Doris Fish Andrew Sharp Drag LGBT Rights photography Doris Fish Andrew Sharp

Acid, blood and police raids: the pioneering drag chaos of Sylvia and the Synthetics

Sydney venues until 1974.The impact they had on the community around them, and the next generation of performers, still reverberates.

And now a new exhibition devoted to one of the Synthetics’ key members, Doris Fish, is being staged for Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, featuring photographs, letters, film, posters and other archival material that covers the incredible breadth of Fish’s life and career.When the show opened last week, actor Andrew Sharp – another original member – remembered how Philip Mills got involved: a fresh-faced 19-year-old, Mills roller-skated in nothing but short-shorts all the way from Manly to Sydney city to convince the Synthetics to let him join them onstage.

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