Mark Preston as his drag alter-ego, Miss Zandra.

The inspirational story of Mark Preston’s life and how performing in drag ‘saved his life’ has been turned into a play.

The Road to Zandra will debut at Nottingham’s Squire Performing Arts Centre at the end of March, and tells the tale of the performer’s lengthy battle with depression and how becoming Miss Zandra, Mark’s drag alter-ego, helped him overcome it.

The grandfather, from Kimberley, started doing drag over twenty-three years ago and has, in that time, raised over three-hundred and seventy-thousand pounds for various local charities.

“I love being Miss Zandra. It saved my life so I thought, why not give back.”

Mark Preston, Drag Queen

After struggling with his mental health for years, Mark travelled to Blackpool to spend some time with friends. Whilst on the trip, with friends, Mark entered into a drag competition, which to his surprise, he won. Since then, he has continued performing.

Mark’s charity work has been recognised when he was nominated for a Pride of Britain Award, and now his story has been turned into a theatre production.

The Road to Zandra will debut between March 31 and April 1, with Jack Burrows, an actor from Ashfield, taking on the role of Mark.

While he won’t be the star of the show on this occasion, Preston will be playing a cameo role in the show and has worked alongside the directors to get the story to stage.

The Road To Zandra.

Jayne Williams, participation director at New Perspectives and writer of The Road to Zandra, says she’s enjoyed getting to know Mark over the past few months in the process of writing the play.

“We’ve drank copious amounts of tea and chatted for hours about all sorts to figure out how best to tell the story of the man behind the makeup. We hope audiences enjoy it,” she says.

Click Here for tickets for ‘The Road to Zandra’.

If you have been affected by Mark’s story you can find advice here.