To say things have been difficult for our friends in the entertainment industry during the pandemic would be an understatement and the ‘sad clown’ picture Trevor Ashley posted on his Facebook fan page around the beginning of the last set of lockdowns truly was worth a thousand words about the despair and uncertainty artists were facing.
The Inner West Independent chatted with Trevor during a brief moment of calm set amongst an otherwise swirling and chaotic schedule of preparations for his triumphant return to a Sydney Opera House stage at the end of the month – the first show to open in the Studio since Sydney slammed shut at the end of June.
When asked for one word to describe the difference between the day that photo was posted and today, he replies, “Hope. I think I’m hopeful that this nightmare is over. The hardest part about everything was the lack of control… we have been at the whim of government decisions and we all lost confidence. I hope now we can start to get that back.”
Trevor happened to be finishing up a successful three week run at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival at the end of June when the poop started to hit the fan and was eventually locked out of his home state for 17 long weeks, traversing around Queensland and the NT to wait it out.
But with all that in the rearview mirror, it’s time to look forward and to new opportunities – a philosophy that Trevor has taken and run straight into the jungle with, opening an updated version of his successful show from 2019, The Lyin’ Queen, at the Opera House no less!
What’s it like having the opportunity to have his first show after lockdown open at one of the most iconic performance spaces in the world?
“It’s pretty special. I never take it for granted that I have had the opportunity to perform there so many times, from my first show I’m Every Woman there over 11 years ago, to now. I also really love playing this role, and making people laugh – everyone needs that at the moment!”
With his characteristically outrageous sense of humour on display, the original run of the show had them rolling in the Opera House aisles, so you can only imagine the delicious material the last two years provided.