Introducing ‘Stardust’, the coming-of-age play set to sweep Sydney Fringe Festival

After turning heads at WorldPride, Stardust is poised to overrun Fringe Festival with moments of “comedy, heartache, disappointment, and song.”

Stardust, the Paul Bugden-penned play that debuted as part of 2023’s Sydney WorldPride, is set to be revived for audiences at the Sydney Fringe Festival later this month.

A coming-of-age tale of queerness set in 1970s New York, Stardust stars Robbie Alexander as Tommy, an Australian expat with plans to someday see his name in lights. 

Stardust play Fringe Festival

Under 1970s New York Nicholas Flanagan’s direction, the 60-minute monologue sees Tommy navigate the sexual liberation of post-Stonewall New York, with stints as an erotic dancer and burlesque performer along the way.

Hitting close to home, Stardust documents experiences of a homophobic Australia prior to the Campaign Against Moral Persecution (C.A.M.P.).  

Stardust play Fringe Festival

Like any great piece of art, Stardust is steeped in personal context. Bugden himself lived in New York in the 70s, and bore witness to the era’s complex mix of sexual liberation and criminal underbelly.

With multiple credits and a bookshop to his name Bugden is best poised to tell this tale of heartbreak, humour and a courageous spirit.

“Hopefully the play demonstrates how far we’ve come,” Bugden told Scenestr of the intentions behind the play. “It can also serve as a warning as to how easily things can revert.”  

Stardust play Fringe Festival

Stardust has earned praise from a slew of starry names, from former rugby league player and activist Ian Roberts to Puberty Blues star Susie Porter.

It opened to widespread acclaim when it showed as part of Pride’s Amplified festival, and it’s sure to impress again when it finds new audiences at the Sydney Fringe Festival.   

Stardust play Fringe Festival

Stardust runs from September 19 – September 23 at the Flight Path Theatre in Marrickville, Sydney. For ticketing and more event details, head here