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Mardi Gras Festival Club Opening Night

Mardi Gras Festival Club Opening Night

At the centre of this year’s Mardi Gras will be the official late-night festival club where everybody is welcome.

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and Seymour Centre present the Opening Night of the MARDI GRAS FESTIVAL CLUB.

Doors open and entertainment kicks off at 9pm and keeps going 'till the wee early hours, featuring:

Your hosts



With chillout areas and a dance floor, the Festival Club will be the place to meet friends, make new ones, create festival memories and have an absolute ball.

Mardi Gras Central

Mardi Gras Central

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and Seymour Centre present:

Get ready to be entertained and inspired at Mardi Gras Central. Our 2019 Festival hub is a wild mix of queer performance, theatre, music, dance, circus, cabaret and burlesque. Over 12 nights leading up to the Mardi Gras Parade, the Seymour Centre’s theatres, foyers and courtyard will be transformed, providing a welcoming space to share, celebrate and explore diverse queer identities through performance.



Experience unmissable performances from world-class local and international LGBTQI artists, grab a bite, enjoy a drink, then head upstairs to the late night Festival Club.

Mardi Gras Central is the place to be seen, don't be the one who misses out!

Join us for the Festival Club Opening Night on Saturday 16 February from 9pm.



Mardi Gras Festival Club

Mardi Gras Festival Club

At the centre of this year's Mardi Gras will be the official late-night festival club where everybody is welcome.

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras and Seymour Centre present the MARDI GRAS FESTIVAL CLUB.

Each night will be a party at the Festival Club featuring Sydney’s best DJs and artists and pop-up performances by festival guests!

Hosts: Jess Love, Kryptonite, Miss Poodle, Nicola
DJs: Beth Yen, Betty Grumble (Official Fair Day After Party), DJ Charlie Villas, Estée Louder, Fox Force II, DJ Harry K, HipHopHoe,  Jonny Marsh, Nick Spurway,  Seymour Butz, Smithers, Stereogamous (Opening Night).
With Pop Up Performances by: Aaron Manhattan, Andrew Bukenya, Bunni Lambada, Garret Lyon, Trigger Happy, Jeremy Santos, Kilia Tipa, Lillian Starr, Rhys Bobridge, Rosie Rivette, Yana Alana.

With chill out areas and a dance floor, the Festival Club will be the place to meet friends, make new ones, create festival memories and have an absolute ball.

$5 entry on Sunday 17 February for Fair Day After Party


Bent Burlesque

Bent Burlesque

Hosted by Yana Alana

Directed by Imogen Kelly

Featuring direct from the Vienna Boylesque Festival:

Jacques Patriaque (Vienna), Mr. Gorgeous (New York), Isaiah Esquire and Johnny Nuriel (Portland)


Fancy Piece, Jess Love, Rhys Lightning, Trigger Happy, Izohnny, Lillian Starr, Bunni Lambada and Amazing Ari

Over two spectacular nights, the inaugural Bent Burlesque will feature the crème de la crème of international and national queer burlesque artists. This is going to be Sydney’s number one event to experience the ever-bending and outrageous world of fabulous queer burlesque.

Your host for this tantalising trip into the world of burlesque queens and kings is the award-winning queen of queer cabaret Yana Alana. With an incredible and powerful voice, Yana is a diva in the true sense – brave, brash, unapologetic and larger than life.

Expect underground cabaret, music, circus, satire, drag and performance art with a wild and eclectic mix of different acts each night.

WARNINGS: Strobe lighting, coarse language, smoke, flames, nudity and adult themes. 18+ Photography and filming prohibited. 

The Courtyard

The Courtyard

With its outdoor bar, food trucks, big trees and fairy lights, the Seymour Courtyard is the perfect summer spot to meet friends for a drink and a bite to eat before seeing a show.

The Courtyard will also feature the Courtyard Sessions – a series of free outdoor concerts by emerging local LGBTQI musicians.

Kicking off our 2019 Mardi Gras program and part of Fair Day on Sunday 17th February, from 4:30pm to 7pm will be TANZER, who is heading to the courtyard from Melbourne for a special DJ set feat. Drag Superstars Betty Grumble and Aaron Manhattan.

Drop-dead devastating diva Tanzer is a dark and shimmering DJ force, injecting romance and glamour into crossover dancefloors in Australia and beyond.

Celebrated for her diversity and originality behind the decks, Tanzer’s flair for plucking irresistible jams, seamlessly switching up genres and getting the party started has seen her driving dancefloors wild on a weekly basis.

Her deliciously broad music knowledge comes from a life ruled by music. She’s fronted punk bands, twerked in an electro-pop duo, turned a girl gang into a ‘bad bitch choir’ and produced her own precocious pop jams since moving to the big smoke with an armful of records. Now a full-time performer, director and diva in her own right – an ecstatic night of music is just second nature.

