Thanks to missing the first round of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert: The Musical at the Lyric Theatre, I discovered rather late that Trevor Ashley’s rise to fame was due to his show-stopping turn as Miss Understanding.
When I covered the DIVAs, he graced the stage as Cleo Coupe -” a larger-than-life character with a personality you can’t help but notice when on the stage.
More recently, he was joined by Courtney Act and Virginia Gay in the Mardi Gras revue-style musical comedy, Gentlemen Prefer Blokes, where he got to be Cher and Miranda Priestly within moments of each other.
That show was so much fun and it was so fabulous working alongside Courtney and Virginia, Ashley said.
We are booked for Perth and David Campbell wants us to go to the Adelaide Cabaret Festival.
At 18, Ashley made his debut at the Sydney Cabaret Convention and is the mastermind behind the Mardi Gras shows Pop Princess and Pop Princess 2: Australian Idle (which led to his Priscilla gig).
It’s not like pub drag, what I do, and I’m very proud I’ve never had a day job in my life since I left school -” to be working in the industry for over 10 years now and to basically be a self-made person, Ashley said.
It’s pretty much me working and working really hard on what I do to get where I am and not from going on a television show and I’m very proud of that.
Last year, Ashley thought it was time to put away the heels. He travelled to the UK to visit Australian film director and screenwriter Stephan Elliott who he met after Pop Princess 2 in 2005.
During his visit he stayed with Elliott, who was working on the feature film Easy Virtue. On the last leg of the trip, Elliott called him into the studio and got Ashley to record the film’s theme song.
I was hanging out and Stephan said, -˜Did you want to come into the studio and have a look at the film when we are doing mixing?’. When I was in the studio he said, -˜Can you do a 1920 sound’, Ashley told Sydney Star Observer.
I went back on my last day and spent three hours in the studio and put down four different songs and they picked Let’s Misbehave as the theme song for the movie.
It’s a very exciting song. I recorded that song in about 40 minutes and it ends up on the film. It’s very camp and is an old Cole Porter song.
In the meantime, Ashley will play one of the bogans in Jerry Springer: The Opera which comes to Sydney on Tuesday 21 April. I play one of the very straight westies who is screaming obscenities at the cast. I’m really looking forward to it and it’s a different role for a change, he said.
It is going to be a jam-packed year for this musical superstar of the stage, Oxford St venues and now the recording industry. It will be exciting to see his next step.