Not every country boy can suppress their sexuality like the fishing buddies in Brokeback Mountain – some locals have a flame burning brighter than the annual town fireworks display.

Picture this. A coming out story set in rural NSW with a confused adolescent struggling for acceptance within his own local community. Does it sound like your story or that of a friend?

Silvertop Ash is a new play that hopes to inspire the community this Mardi Gras.

“The play is set in Mittagong, but you could really transfer it to any Australian small country town – beautiful but full of secrets,” playwright Wayne Tunks said.

“The heart of this play is a drama, but there is also a love story between young men. It is a first love and one they are both quite frightened of. The boys have some wonderfully tender scenes that show their emerging love.”

The production is based around the protagonist Hamish who aspires to be a film maker, but becomes lost in his own inner turmoil.

“This was a very personal play for me to write as I took some of my own feelings as a young gay man from a rougher area and put them in the play,” Tunks said.

“I think most gay men can relate to this story, those who have read the play have been moved and identified with the story.

 “The cast have had a very emotional rehearsal process, and that is bound to cross over into the audience.”

The show opens at the Riverside Theatre in Parramatta 14 February and will continue until 23 February. It’s directed by Felicity Burk and features young actors Ben Gerrard and Samuel Faull.

“I had a lot to say when writing this play – issues that I think are important to young gay teens,” Tunks said.

“It’s important for Mardi Gras to travel out west. To give a gay voice to more than just your usual gay villages, entering suburbia and showing them something new.”

Tickets start at $28. Bookings on 8839 3399 or

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