Review By Marita Bellas Miles
Mix one Australian musical theatre and cabaret star with one Eurovision icon plus a second Eurovision icon and you get a spectacular night of songs and laughter. Conchita Wurst and Trevor Ashley in concert feat. Kate Miller-Heidke and accompanied by Queensland’s chamber orchestra, Camerata, was teed up to be an amazing evening filled with variety.
As soon as Trevor Ashley waltzed on stage dressed like a disco ball angel, we knew we were in for a treat. He opened the show with a rendition of “Don’t Rain on My Parade.” Nothing else could set the tone better and get the crowd going like some good ol’ fashioned Streisand. Ashley’s wit had the audience in stitches as he chatted in between each show stopping number. The performances continued to increase in quality and excitement. Just when you felt there was no way to top it, Trevor Ashley pulled out a rendition of “I Want to Know What Love Is” as the great Dame Shirley Bassey. It was a fantastic first half of the act which had the audience howling. As if the evening wasn’t extravagant enough – enter Conchita Wurst.
Conchita graced the stage and let her voice speak for itself. The ability to include such dynamic vocals in performance is underrated and Conchita’s ease in transitioning from soft demure parts of the songs to powerful belts felt like magic. Every song I felt like I was transported to my very own James Bond film with the tension rising every second as the sounds from the orchestra swelled all around.
Act II allowed for another even more dramatic costume change and was the first time we got to see the two performers together. Cue another set of equally awe-inspiring numbers including some classic Disney princess tunes and a thrilling duet of Conchita’s “Where have all the good men gone?”, the energy in the theatre by this point was palpable.
The two theatre all stars are very good friends and their relationship shone through. The stories they told were relevant, hilarious and honestly called out for a stand-up comedy evening featuring the two of them. Trevor Ashley’s flamboyance next to Conchita Wurst’s slightly softer spoken and reserved attitude gave for a great dynamic where they worked in sync to leave the audience laughing for days.
Featured guest, Queensland’s own Kate Miller-Heidke, joined the evening towards the end and sang two very meaningful numbers. Her performance of the finale number of her children’s opera: The Rabbits, was the most moving and thought-provoking moment of the night. She followed that with a much anticipated “Zero Gravity” with overqualified backing vocalists in Conchita Wurst and Trevor Ashley. The audience joined in, and the room was filled with Eurovision love.
None of the performances that night would have been as astounding without the accompaniment of Camerata. The 38-piece orchestra conducted by Michael Tyack filled the theatre with drama and atmosphere. This was particularly prominent during the James Bond tributes where the nature of the songs allows the orchestra to take first billing. They were the perfect accompaniment to all the anthems that were showcased.
Conchita Wurst and Trevor Ashley in concert featuring Kate Miller-Heidke was impossibly extra, thrilling, exuberant and a truly unforgettable evening.
All opinions and thoughts expressed within reviews on Theatre Travels are those of the writer and not of the company at large.