Queen of the Moment
Venue: Lyric Theatre, London 
Cast: Trevor Ashley

Australian drag diva and cabaret legend Trevor Ashley makes his triumphant return to the Lyric, with a brand new show. Featuring songs and stories from his hit TV show Queen of the Universe, TrAshley will lift the curtain on what really happens when you travel halfway across the world to shoot a reality television programme when you’re a control freak with absolutely no control!

Working with a sensational 8 piece band, expect a night of laughs, gay anthems and powerhouse vocals, as Trevor traverses the antipodes to the West End with his trademark wit and self-deprecation.

Our access experience at this theatre was fantastic! A sudden change in circumstances meant that we required step free access, and we were immediately offered seats in the dress circle which is at street level. We were then informed that there was a box available if we wanted it, which was directly opposite the step free entrance and the accessible bathroom. This made a massive difference to our experience and was hugely appreciated.

I was a little surprised at the seemingly arbitrary choice in venue, especially given its size. The Lyric is on the larger end of the West End theatres; with only two of the four seating levels on sale and both less than half filled, it seemed rather a shame to see so many empty seats when a smaller venue would have been more intimate and fitting for this type of show. There were some issues with the sound in the venue, everything was uncomfortably loud and I struggled to make out a lot of what was being said. The costumes, designed by Angie White, were absolutely breath-taking, Angie also designed all Trevor’s costumes during his time on Queen of the Universe.

For those unfamiliar with Trevor, as I was, he is a drag, cabaret, and musical theatre performer and has just finished filming season 2 of Queen Of The Universe, which Trevor describes as “Like Ru Paul’s but with talent”.

Trevor shared some stories about his journey into theatre, starting with his first ever drag gig on the Rocky Horror Picture Show in Sydney in 1999. He’s gone on to play roles such as Thernardier and Edna Turnblad, which saw to a large amount of typecasting throughout his career. It’s rare to be a part of an original cast in Australia but 2005 saw the birth of the hit drag spectacular, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. He auditioned with a re-written parody version of ‘I’ve Never Been To Me’, with a large number of Australian jokes and references. After auditioning with his new parody, Trevor’s role in the show was written into the show especially for him. He loved having the chance to completely develop a new character from scratch, which would normally be a case of trying to reinvent somebody else’s work. Trevor wanted to perform this parody for us but was concerned that the majority might not get the joke so he had written a British version that same morning.

For a while it was a little bit awkward as there was not much of a reaction coming from the audience, but by the middle of Act 2 the audience had warmed up a bit, and Trevor’s performance of Cabaret got a great reaction. Trevor then switched gears entirely and paid tribute to his mum with an absolute tear jerker, the same song that he sang for her on Queen Of The Universe. He then went on to perform 'I Wanna Know What Love Is’ which was definitely a highlight of the evening. Trevor told us about his tribute act to Shirley Bassey called ‘Diamonds are for Trevor’, and continued by performing a couple of her songs, including ‘Big Spender’.

The last three songs was the best 15 minutes of the evening! Trevor sang ‘Maybe This Time’ – Kaner & Ebb, ‘I Am What I Am’ – La Cage Aux Folles, and ‘Simply The Best’ – Tina Turner, with so much joy and energy that he had the audience on their feet and dancing, and I found myself wishing that the entire show had felt that way. While overall I did enjoy myself, I’m just not sure that the show as it is warranted a full length 2 act performance.

You can stream Season 2 of Queen Of The Universe on Paramount+ and WOW Presents Plus now!

Have you seen one of Trevor Ashley's shows? What were your thoughts? We'd love to know.

No comments