Unsung Heroes tells the story of WA drag king pioneer Effie Fellows

Black Swan State Theatre Company are diving into local history with an online performance series that reveals the untold stories of five incredible Western Australians.

Unsung Heroes brings a world premiere season directed by Emily McLean and Joe Paradise Lui that brings together some of WA’s best local talent to bring the tales of WA’s lesser known icons to the stage.

Among these stories is The Perfect Boy, written by Gita Bezard and performed by Caitlin Beresford-Ord, which follows the life of Effie Fellows; a pioneer in the realm of male impersonation.

According to the State Library of WA records, Fellows was born in Subiaco in 1893, taking to the stage from the brink of World War I and touring the world as a drag king before the term was coined.

Fellows returned to Perth in the 1930s, bringing her act to community centres and nursing homes around the state, up until her death in 1977 at the age of 84.

The series also includes a tales of a renowned musician (Song In The Key Of Trust), a doctor fighting for the right to die with dignity (Lesson in the Art of Butterfly), a woman whose survival story changed domestic violence law in Australia (Own Way) and The Unremarkable and Ordinary Life of Carmella Caterina Tassone (Née Panaia).

All five pre-recorded performances will be live streamed for free, with Q&A’s after each performance. Registered attendees will be able to stream on demand from Wednesday 22nd July.

The Perfect Boy live streams from 7:30pm this Thursday 23rd July. For the full program or to register, head to BSSTC.com.au

Image: Museum of Performing Arts / Perth Theatre Trust


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