Sydney Mardi Gras 2019 Launch performers
Sydney Mardi Gras 2019 Launch performers

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras have set up a cracking feature program of events for its 41st year kicking off on Friday 15 February and running through until the Parade on March 2, 2019.

This year’s theme is Fearless, based on the way LGBTQI people across the globe are courageously expressing who they are but also remembering those who were fearless in the past, the advocates, activists and individuals who have stood up for who they are and who they want to be.

Along with all the old favourites of other years like Fair Day, Pool Party, The Parade and the After Party, this year Mardi Gras will present an exciting program of local and international queer performance, theatre, music, dance, burlesque and cabaret all under the one roof.

The Seymour Centre will be transformed into Mardi Gras Central featuring the awesome Festival Club.

Program highlights include the phenomenal circus cabaret Club Briefs, Paul Mac in The Rise and Fall of St George, the inaugural Bent Burlesque featuring the stars of the Vienna Burlesque Festival, the world premiere of Shaun Parker’s KING and direct from the UK, The Butch Monologues and the brilliant Cake Daddy.

KING (Shot-Prudence Upton)
Shaun Parker’s KING (Image-Prudence Upton)

Speaking with Gay Nation at the launch, Mardi Gras Creative Director Greg Clarke said in 2019 they intend to shine the spotlight brightly on what’s happening in our world today and celebrating the fearless trailblazers of today.

“Our diverse and inclusive program is an exploration of sexuality, gender, body image, power, fearlessness, vulnerability, celebration and desire,” Clarke said.

“We were kind of looking for a theme that really encapsulated looking forward.

“We’ve just celebrated our 40th so we were pretty much looking back at the past history and really looking at those amazing activists that stood up and were strong and achieved so much so we wanted to still have something that came off the back of that but was really looking forward and really encouraging people to be fearless.

Clarke spoke of so many fearless shows that will appear across the two-week festival but he singled out Bent Burlesque for particular attention before you are booking.

“I think Bent Burlesque is going to be pretty, pretty special and I’m saying that because I’m excited about it because we’re producing it and creating it,” Clarke explained.

“It’s not like we have bought in a show. We are working with the Vienna Boylesque Festival and they are bringing out some of their stars and then we are putting in Australian Burlesque artists and creating a big show and bought Yana Alana in to host it.

“You probably havent seen anything like it before and you wont see it again, its a one off. And in saying that its over two nights, so its more like a two off.”

Mr. Gorgeous (New York) appearing in Bent Burlesque
Mr. Gorgeous (New York) appearing in Bent Burlesque

The massive 2019 Festival program together with Mardi Gras’ iconic and much loved events Fair Day, Parade Party, and Laneway look set to be one of the most exciting and biggest Mardi Gras yet.

Tickets for the curated program are now on sale at www.mardigras.org.au.