Tanzer’s cheekily curated sets have set fire to the festival hotness of Secret Garden, Falls Festival, Sydney Mardi Gras, Melbourne Fringe Festival, GrrlFest and Midsumma, sexy Sydney party destinations The Beresford Hotel, Girlthing, Birdcage, Heaps Gay, Newtown Hotel, and the Imperial Hotel, as well as Melbourne’s legendary party nights Thursgay, Honcho Disko and Closet.

Club Briefs

Club Briefs

Australia’s favourite trash glamour disco circus is coming back to town for Mardi Gras. Cult cabaret hooligans and mischief-makers Briefs present a wild romp of disco dancing, circus, variety, and burlesque featuring a hand-picked selection of guests from across the world of queer cabaret. Expect a pumping soundtrack with your favourite dancefloor smashes and ridiculous performances from the Briefs boys plus a cavalcade of hand-selected guest cabaret and circus artists.

Fez Faanana
Mark Winmill
Dallas Dellaforce
Thomas Worrell
Dale Woodbridge-Brown
Louis Biggs

Stomp it out on the catwalk, dance until late, laugh until you ache and experience the club night that spawned the international touring sensation Briefs. Briefs pays homage to the traditions of circus, the extremities of physical theatre, the artistry of drag, the guts of burlesque, the imagery of theatre, the debauchery of speakeasies and the showmanship of cabaret. The company uses the circus and variety format as a vehicle for engaging audiences, challenging stereotypes, and exploring notions of gender, sexual orientation, race and politics.

WARNINGS: Strobe lighting, coarse language, smoke, nudity and adult themes. 18+ Photography and filming prohibited. 



SHAUN PARKER & COMPANY and Seymour Centre present:

KING is a new music-dance collaboration between award-winning director/choreographer Shaun Parker and internationally renowned Bulgarian-born songwriter/vocalist Ivo Dimchev.

Set in a theatrical world that is part cocktail lounge, part jungle, KING interrogates the notion of male power, control and group dynamics amongst men. Teasing out patterns of behaviour of the cis-hetero-alpha-male against homosexual, bisexual and pansexual perspectives, Parker’s highly physical and articulate choreographic world in KING will be intertwined with the scorching live sung narration of Dimchev’s deconstructed cabaret-esque vocals. The key protagonist and archetype in KING will be observed as a naked man, which will be created by, and instructed by Dimchev as the work progresses, and we shall witness the male body as a commodity for observation. Dimchev, as the gender-neutral narrator, creates a kingdom of men commenting on toxic masculinity.

The juxtaposition of Dimchev’s androgynous counter tenor vocal narration against the male dominated world created in KING, will provide a compelling counterpoint to the notion of power and brutality found within the context of historic masculinity and socio-sexual-political structures. KING shall deliver a biting, yet humorous theatrical expose, giving a well-deserved ‘nod’ to a society in revolt against an exhausted patriarchy. Full frontal nudity, violence, adult themes and sexual references.

Recommended ages 16+


The Rise and Fall of Saint George

The Rise and Fall of Saint George

UPDATE 12 December 2018: The event has now SOLD OUT. Thank you to everyone who booked!

By Paul Mac and Lachlan Philpott

George was a pioneer. A trailblazer. An icon. He was our saint. To celebrate the life of our much-loved star, a beautiful mural appeared across a wall in the Inner West. It became a local shrine, bringing a smile to the faces of thousands of commuters who passed every day on the train. It stood for eleven months with no hint of complaint or controversy. The dark forces unleashed and forced upon our community by the Marriage Equality campaign changed that. One day after we heard YES, a day to celebrate and heal after the divisive campaign, the mural was destroyed in a series of attacks.

Two of Australia’s leading queer artists, pop icon Paul Mac and playwright Lachlan Philpott, have teamed up to tell the story of St George through the eyes of our community. This is a special opportunity to see this work as it is being made. Join Paul Mac and a choice selection of collaborators from across his career and a community choir for a sneak peek of this big new work. The Rise and Fall of St George is a celebration of our achievements, a thank you to the allies who supported us, and an urgent call to arms to never let these hard-won freedoms go in these dark times. After the show, a Q&A will involve the audience in a discussion about creating work inspired by real events, and how Paul’s music will continue to be informed by the experience.

WARNINGS: Coarse language, and adult themes. 16+ Photography and filming prohibited. 

Tickets to all Mardi Gras Central shows are on sale here.

