Sunderella: A tale as old as time, gay Bollywood-style

Sunderella: A tale as old as time, gay Bollywood-style

LAST UPDATED // Wednesday, 15 February 2017 10:00 Written by // Cec Busby

The classic fairytale story of Cinderella gets a Bollywood makeover in a new all-male production, part of the Mardi Gras Festival.

Handsome prince? Check. Fairy godmother? Check. Wicked stepmother? Check. Fairy tales don’t get much camper than Cinderella. Little wonder then that Kunal Mirchandani chose the tale for inspiration for this year’s Trikone production for the Mardi Gras Festival, Introducing Sunderella.

Mirchandani says Cinderella’s themes of longing and desire is something many LGBTI people can relate to.

“In the original Cinderella, a young orphan girl gets an ephemeral taste of the life of a princess. This sense of desire and yearning is something that most LGBTIQ people can relate to,” says Mirchandani.

“Which queer kid growing up in a conservative family hasn’t dreamt of living a ‘normal’ life that they imagine their parents would be proud of? But the dream is short-lived. Queer people eventually realise that they can’t change who they truly are. Our version of the story tells them that there is nothing wrong with who they are, and will hopefully inspire them to be more self-accepting.”


Using Cinderella’s familiar themes as a springboard, Mirchandani has re-imagined the story through a queer lens. The result is a sweeping tale of love and redemption, played out in by an all-male cast.

And while the drama may sound a little heavy, Mirchandani assures us Sunderella is a “fun and colourful night of sequin-studded costumes”.

He suggests audiences should expect colourful attire, dazzling jewelry and hilarious moments alongside energetic and entertaining Bollywood numbers.

“It’s a little bit of magic and eight sweeping dance performances – Sunderella has it all. Our audiences will particularly enjoy the antics of the mother and her two daughters, played to campy perfection by our Bollywood drag artists.”

Mirchndani says by attending, audiences will also be doing their bit for charity by raising funds for Trikone, which helps raise awareness about LGBTIQ South Asian living in Australia.

“So come along, have a bucket load of laughs, and support a great cause along the way!”

Sunderella is on February 17-26, at Pact Centre for Emerging Artists, 107 Railway Parade, Erskineville. Book at


Cec Busby

Cec Busby

Cec Busby is the news editor of SX and online editor of

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