We’re still thrumming from the Brisbane night that was Storyology After Dark. It was a new experiment for the Walkleys, inspired by events like Pop-Up Magazine and The Moth: Ten journalists brought a magazine to life onstage. Beloved author and actor William McInnes talked about his childhood in southwest Queensland. Star U.S. radio reporter Tonya Mosley dug into her own prejudices to understand those of her nation. Veteran freelancer Jo Chandler told us how she tracked down Maria Von Trapp’s adventures in Papua New Guinea.
And then, at the end, the show took a sharp left turn and dived off a cliff to sail around in the cosmos, with Trent Dalton’s tale of the life of Leong Lau—sometime doctor, stem cell researcher, BHP engineer, opera director, desert adventurer, fisherman and jazz musician, whose singular record from the 1970s became a much-hunted rarity. Lau whirled around the stage as he punctuated his own story with ethereal whoops and flute-flutters: The Dragon Man.
It wasn’t like any journalism we’ve seen before. Yet somehow it was the essence of what we strive for in telling other people’s stories, a jubilant mind-meld.