The new cultural cringe

The ingrained assumption that work made by regional companies is of poorer quality than metropolitan productions needs to be fought.
[This is archived content and may not display in the originally intended format.]

A scene from Stephanie Lake’s If Never Was Now for Dancenorth, from the double bill If_Was_. Photo by Amber Haines.

The concept of the cultural cringe – an internalised belief that Australian culture was somehow inferior to that of Great Britain – has evolved over the years since literary critic and teacher A.A. Phillips first coined the term in the pages of the journal Meanjin in 1950.

Unlock Padlock Icon

Unlock this content?

Access this content and more

Richard Watts is ArtsHub's National Performing Arts Editor; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on Three Triple R FM, and serves as the Chair of La Mama Theatre's volunteer Committee of Management. Richard is a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, and was awarded the status of Melbourne Fringe Living Legend in 2017. In 2020 he was awarded the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards' Facilitator's Prize. Most recently, Richard was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Green Room Awards Association in June 2021. Follow him on Twitter: @richardthewatts