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The Fabulous Wonder Mama - drag queen character
Photograph: Daniel Boud

Colourful Darlinghurst identities: The drag queen superhero

The Fabulous Wonder Mama is keeping Oxford Street Covid-Safe for Mardi Gras

By Time Out in association with City of Sydney
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Nobody does Mardi Gras like Darlo, and the ‘Pink Mile’ of Oxford Street (and surrounds) will be bursting with fabulousness for Oxtravaganza. This two-week celebration will see streets and businesses turning up the festivities with pop-up performances, live music, art walks, naked barbers and much more. 

Believe it or not, all the fun will be going down in a Covid-Safe way, and Oxford Street has its own superhero to keep everyone in line – the Fabulous Wonder Mama. 

“I am a superhero drag queen and glambassador of love and equality,” the Amazonian beauty tells us. “My base of operations is here in Sydney where I do all my superhero work. I was born on Glamazon Island, it's a magical Island hidden away from mankind. I was hatched from a magical golden egg at the end of the rainbow.”

Wonder Mama is an official Covid Marshall for Oxtravaganza: “I will be roaming the streets scanning for any Covid dissenters and I will make sure that they're behaving, social distancing and wearing their masks where appropriate. And I'll probably be squirting some people with hand sanitiser too.”

Armed with her see-through mask and megaphone, the only thing Wonder Mama will be spreading on the streets of Darlinghurst is the positive power of peace and love – and she knows these streets back to front, having hosted many walking tours through the nooks and crannies of Sydney’s queer nerve centre.

I was hatched from a magical golden egg at the end of the rainbow

When she isn’t patrolling the streets, Wonder Mama will be bringing joy to people of all ages with storytime readings: “I will be reading my very own book, The Fabulous Story of Wonder Mama, which has just been released and is available at The Bookshop Darlinghurst. I will also be reading some other LGBT+ inclusive stories, make sure you come on down and join me for Drag Queen Storytime.

“Mardi Gras this year is a little bit different. However, we are still celebrating with our brothers and sisters in our community. We're all gonna have a wonderful time, so come on down and join in the celebrations!” 

Head to Oxford Street between February 19 and March 7 to meet fantastic folks like the Fabulous Wonder Mama and the colourful characters of Oxtravaganza – just one of several Mardi Gras Festival events centring on Oxford Street and the pink mile that have been supported by the City of Sydney. 

Others include:

Exhibition: Doris ‘Fabulosity’ Fish: A Life in Drag!
This exhibition celebrates the life of Dorish Fish aka Phillip Mills (1952-1991), who enjoyed a career in Sydney and San Francisco and starred in and produced the drag cult classic film Vegas in Space. Room 205, 205 Oxford St, Darlinghurst, Feb 19-21 & Feb 26-28.

Film screening: Vegas in Space

The first – and possibly only – cult film to feature an all-drag cast, 1991’s sci-fi opus will be preceded by the Miss Universal Galactic Drag Queen Contest, with judges Danny Abood, Bob Downe and Cindy Pastel. Universal Sydney, 85-91 Oxford St, Darlinghurst. 7pm. Mon Mar 1. 

Theatre: Green Park

Two men meet in a park in this Griffin Theatre production of Elias Jamieson Brown’s play, performed in an actual park. The audience is supplied with headphones so they can catch all the dialogue. Green Park, Darlinghurst. Tue-Sat 7.15. Until Mar 1.

Exhibition: Robert Knapman Photography

Shops, bars and cafés around the Rainbow Crossing area will be displaying photographs by Robert Knapman that depict the behind-the-scenes hilarity and community spirit of Mardi Gras and Oxtravaganza. Taylor Sq & Bourke St, Feb 19-Mar 8.

Cabaret: Cabaret Oxtravaganza

A new generation of queer talent is coming up through the ranks as ambassadors of the LGBTQIA+ community and they're here to perform in an evening of diverse and dazzlingly camp variety. Stonewall, 175 Oxford St, Darlinghurst. Fri Mar 5.

Shopping: Shop Till U Drop 

For Shop Till U Drop day, local retailers will put on their best windows and retail offerings and there'll be entertainment both inside and outside stores. Darlinghurst. 11am-6pm. Sat Feb 27. 

Talk: The Rainbow Literary Society
Rebecca Langham and Kevin Klehr, two of Australia’s most distinguished LGBTQIA+ authors, will read excerpts from their latest novels and discuss their insights into being successful international authors. Stonewall, 175 Oxford St, Darlinghurst. Sat Feb 27. 

The Mardi Gras Parade on Sat Mar 6 is a ticketed event taking place at the Sydney Cricket Ground. Ticketed special events and viewing parties are taking place in and around the Oxford Street precinct. For Covid safety reasons the City of Sydney is asking that only ticket holders and reservation holders visit the area on the evening of Sat Mar 6.    

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