On the 44th anniversary of Sydney’s first ever Mardi Gras, held in 1978, join us as we celebrate some of Sydney’s fascinating drag history.

Go back in time to the 1940s, when burlesque female impersonator Lea Sonia ruled the stage, and hear the stories behind some of the Justice & Police Museum collection’s most striking images of female impersonators.

The event includes drag performances throughout the evening and drag-inspired life drawing.

Floor Talks

Curator, Nerida Campbell, will share a story about Neville McQuade, pictured here in a police mugshot, who was mentored by Lea Sonia. In the dark days of World War two Neville’s love of flamboyant costumes drew police attention and unwelcome public scrutiny.


Nerida Campbell is a curator with Sydney Living Museums who has a fascination with the darker side of history. Her recent exhibitions have explored the Underworld of the Roaring Twenties, the work of undercover cops and the stories of NSW’s most intriguing female criminals. Read more

Booking essential

General: $30

Member: from $5 (includes a free drink)

Ticket includes museum entry.

18+. This is a licenced event.

Members enjoy a 20% discount on event tickets

When & Where

Friday 24 June 2022 5PM–8PM

Justice & Police Museum

Corner Albert and Phillip Streets, Circular Quay, Sydney, NSW 2000
+612 02 9252 1144

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