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Chaser's cup runneth over with new show

Sun Herald

Sunday March 27, 2011

Kristie Lau

THEY flew a blimp over the Vatican and offered knuckle-dusters to NRL fans but the Chaser boys are about to unveil their biggest surprise yet.The comedy team have revealed they are working on a series of live Q&A-style events, guaranteed to be stunt-free and only sometimes-topical.Titled The Empty Vessel, the events will be trialled next month over three nights at FBi radio's pop-up live music venue, located upstairs at the Kings Cross Hotel. They will interview special guests and then throw the questioning over to a live audience for further interrogating. The team's Craig Reucassel said the "talk-events", which will also be staged at an unconfirmed venue as part of the Sydney Writer's Festival in May, will push the Chaser into new territory."It's not going to be The Chaser's War On Everything and if you come along expecting that, you'll be disappointed," Reucassel told The Sun-Herald. "It's an extension of our writing, of some of the other stuff. Not everything will be a gag."Fellow Chaser mischief-maker Julian Morrow summed it up best: "I'd like to call it a kind of wanker variety show. In the past we've done comedy shows but this is a combination of interviews and chat with special guests. It's for the ADD generation ... a little bit of the Daily Show with a bit of Q&A."Although the pair say the project is intended purely for an off-air platform, Morrow did not rule out seeing The Empty Vessel on television one day. He added fuel to the fire by confirming the team have a "new Chaser format, a team show, that we want to do on television this year." But Morrow said at the moment they are focused on broadening their brand."It might turn into a TV show but that's a long way down the track," he said. "My ideal would be for this to become something that's regular in Sydney. It's the ability to interact, in the same way Q&A interacts with the panellists, it's that sort of idea. But with a slightly more fun vibe. We've done live events in the past but they've generally been full comedy shows so it's nice to be able to have things that don't have to be a gag every second."The Empty Vessel will feature author/artist Fiona McGregor when it debuts on April 20. They also confirmed the Sydney lawyer who is acting for WikiLeaks's Julian Assange in his extradition case, Jennifer Robinson, will be appearing.But they have plenty more ideas when it comes to interview subjects."We're doing something else with somebody who is going to be in the country," Morrow said. "Very high-profile. Somebody who's coming into the country in the next month or so. It's hard to say ..."The Kills to play Splendour in the Grass S Liftout

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