Riverside Theatres presents Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival
Featuring Enoch Mailangi, Liam Benson, Gary Paramanathan, Francisco Lopez, Ash Watson and Bronia Lemów.
Enter the raucous, radical and wildly funny world of Queerstories and listen to an unexpected tale or two from some of Australia’s finest LGBTQI+ storytellers. Fast becoming an institution around the country, Queerstories returns to Riverside Theatres for the third year running.
Join host Maeve Marsden and an eclectic line up of stars and strangers for an evening of our city’s queerstories, unexpected tales of lives well lived and battles fought, pride, prejudice, love and humour.
The LGBTQI+ community has been sharing stories for centuries, creating our own histories, disrupting and reinventing conventional ideas about narrative, family and community. In its usual home in Redfern, Queerstories has been selling out every month for more than three years, bringing storytellers from all walks of life to the stage.
Funny, moving, surprising and engaging, the stories from Queerstories are also available on the award-winning podcast and in a collection of stories published by Hachette in 2018.
Liam Benson is a multi-disciplinary artist whose practice incorporates performance, photography, video and textiles. Throughout 2019, Liam worked with CCA and a group of young LGBTIQA+ artists to develop and establish the Western Sydney based collective Arc-Hive. Based at Parramatta Artist Studios in Rydalmere, Liam collaborates with a community of makers through the workshop series Adorned, a collective who make and exhibit wearable art as practice of nurturing the culture of skill sharing. Liam Benson’s works are held in significant public and private collections including The MCA Australia, the Art Gallery of South Australia, Artbank and Western Sydney University.
Enoch Mailangi is an Aboriginal and Tongan TV writer and text-based artist based in Lakemba. Their practice and writing primarily champions themes of Blak mediocrity and explores celebrity culture as a vehicle of colonisation. They are a 2020 Sydney Theatre Company Emerging Playwright, a 2020 Urban Theatre Project Resident Artist, and an MFA student at the National Institute of Dramatic Arts. They’ve written for programs with Campbelltown Arts Centre, UNSW Galleries, Firstdraft, Running Dog and was a recipient of the Magabala Scholarship. They have been programmed in A25’s 2020 program at Belvoir for their new comedy Apologia.
Gary Paramanathan works at the intersection of arts, culture and community. Born in Sri Lanka and raised in Australia, Gary studied arts management, screen and media. He has written and directed a number of short films, including for ABC iView. He has written feature essays and recounted personal narratives including for The Guardian. Gary also runs a regular storytelling night focusing on POC stories, called Them Heavy People.
Bronia Lemow is a Deaf Kiwi living in Australia with their boyfriend and a ridiculously photogenic cat. They exude Well-Read, Anxiety-Ridden but Still Cute Bisexual energy while exploring their genderfluidity. Bronia is also an artist and a writer in their personal time, dreaming up epic and dramatic stories or obscure and weird scenarios, sometimes bringing them to life by writing short stories or novellas. They’re passionate about being involved in the LGBTIQA+ community by being the secretary for Deaf Rainbow NSW and being part of the crew of Camp Out, a camp for young LGBTIQA+ people. You’ll expect to see them head to toe in black, with a book and a Bi pride pin at any event.
Francisco Lopez is an actor and storyteller who was born in El Salvador and raised in the south east suburbs of Melbourne. He is a member of Sweatshop: Western Sydney Literacy Movement, founder of Well Well Well Productions, and co-chair of the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance’s Equity Wellness Committee. Francisco holds a Diploma of Stage and Screen Performance from the National Institute of Dramatic Art, a Professional Certificate of Executive Screen Production from Victoria University, and a Master of Health Administration from La Trobe University. His writing has been published in Hello Mr., Audrey Journal and The Equity Magazine.
Ash Watson is a performer and writer from Western Sydney. They most recently performed in The Butch Monologues as part of Sydney Mardi Gras 2019. They also do a bit of side hustle as a drag king as part of the yearly Butch/Stud performance night in Marrickville. They have a BA in Theatre, majoring in writing and dramaturgy, and studied Playwrighting at NIDA. Most of their life is spent working in community engagement projects. They don’t know much, but they know they love you, and that might be all you need to know.