Sunderella by Trikone Australasia in this year’s Mardi Gras features an all-men cast some dressed as women in the classic fairy tale performance


What could be more entertaining than Cinderella on stage?
A queer all-male Bollywood twist called Sunderella, of course.

Get ready to be dazzled as a sea of sequins and saris, bindis and bangles descends on Sydney’s PACT Centre for Emerging Artists, as part of the 38th Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras festival in February 2017.

Set in 18th-century British India, Sunderella features a cast of 15 men ”“ half of them dressed as women ”“ in splendid costumes and jewellery. The play is produced by Sydney-based Trikone Australasia and promises a night of endless entertainment, with all the cornerstones of Bollywood ”“ comic characters, dramatic scenes, foot-tapping music, a heartrending love story and, of course, sweeping dance performances.

“This production is unlike anything Sydney or Mardi Gras has ever seen before,” says the play’s director Bali Padda. “It is a classic fairy tale, but not as you know it.”

Who can, after all, resist the draw of Bollywood drags? “There are plenty of drag shows in Sydney ”“ particularly during Mardi Gras,” says the play’s scriptwriter Kunal Mirchandani. “But there’s something unique and incredibly attractive about this show, which will feature a bunch of men from diverse backgrounds in glamorous female roles.”

So expect Sydney-based men from backgrounds (as diverse as Indian, Bangladeshi, Fijian, Filipino, Middle Eastern, Chinese”¦ even Caribbean) play the roles of classic Cinderella characters ”“ the evil stepmother, the vicious but ridiculously comic stepsisters, the dashing prince and, of course, the effervescent and intriguing Sunderella.

No Bollywood play, however, would be complete without foot-tapping music and sweeping dance performances. And on that front Mirchandani is delighted to confirm: “There are eight high-energy dance performances sprinkled throughout the show. Each of them feature dazzling costumes and jewellery ”“ it’ll be an explosion of colour and so much culture on stage.”

The play is produced by Trikone Australasia ( ”“ a Sydney-based not-for-profit social-support group for GLBTIQ folks of South-Asian background living in Australia. Trikone has previously produced sell-out Mardi Gras shows such as In the Space Between (2011) and The Last Chai (2013). And it is also the organiser of the famous Sydney-based annual queer Bollywood parties, Bar Bombay (


WHEN Feb 17, 18, 24 & 25 at 8pm; Feb 19 & 26 at 6pm

WHERE PACT Centre for Emerging Artists,
107 Railway Parade, Erskineville

TICKETS $35 (first release)



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