Show credits:

Paul Mac Co-Creator & Composition
Lachlan Philpott Co-Creator & Lyrics
Kate Champion Director
Emily Irvine Choir Director
Peter Rubie Lighting Designer

Inner West Voices Choir:
Tish Arrellano
Jen Christie
Ben Conolly
Katie Crowl
Olivia Crowl
Dave Goldschmidt
Rebecca Hansen
Ben Hayes
Vanessa Hughes
Tessa Keenan

Jawoon Kim
Bruce Laidlaw

Tim Leslie
Rebecca Macintosh
Owen Milward
José Luis Pedraza de Vega
Phoebe Riorden
Drew Rooke
Brittany Sheahan
Simon Tobin
David Vallance

Emma Wortley

Andy Lysle Sound/AV Engineer
Technical Event Services Equipment Supplier
Liz Young Production Manager
Emily Oades Stage Manager

Mouche Phillips Producer
Marion Potts Executive Producer
Megan Roberts General Manager
Thom Smyth Marketing Manager
Liz Young Production Manager

Cake Daddy

Cake Daddy

Performed by Ross Anderson-Doherty
Written by Ross Anderson-Doherty & Lachlan Philpott
Directed by Alyson Campbell
Stage Manager Siobhan Barbour

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in association with Theatre Works and wreckedAllprods present:

A delicious new interactive cabaret banquet, Cake Daddy will plunge you belly-deep inside one gorgeous queer man’s experience of fat/ness, laying bare both the fortitude and fabulosity required to step into the world as a fat person today.

Cake Daddy is about being fat in a fat-phobic world. It’s about owning the word fat and refusing the scare-mongering and hatred-inspiring messages about an epidemic of obesity. It’s about not apologising for taking up space, not trying to diet, not trying to make oneself quiet, not trying to change one's body size.

Ross Anderson-Doherty invites you into his world, one that veers like a set of dieter’s scales between the lightness of Cake Daddy and the heavy weight of public opinion.

After the show on Thursday 21 February, Kelli Jean Drinkwater will do a Q&A with Ross Anderson-Doherty.

WARNINGS: Coarse language, nudity and adult themes. 18+ Photography and filming prohibited.

This event is supported by the British Council and Arts Council NI


The Butch Monologues

The Butch Monologues

Written by Laura Bridgeman
Directed by Julie McNamara
Stage Manager Siobhan Barbour
Developed by The Drakes, a London-based group of butches, transmen and gender rebels
Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in association with Theatre Works present: 

A powerful and often humorous collection of secret stories exploring sexuality, vulnerability and desire taken from interviews with butches, masculine women, gender rebels and transmen living world-wide. Based on the true stories of butch-identified women living in the UK, Europe, USA, Caribbean and now Australia, this work offers fresh language and intonation on butch beginnings, butch desire and desirability, butch bravado and vulnerability, butch-on-femme sex, butch-on-butch sex, switches, stones, butch as a trap, the butch body, violence, heroes and clothing.

WARNINGS: The Butch Monologues - Coarse language, and adult themes. Reference to sexual violence, drug use, coarse language, sexual references, suicide, S&M sex. 14+ No Flash. Photography and filming prohibited.

This project is supported by Arts Council England and Vital Xposure.

The Moors

The Moors

Siren Theatre Co and Seymour Centre present:

A hyper-theatrical and kinky homage to the Brontës; this play is about female power and what it is to write your own story. Two sisters and a dog live on the bleak English moors, and dream of love, power and notoriety. The arrival of a governess, the pointed schemes of a scullery maid, and the musings of a moorhen set this odd assembly on a strange and dangerous path.

A cleverly crafted black comedy about love, desperation, and visibility, The Moors is a brilliant new work by Jen Silverman, a fresh new voice who takes chances. From the company who made The Trouble with Harry, this is a play of subversive edginess toppling the male-oppressed milieus of the Brontës and taking strong, passionate female characters to new heights.

“The Moors is a queer reckoning of, and homage to, the Victorian gothic. Kinkily erotic, dreamlike and twisted, this Brontë sisters subversion for the modern age erupts the “dangerous desires” that for centuries went overwhelmingly untold..” - Kate Prendergast, Audrey Journal

BOOK HERE at the Seymour Centre website for shows 14 February - 1 March.



Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, Siren Theatre Co and Seymour Centre present: A peek, taste and celebration of new works by LGBTQIA+ writers. Where are the new gay Australian plays written, what are the stories and how are they told?

PLAYLIST is a selection of writers, theatre-makers and new talent who tell bold, unique LGBTQIA+ stories on stage for audiences hungry for new voices. Join us for a day of readings, pitches, presentations and performances with some special guests along the way! PLAYLIST is a partnership between Seymour Centre, Mardi Gras and Siren Theatre Co which celebrates the creation and development of original Australian theatre with a LGBTQIA+ focus.

