Strap in and prepare yourself because magic is going to happen, people.
Asher Treleaven (La Soirée) and Gypsy Wood (Miss Cage Dance Universe Australia) are Peter & Bambi Heaven, the Gold Coast’s most deluded dancing magicians, and they’re about to explode into Brunswick Picture House. One-time Mullum schoolboy Asher spoke with The Echo.
Asher, when were you at Mullum High? What’s it like coming home an 80s superstar?
I’m pretty sure I was at Mullum High from 1991 till 1997, although my memory is a bit hazy. I’d changed high schools four times in year seven so although I was living in Byron at the time I decided to stay at Mullum; a fifth change was just too much to handle.
All through high school at Mullum it had been my dream to transition into an 80s bogan cruise-ship magician with a sideline in personal development training at Landmark. So I guess I’m coming back to prove that anything is possible with the right attitude, hard work and back-combed wig.
So Asher, how did you and Gypsy Wood become Peter and Bambi Heaven?
Gypsy and I had been working together throughout most of our marriage on standup and burlesque shows. Gypsy suggested we do a show together, and then as luck would have it our eight-year marriage ended as this showbiz relationship was beginning. It was like some kind of parallel universe where as one door closes another opens and out pops a magical 80s power couple.
Who are these characters? Why magicians?
Peter Heaven is a self-belief-fuelled ‘straight up bloke’ with a love of 80s glam metal, stage magic and figure-hugging trousers. Bambi Heaven is an ex-cage dancer ‘triple-threat’ from the Gold Coast who specialises in dance, magic and more dance.
They met at a personal development course called Landmark, fell in love and decided to put together a variety show, then just before, they decide to fire the cast and go it alone.
Eighties stage magicians are so much fun to parody – the costumes, dance moves and music. We take their style then combine it with a lot of the ideas Gypsy and I had when we were twenty-something-year-old performers.
You got kicked out of Grade 8 Drama at Mullum High for not being serious enough. How are you getting your revenge on Mr Hone?
To be honest, I have no idea how I ended up in showbiz. Mr Hone was right to toss me from year eight Drama; I was an arsehole. I didn’t think about being an entertainer until auditions for the National Institute of Circus Arts popped up in 1999. My good friend and fellow Mullum alumni Hamish McCormick was going to audition so I tagged along. I think when the team at NICA saw me they must have thought, ‘If we can turn this turd into something then we will be funded forever’. So somehow I was accepted and things proceeded from there; not bad for a kid kicked out of year eight drama.
What is the essence of the onstage comedic relationship between you and Gypsy… and Peter and Bambi?
Gypsy and I have so much history and that bleeds into the characters and the show. It gives the relationship between Peter and Bambi so much authenticity, because when we fight and bicker on stage it’s coming from a rich history of fighting and bickering in real life.
What’s Peter’s worst character trait? And Bambi’s?
Peter’s worst trait is his seemingly indefatigable self-belief in the face of catastrophic magical disasters, and of course there are the endless wardrobe malfunctions.
Bambi’s worst character trait is her inability to control herself; she can go from zero to one hundred per cent out of control in a second. It seems you can take the showgirl out of the party but you can’t take the party out of the showgirl, and of course there are the endless wardrobe malfunctions.
If you were writing their profiles on a dating website how would it read?
‘Hi. I’m Peter. Pretty chill guy, just looking for the love of my life. I’m all about love and magic. If you don’t believe in yourself I won’t believe in you. Today is the first day of NOW so let’s make it special!’ ‘Hey guys. I’m Bambi looking for a real MAN, no BOYS. Love hanging at the beach, dancing and getting messy with ma girls. I’ll be at Checkers Tues till Sun; come in for a chardy!’
What should we expect from your show here at the Brunswick Picture House?
I think this quote sums up things pretty well: ‘This show is like getting into a high-speed car, putting the roof down and driving as fast as you can for an hour’. Or perhaps this one from a fan: ‘If you don’t come out of this show high on life, you’re dead inside’.
Peter and Bambi present The Magic Inside, Friday & Saturday at the Brunswick Picture House at 7pm.
For tickets go to brunswickpicturehouse.com.