Trevor Ashley

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Trevor Ashley
Trevor Ashley (19877441340).jpg
Ashley at the 2015 Helpmann Awards
Born (1980-02-27) 27 February 1980 (age 42)
Years active1998–present

Trevor Ashley (born 27 February 1980) is an Australian musical theatre actor, cabaret and drag artist based in Sydney. He also has appeared on television in "The Very Trevor Ashley Show"

Early life[edit]

Ashley grew up in the south of Sydney and studied at the Shopfront a contemporary theatre. 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.[citation needed]

Ashley attended Sydney Technical High School where 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 favourite 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.

On return to Australia, he created the show Pop Princess with Phil Scott. He soon became "Mardi Gras Royalty"[1] and followed up this with Pop Princess 2, two years later in 2005.

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.[2] 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.[3][4][5]

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.[6] 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.

I'm Every Woman, commissioned by the Sydney Opera House, paid tribute to Ashley's favourite divas living and dead.[7] The show was nominated for a Sydney Theatre Award for Best Cabaret.[8]

He has nominated for a Helpmann Award for Best Cabaret Performer for Diamonds are for Trevor in 2012, in which Ashley appeared as Shirley Bassey.

Liza (on a E), featuring his impersonation of Liza Minnelli, had seasons in Australian and the UK.[9] In 2015, he announced a new cabaret show, entitled Liza's Back! (is broken), debuting at the Fairfax Studio, Arts Centre Melbourne from 21–31 January 2016.[10]

He played Natalie Portly in his adult pantomime Fat Swan in 2012, a Black Swan parody written with longtime collaborator Phil Scott. His 2013 musical comedy Little Orphan trAshley starred Rhonda Burchmore and Gary Sweet.[11]


Ashley created the role of Miss Understanding in the original cast of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert: The Musical.[12] 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?".

He performed in Jerry Springer: The Opera under the direction of Gale Edwards at the Sydney Opera House in 2009.[13]

In 2010-11, Ashley played the role of Edna Turnblad in Hairspray in Melbourne and Sydney.[14]

In July 2012, Ashley appeared as Franz Leibkind in The Producers for The Production Company in Melbourne.

Ashley played Thenadier in the Australian 2014-15 tour of Les Misérables, opposite Lara Mulcahy as Madame Thenadier. For this role, he was nominated for a Helpmann Award for Best Male Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical and received a Best Supporting Performer in Music Theatre (male) Award at Sydney's 2015 Glug Awards.[15]

In 2015, Ashley directed the Australian premiere of Heathers: The Musical.[16] The production was first staged at Hayes Theatre in Sydney for a 19-day run, and then was transferred the following year for short seasons in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney (with the latter being an encore production staged at the Sydney Opera House).[17][18][19]

2017 saw Ashley play King Herod in the Australian revival of Jesus Christ Superstar, starring alongside Rob Mills as Christ. The production ran from 29 July to 13 August at Arts Centre Melbourne.[20]

Year Production Role
2006–2008 Priscilla, Queen of the Desert Miss Understanding
2009 Jerry Springer: The Opera Ensemble
2010–2011 Hairspray Edna Turnblad
2011–2012 Fat Swan Natalie Portly
2012 The Producers Franz Leibkind
2013 Little Orphan trAshley Orphan Fannie
2014 – 2015 Les Miserables Thenardier
2017 Jesus Christ Superstar King Herod
2017 – 2018 The Bodybag - The Panto Rachel Marinade


In 2012, Australian network SBS announced it had commissioned a pilot called The Very Trevor Ashley Show.[21] It was shown as a one-night-only program in May 2012.[22]


  1. ^ "Mardi Gras royalty". The Sydney Morning Herald. 18 February 2003. Retrieved 2 October 2013.
  2. ^ "Trevor's turn to misbehave". Star Observer. 25 March 2009. Retrieved 2 October 2013.
  3. ^ Mattarelli, Vito (19 January 2009). "Showqueen | Trevor Ashley". Australian Stage Online. Retrieved 2 October 2013.
  4. ^ "Come to the cabaret". The Sydney Morning Herald. 10 December 2008. Retrieved 2 October 2013.
  5. ^ "Your table's waiting - cabaret is back". The Sydney Morning Herald. 10 October 2009.
  6. ^ Dow, Steve (6 February 2009). "Double trouble". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2 October 2013.
  7. ^ "Trevor Ashley". The Sydney Morning Herald. 5 July 2010. Retrieved 2 October 2013.
  8. ^ "The home of Australian Theatre". AussieTheatre. Archived from the original on 13 March 2011. Retrieved 2 October 2013.
  9. ^ Shenton, Mark (29 August 2013). "Trevor Ashley to Reprise Liza (on An E) for Short U.K. Tour Including West End Date". Playbill. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  10. ^ Cooke, Dewi (20 October 2015). "Trevor Ashley drags Liza Minnelli back to Broadway". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 25 October 2015.
  11. ^ Bochenski, Natalie (11 July 2013). "Adults-only panto too funny for Sweet to miss out". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 21 July 2013.
  12. ^ Hallett, Bryce (2 October 2006). "Priscilla heads for new adventures". The Age. Melbourne. Retrieved 2 October 2013.
  13. ^ Simmonds, Diana (24 April 2009). "jerry springer - the opera". Stage Noise. Retrieved 2 October 2013.
  14. ^ Bithell, Garrett (28 June 2010). "Trevor Ashley to star in Hairspray". SX News. Archived from the original on 6 July 2010. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
  15. ^ "2015 Glugs Theatre Awards Winners". Stage Whispers. 2 February 2016. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
  16. ^ "Trevor Ashley: Working Girl".
  17. ^ "Heathers the Musical review: Impressive, calculating and anything but coy". 23 July 2015.
  18. ^ "Stage Briefs | Stage Whispers".
  19. ^ "Original mean girls return in Heathers". 8 June 2016.
  20. ^ "Full cast of Jesus Christ Superstar - Theatre People". 3 June 2017.
  21. ^ Knox, David (23 April 2012). "Trevor Ashley pilot for SBS". TV Tonight. Retrieved 2 February 2016.
  22. ^ Knox, David (20 May 2013). "Airdate: The Very Trevor Ashley Show (pilot)". TV Tonight. Retrieved 21 July 2013.