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Punk Play Hedwig and the Angry Inch Postponed Over Casting of Hugh Sheridan as Trans Lead

hugh sheridan 2

An open letter, signed by Australian industry figures calls for Aussie actor Hugh Sheridan to be recast.

The Australian production of ‘Hedwig and the Angry Inch’ – a play about a gender-queer punk-rock singer from East Berlin – has been postponed after a petition said that the lack of LGBTQ representation in the show was a “disappointment” and that the choice to cast “a cisgender male as a transgender character is offensive and damaging to the trans community.”

Punktuation News | 13/11/20 Aussie Actor Hugh Sheridan to play gender-queer punk-rock singer from East Berlin

Actor and ‘Wentworth’ star Zoe Terakes wrote an open letter to Sydney Festival explaining why trans representation is vital when telling the story of a trans character. They also called for the recasting of Sheridan, who in October said he was attracted to both men and women but avoids labelling himself or his sexuality

In the postponement announcement, the ‘Hedwig’ team said it “auditioned a wide and diverse range of performers” but wanted to reassure the trans and LGBTQ community that “the issues raised are respected and taken very seriously”.

The story of Hedwig has gained a cult status since emerging from the Lower East Side of New York City as a punk drag show, a Broadway musical and then a 2001 film.

The Sydney Festival production was meant to premiere at the Enmore Theatre in Sydney from January 2, 2021 but has been postponed. 

Shock jock Ben Fordham claimed it was “disgraceful discrimination” against Sheridan by “fun police” as the theatre world “tried to get back on its feet”. 

Sydney Festival said an announcement on the new cast will be forthcoming.

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