Trevor Ashley does it again! He presents a brand new mash-up of fun, satire and raucous sillyness at the Seymour Centre in Sydney. I had the pleasure of photographing production shots at the dress rehearsal earlier this week.
As Trevor explains the plot…….
“Prepare to be transported to the magical world beneath the waves, where the vivacious Tania McMermaid (Trevor Ashley) takes center stage. In this heartwarming story, Tania finds solace after a recent loss as she checks into the opulent and mysterious hotel, The Little Lotus. Little does she know, this will be the setting for a life-changing adventure, where destiny and love intertwine. Weaving her way through this underwater paradise, Tania’s path collides with that of a handsome Italian Prince, setting the stage for a captivating romance that will leave audiences and the actors breathless.
But beware! Lurking in the shadows is the malevolent sea witch, Gaviscon (the legendary Carlotta), determined to thwart Tania’s hopes and dreams. Will Tania overcome the challenges thrown her way? Will she find true love with the character formerly known as Prince? Will the evil sea witch shatter her hopes forever? Or will a live action remake kill the whole thing!?”
CAST: Trevor Ashley, Jakob Ambrose, Stephen Madsen, Jarrod Moore and Carlotta AM
I love capturing a few shots backstage, if possible. I find it interesting to see the players preparing for their performance….makeup, costuming, the conversation etc. The following are a few images in the dressing rooms just prior to the performance.
Following a recent photoshoot with Trevor in my studio (see blog entry 15 August, 2023), it has been announced that a raucous team of intrepid thespians are returning to entertain audiences at the Seymour Centre in Sydney, starting from December 7, 2023.
Not remotely referencing a beloved musical film or a cult TV show, the vivacious Tania McMermaid (Trevor Ashley) is checking-in to the underwater hotel The Little Lotus. It doesn’t take long for Tania’s bedazzled fins to catch the attention of the handsome Character Formerly Known As Prince (Jakob Ambrose), but beware – lurking in the shadows is the malevolent sea witch, Gaviscon (the legendary Carlotta AM).
Curtain call from “Moulin Scrooge”, performed at the Seymour Centre in 2022 with Jarred Moore, Carlotta, Trevor Ashley, Jacob Ambrose and Stephen Madsen
For 18 performances only, the full cast of Moulin Scrooge! are reunited for The White Mermaid, under the sea in a musical dose of the ridiculous – starring Trevor Ashley, Jakob Ambrose, Stephen Madsen, Jarrod Moore and the legendary Carlotta AM, with dazzling costumes by Angie White, lighting by Sam Wylie and choreography by Heath Keating.
Angie White (costume designer extraordinaire) puts the finishing touches on Trevor’s costume before the shot
We produced a series of other looks during our photo-session
On Friday night (December 9), I had the extreme pleasure of being entertained by Trevor Ashley’s production of Moulin Scrooge at the Seymour Centre in Sydney. Only a week prior, I was backstage photographing the performers during their preparations for the dress rehearsal of this new adult panto, which I also recorded.
Trevor Ashley and Carlotta on stage during the dress rehearsal of Moulin Scrooge
When it’s possible, I like to capture informal shots in the dressing room, with the actors applying their makeup, prior to the main shoot. This helps to establish a good working atmosphere. Trevor said to me: “Come a bit earlier, if you like, because I know how you love to get a few shots backstage”. And it’s true, I do find these behind-the-scenes photographs and outtakes fascinating.
Now a week later, as an audience member, I thoroughly enjoyed the production, cleverly written by Trevor Ashley and Phil Scott. And performed beautifully by Trevor, his “high-kicking” supporting trio of Jakob Ambrose, Jarrod Moore and Stephen Madsen, and of course his magnificent co-star Carlotta (“the Queen of the Cross”). I also have to mention the fabulous costumes by Angela White.
Carlotta exerts fierce concentration…necessary for the preparation of the character of Astrid Zeneca.
Carlotta’s show-stopping performance of the Sondheim classic “I’m Still Here” (with a poignant libretto rewritten by Ashley and Scott), tracked her journey from a vilified Balmain schoolboy to national icon. Her rendition moved the audience to their feet for a well-deserved standing ovation. It is a testament to why Carlotta is considered one of Australia’s ground-breaking treasures and why Ashley so generously provided a new platform for one of his all-time “drag mothers”. Nearing her 80th birthday, Carlotta especially came out of retirement to perform as the club-owner of Moulin Scrooge.
“Moulin Scrooge” has opened at the Seymour Centre in Sydney to wild laughter and much merriment, both on-stage and off. I have had the pleasure of photographing the various stages of the production, including the poster and the dress rehearsal, which gave me a sneak preview of Trevor Ashley’s latest parody. This pre-Christmas spectacle features the iconic Carlotta, known as The Queen of Kings Cross, who shares the stage with Trevor, Jakob Ambrose, Stephen Madsen and Jarrod Moore. The mood is fiery and fierce.
Playing the role of club-owner Astrid Zeneca, Carlotta is a force to be reckoned with. As Australian entertainment royalty, Carlotta is an original cast member of the long-running Sydney-based male revue Les Girls cabaret show, which established an international following starting in 1962. Although best known as a cabaret performer, Carlotta appeared in the television series “Number 96” in 1974 as Miss Robyn Ross, in a storyline where she reveals that she is transgender. Her ground-breaking appearance in the show is the first time a transgender actress played a transgender TV character anywhere in the world. We need to applaud our true legends.
Carlotta takes the stage
Meanwhile Trevor Ashley is known for his irreverent revues which include the likes of “The Bodybag”, “Little Orphan Trashley”, “Fat Swan” and “The Lyin’ Queen”, some of his long line-up of stage hits. Now, together with Phil Scott, Ashley has written a madcap adults-only panto as a satirical twist on a beloved Dickensian tale.
Here are a few images from the fast-paced show, with choreography by Rhys Bobridge, costumes by Angie White and lighting design by Sam Wylie. Book a ticket and treat yourself to a hilarious evening of stirring musical extravaganzas, purposely bad jokes, salacious dance numbers and lots, lots more.