobang: A Festival of Questions. On November 27 and 28, the Interrobang will seek to answer an array of questions submitted by the public at events that range from strange to provocative to profound.
Funnymen Rob Delaney and Benjamin Law will tackle the question on everyone’s lips: “Are cockroaches attracted to human tears, and if so, why?” Sci-fi writer Cory Doctorow will plot the best way to destroy the internet before it destroys us with Alan Brough, while former Masterchef winner Adam Liaw will explain the difference between muffins and cupcakes.
Alongside the tongue-in-cheek sessions, heavy-duty dilemmas will be pondered and discussed, with a strong focus on feminism and social responsibility. Anne Summers and New York Times foreign correspondent Rukmini Callimachi will ask whether the world would be a safer place with more women occupying positions of power. Greece’s controversial former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis will discuss capitalism and democracy with journalist Mary Kostakidis. And two inspirational women come together to find out “What it is to be wild” when author Cheryl Strayed and essayist Meghan Daum join in pursuit of the meaning of modern freedom.
Poor on time or cash? Free, 15-minute snap lectures from speakers such as 3AW Drive host Tom Elliott (“Do we become more politically conservative as we get older?”) and molecular biologist Upulie Divisekera (“How does the world end?”) run throughout the Interrobang, providing bite-sized answers to big questions.
The festival’s brilliant chaos is typified by “Questions on notice”, for which selected members of the Brains Trust – including comedian Sammy J, New Yorker copyeditor Mary Norris and artist Abdul Abdullah – play “the Wild West of quiz shows”. They’ll be assigned random provocations drawn from among all the questions submitted to The Interrobang, in a test of wits that encourages public participation. You’ve got to ask yourself – do you feel lucky? Well, do ya?
The Interrobang runs over November 27 and 28. View the full program here.