TREVOR ASHLEY’S THE BODYBAG.
Fans of Whitney (and Paulini) beware! Trevor Ashley’s “barbed and smutty” panto, The Bodybag is not for the faint of heart!
THE BODYBAG ENSEMBLE. DNA: Your current show, The Bodybag; The Panto is, perhaps, “inspired” by The Bodyguard. Are you a fan of the show?
Trevor Ashley: I’ve seen the show in the UK and here. “Fan” of the musical might be a bit too strong… I love the movie, but I think the musical has problems. Apart from a lack of structure and a pantomime-esque stalker, it has really good songs. Was that diplomatic?
Yes! What about Whitney? Is she one of your divas?
She is! I’ve loved her forever… My favourites of her songs are definitely her ’80s dance hits – How Will I Know is my favourite Whitney song ever – but I also like some of her later dance stuff, too. Not to mention the power ballads. She could pop out a power ballad like nobody’s business.
And are you BFFs with Paulini, who played the Whitney role on stage in Australia?
I’ve known Paulini so long I remember when her name was Pauline! We did the Schools Spectacular together in the early 1800s. I’ve heard, through sources, that she thought the whole idea that we parody her is hilarious. She booked to see the show twice in December but never came, so I’m crossing my fingers that she’ll be there for this season!
Who is your leading man? How’s he going with the lifts? My hunky leading man is Gus Murray, who was in The Great Gatsby. He’s had a bit of practice now but, let’s be honest, he’s not going to last long. It’s like a chihuahua carrying an elephant.
We know you are currently sporting a broken shoulder… How did you break it, and how have you kept performing?
It’s been shit, actually. It’s been a long and involved recovery, and I’m still not there yet. There was a wet floor and I slipped on a ramp and hit the bottom of it so hard I broke my hand and my shoulder. The hand was operated on with four screws holding it together now, but the shoulder has to heal on its own, which is no fun at all. They won’t even give me painkillers anymore. For this show we had to modify the choreography so it’s basically one-armed. It’s been a long six months.
Yourself, Courtney Act, Matt Mitcham, Paul Capsis… the queer cabaret scene is really thriving in Australia at the moment. Do you feel supported as an artist?
I feel very lucky to get to do what I do. People have been coming to my shows in record numbers so I’m pretty thrilled about that. I’m sad with the [decline in number of gay media outlets] that we now have fewer ways of getting our stories out but I’m very glad DNA is still around to chat about it!
So are well! It’s our Sports Issue – do you have a sport you love to play or watch?
Look, can’t say I watch or play any sport. I do manage 10-metre wading, if that counts, and I’m pretty good at watersports, but in a different way. That’s about it.
Are there any particular sports men you’re a fan of?
I follow Tom Daley and Adam Rippon on Instagram, so they’d be my favourite sports men. But I think they’re more “sports twinks” really, aren’t they?
MORE: The Bodybag; The Panto plays at the Sydney Opera House, May 16 to 23; and the Melbourne Comedy Theatre, May 31 to June 2. For Sydney bookings go to sydneyoperahouse.com For Melbourne bookings go to Ticketmaster.com.au
TREVOR AS RACHEL MARINADE AND GUS MURRAY AS TANK CHARMER, HER BODY GUARD.