Ashley grew up in the south of Sydney and studied at the Shopfront Theatre for Young People. There he worked with Errol Bray, John Du Feu and playwright Hilary Bell. He appeared in Alice with Paul Capsis, and in Peter Pan with screen actor Bryan Brown. He also played Passepartout in their production of Around the World in Eighty Days.
While at Sydney Technical High School he studied music and drama, played in the school bands and began writing orchestrations and arrangements. He was then chosen to be part of the Schools Spectacular, and the Talent Development Project under the direction of Mary Lopez. He graduated from high school in 1997.
Ashley made his professional debut in the Sydney Cabaret Convention 1998. His performance impressed both the critics and judges with the Cabaret Hotline calling him "A knockout performer… the clear crowd favorite and the only one to emulate a 'cabaret sensibility'". He then toured his show Trevor The Arena Mega Musical to New York's Don't Tell Mama and The Talk of London in England.
He was chosen to create the role of Miss Understanding in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert: The Musical in its original Australian cast. He performed the role over 600 times in Sydney and Melbourne, and is featured on the Original Cast Recording, singing "What's Love Got To Do With It?".
Priscilla film director Stephan Elliott then chose Ashley to sing the theme song to his 2008 film Easy Virtue, "Let's Misbehave". The film stars Colin Firth, Jessica Biel and Kristin Scott Thomas. After this, Ashley created and continued to host Showqueen, a weekly cabaret night at the Supper Club in Sydney. Showqueen featured special guests and notable cabaret performers, and also had a successful season in Melbourne. Previous guests have included Toni Lamond, iOTA, Virginia Gay, Genevieve Lemon and Matthew Robinson.
For Mardi Gras 2009, Ashley teamed with drag star Courtney Act to great acclaim in Gentlemen Prefer Blokes, a bawdy revue style show that ran in Sydney twice, and also played the Adelaide Cabaret Festival and a season at His Majesty's Theatre, Perth. Gentlemen Prefer Blokes had to be rewritten two weeks prior to the Sydney run after Courtney Act suffered a broken leg while skiing in Canada. Soap star Virginia Gay from Channel 7's All Saints joined the cast to play Courtney's body double.
Most recently he has performed in Jerry Springer: The Opera under the direction of Gale Edwards at the Sydney Opera House. He also created and starred in a new piece commissioned by the Sydney Opera House, entitled "I'm Every Woman". This show paid tribute to Ashley's favourite divas living and dead. The show has been nominated for a Sydney Theatre Award for best Cabaret.
He has played Natalie Portly in his show Fat Swan in 2012, a Black Swan parody, termed an adults-only pantomime and written with longtime collaborator Phil Scott. From 8 until 15 July 2012, Ashley appeared as Franz Leibkind in The Producers for The Production Company in Melbourne.
|2006–8||Priscilla, Queen of the Desert||Miss Understanding|
|2009||Jerry Springer: The Opera||Ensemble|
|2011-12||Fat Swan||Natalie Portly|
|2013||Little Orphan trAshley||Orphan Fannie|
||This article uses bare URLs for citations, which may be threatened by link rot. (July 2013)|
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- "Trevor Ashley pilot for SBS" by David Knox, tvtonight.com.au, 23 April 2012
- "Airdate: The Very Trevor Ashley Show (pilot)" by David Knox, tvtonight.com.au, 20 May 2013
- "Adults-only panto too funny for Sweet to miss out" by Natalie Bochenski, Brisbane Times, 11 July 2013