Fairytale with a twist: Cinderfellas get into Cinderella act


A queer all-male Bollywood version of one of the most loved love stories hits the Sydney stage in February

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 MardiGras 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 MardiGras has ever seen before,” says play 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.”

Sunderella Press Release4

The cast of Sydney-based men come from backgrounds as diverse as Indian, Bangladeshi, Fijian, Filipino, Middle Eastern, Chinese, and Caribbean play the roles of classic Cinderella characters from the evil stepmother, the vicious but ridiculously comic stepsisters, the dashing prince to the effervescent and intriguing Sunderella.

No Bollywood play, however, would be complete without foot-tapping music and sweeping dance performances. Andon 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 (trikone.org.au)—a Sydney-based not-for-profit social-support group for LGBTIQ 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). Trikone is also the group behind the famous Sydney-based annual queer Bollywood parties, Bar Bombay (facebook.com/BarBombaySydney).

The Sundrella show is on Feb 17, 18, 24 & 25 at 8pm; Feb 19 & 26 at 6pm at the PACT Centre for Emerging Artists, 107 Railway Parade, Erskineville. Tickets are priced at $30 (early bird). For more info, log in to sunderella.com.au.


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