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).
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.
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.
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’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.
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.
Trevor Ashley is at it again! This Christmas will see Trevor flying high in a raucous parody called “Moulin Scrooge” being performed at the Seymour Centre in December, 2022.
I had the pleasure of working with Trevor again on the photography for the poster work. We hadn’t seen each other for some time so it was great to have him in full make-up and drag, bursting into the studio for the shoot.
We set up a mock trapeze in the centre of the studio as the main prop to recreate the illusion of “Nicole Kidman”. As you can imagine the whole shoot was hilarious. Trevor has a natural capacity to keep you giggling even when you should be concentrating on more serious concerns.
At the end of November, the new season of Trevor Ashley’s production of “The Lyin’ Queen” begins at the Sydney Opera House.
Trevor came to the studio to complete a series of new publicity shots with Todd McKenney (Dancing with the Stars, The Boy from Oz and numerous TV and stage productions) who has just joined the cast going into the new season in Sydney.
The day after the shoot, the Sydney Morning Herald published a story (30-31 Oct, 2021) promoting Trevor’s show and the return to normality in the theatre world, reproducing a still from our shoot (see below).
The Weekend Telegraph ran an article in “Sydney Shortcuts” on the weekend with a one of my production images from last year’s sell-out season to promote the 2021 season (see below).
As Trevor says; “I couldn’t be more thrilled that Todd has joined the cast of the show. He’s an Aussie legend and has the best sense of humour, so I can’t wait to be on stage with him in this outrageously hilarious comedy.”
Expect dinosaurs, politics, parodies and an inflatable gorilla in this laugh-a-minute musical extravaganza and wild romp.