Skip to content

Fringe Debate: Should Culture Be Cancelled?


Event Status

For decades, we’ve heard seers of all stripes declaring that ‘everything is political’. In 2020, though, you might be forgiven for reading that with a note of exhaustion. The hopeful overtures of the open internet have well and truly descended into countless – endless – jibes and arguments. Cancelled columnists (and cartoonists) heave their laptops open to lament their newfound obscurity on national mastheads. Even people with vastly similar viewpoints are in furious disagreement over how to agree. It’s rough out here!

Enter the 2020 Melbourne Fringe Festival, and this year’s Fringe Debate: Should Culture Be Cancelled? Is the problem with cancel culture … culture? As arts funding makes like an Australian drought, and Covid-19 drains the dregs of self-reliance, we may yet find out. With six debaters, we hope you’ll join us for a silly, satirical debate about political correctness, impossible expectations and the worth of the arts. Is it time for the cultural industries to go all in – or chuck it all in?

Hosted by Jean Tong and Lou Wall, with Evelyn Araluen, Ash Flanders, Vidya Rajan, Moira Finucane, Stuart Daulman and Zoë Coombs Marr. 

Presented in partnership with Melbourne Fringe.


Lou Wall

Lou Wall is a multi-award winning comedian, writer, and composer. Since 2017, she has toured nationally with her black comedy cabaret A Dingo Ate My Baby (Malthouse Theatre, Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2017), It’s Not Me, It’s Lou (Melbourne Cabaret Festival’s Emerging Cabaret Arti... Read more

Jean Tong

Jean Tong is a writer, dramaturg and director. Jean is a 2020 Philip Parson’s Fellow and member of the Belvoir Writers’ Lab as well as the Development Assistant at Goalpost Pictures.  Jean’s work includes: Hungry Ghosts (Melbourne Theatre Company); Kill All Adults (VCA); and musical Romeo is... Read more

Ash Flanders

Ash Flanders is an award-winning writer and performer. As well as acting for other people and creating his own solo work, he runs DIY queer theatre outfit Sisters Grimm with Declan Greene. 

Evelyn Araluen

Evelyn Araluen is a poet, researcher and co-editor of Overland Literary Journal. Her widely published criticism, fiction and poetry has been awarded the Nakata Brophy Prize for Young Indigenous Writers, the Judith Wright Poetry Prize, a Wheeler Centre Next Chapter Fellowship, and a Neilma Sidney Li... Read more

Moira Finucane

Moira Finucane is a writer, director, performer and creator of volcanic and magic realist worlds … legendary salons, literary variety and intimate theatrical spectacles, internationally renowned for her arresting mix of provocation and entertainment. Finucane has defined and redefined cabaret arou... Read more

Zoë Coombs Marr

Zoë Coombs Marr is a performer, writer, artist and comedian. She grew up in Grafton, where she and her best friend staged a musical instead of going to schoolies week. She has a double degree in Performance Studies at UNSW and Fine Arts at COFA, where she was awarded the Dinosaur Designs Prize and ... Read more

Vidya Rajan

Vidya Rajan is a writer and performer currently based in Australia working across screenwriting, theatre, comedy, and digital space. A former writer-in-residence at the Malthouse Theatre, graduate of the VCA, and a recipient of Screen Australia’s Developer Program, her work has often been describe... Read more

Stuart Daulman

Born in a small hut at the foot of a tall, ominous mountain, Stu has been performing comedy since the Middle Ages. His live show credits include opening for Moses at Mount Sinai, Melbourne International Comedy Festival for the last 12 years, Splendour in the Grass and Falls Festival. Stuart has also... Read more

Stay up to date with our upcoming events and special announcements by subscribing to The Wheeler Centre's mailing list.

Privacy Policy

The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung people of the Kulin Nation as the Traditional Owners of the land on which the Centre stands. We acknowledge and pay our respects to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and their Elders, past and present, as the custodians of the world’s oldest continuous living culture.