Here's the program for the day:

9.00am - Breakfast Play

Grab a coffee and a pastry and start your day with a play.

promiscuous:cities by Lachlan Philpott, directed by Riley Spadaro

"A beautiful love letter to San Francisco, a city I adore, and this play - full of its wild life, beavers and coyotes and language and desire and fear and anxiety and the neighborhoods and the streets and the signs and smellsand the sex, all kinds of bodies and all kinds of sex - make this play a song, an ode, the way the ancients were the poets and the theatre was an arena and the story was the word. I would leave my heart in my seat." Emma Goldman-Sherman

We will follow the reading with brief discussion with the writer10.30am - Break (more coffee!!)

10.45am - Mid Morning Play

Preserving Jars by Michèle Saint-Yves, directed by Rosie Niven

Set under the looming doomsday of Y2K, Lawyer Simone's ice-coated reality starts breaking down from surging repressed memories of her childhood days with her brother, now living with AIDS. But ‘memories’ are not evidence and with no witnesses there’s no case. So how does she know it’s true? That's what Simone sets to find out.

Again, our writer will be present and we'll chat following the reading.

12.15pm - A session of two plays over lunch

Bring your lunch and enjoy two new plays by emerging writers.  These are two very different works! Our writers will be present and, if time permits,  we'll have a brief discussion about the play, the genesis and where to next?

Son of Byblos by James Elazzi, directed by Kevin Jackson

Adam, a first generation Lebanese Australian, is coming to terms with his sexuality. Furthermore, his cousin Claire is just about to get married to another gay man, in order to keep her sexuality secret. 

Let Me Know When You Get Home by Miranda Aguilar, directed by Liza-Mare Syron

Val, a Filipino teenager living in a conservative home in Fairfield is desperate to find a place where she can live her truth as a queer, adult woman, and tries to find it by joining a Mardi Gras group in the big city.  Meanwhile, her childhood best friend, Thi, is wrestling with her own identity and sexuality issues, and as a response, joins a bible study group. 

2.15pm - Break

2.30pm - 6.00pm - Salon Pieces, Scenes, Shorts and Cabaret

A phantasmagoria of worlds and a chance to hear some works-in-progress!!​

Gravity by Bradford Elmore, directed by Liz Arday

The story of a young married man who falls in love with another man and struggles to understand his bisexuality.​​

Devil Girl from Mars– the Play by Noelle Janaczewska, directed by Kate Gaul

Someone has been contacted … Others are asking questions. Is there life on Mars? Is marriage equality the same as equality? Devil Girl From Mars—The Play is about close encounters of an unexpected kind. And somehow it’s all tangled up with those science fiction films of the 1950s  

Monsters Anonymous by Nyx Dorian Calder, directed by Cathy Hunt

Audrey is a queer woman in a state of confusion. Her memory is full of holes, her head is pounding and her sleep is riddled with twisted dreams. Her only company? A set of decidedly unhelpful self-help tapes, and a stranger who claims to be her doctor. But her windowless, mirrorless concrete room is more reminiscent of a prison than a hospital.

And beneath all else, a growing, sickening hunger dogs her waking hours.

Monsters Anonymous is a play about identity, loss, queerness, uncertainty and rejection. It's also a story about hope, community and the resilience of the disadvantaged and the marginalised. And monsters. It's also about monsters. ​​

This Bitter Earth by Chris Edwards, directed by Anthony Skuse

Six stories. Six scenes. Six performers. An unstitched patchwork of queer lives in queer times. (We will hear two of these scenes read at PLAYLIST)

Fairy Gay Mothers by Erin Middleton, directed by Glenn Braithwaite

Erin can't tell her friends Matt and Liz who she wants to ask out to formal - mainly because she wants to ask a girl. Erin's plea for help is answered by the appearance of her Fairy Gay Mothers, who teach her some humorous queer basics, and leave her with encouragement and hope. 

Somebody’s Somebody by Christopher Fieldus aka Ms CeCe Rockefeller, dramaturg/outside eye Cathy Hunt

In song and story this sapphic salon celebrates worldly Ms CeCe's youthful awakening, spilling the details of a revelatory encounter with the magnanimous Mrs Monivae Jones, and the women who flocked to her at the Sebel Townhouse Hotel. An ugly duckling story - without all those wretched ducks! Our ingenue finds herself on the so-called Glittering Mile in the swing of Sydney in the sixties.


If you cannot get tickets on line (box office may indicate that allocation is exhausted) please turn up on the day - seats will be available!

Fair Day Official After Party

Fair Day Official After Party

Join us at Mardi Gras Central’s Festival Club for the official Fair Day after-party, where very special guests will delight partygoers with pop-up performances while our esteemed DJs will fill the floor with the ultimate dance and party tunes until the early hours.

After a day of soaking up the rays in Victoria Park with Sydney’s LGBTQI community head to the Festival Club for a night of entertainment and dancing featuring a stellar line-up of artists hosted by NICOLA and Kryptonite including DJ sets by Betty Grumble and pop-up performances from Trigger Happy's and Garret Lyon.

Entry is $5, or free with a Mardi Gras Central show ticket for 17 February.