Season 2 SABC2 20:30
In local sitcom Madam & Eve (20012005), Jennifer Steyn played Madam’s toyboy-obsessed neighbour Marge. Now the 54-year-old is taking on the role of “the madam” aka Mrs Flamming on laugh-a-minute comedy show Abo Mzala (2011- current).
Why did you agree to do Abo Mzala? I enjoy broad comedy as opposed to soapies and I liked the style of this sitcom. I then fell in love with the other actresses and began to enjoy the subject matter of the script.
And what do you like about playing Mrs Flamming? I really like the fact that the audience can take a swipe at the Anglo-Saxon character and, to me, that’s really healthy in our society, to be able to laugh at ourselves.
What can you tell us about the sitcom that we may not know? Nobody is aware of how much the actresses improvise as we go along. We, as actresses, have the freedom to allow the moment to happen – and if the producers like it, then it’s great.
Do you have a domestic worker like Thuli (Nqobile Sipamla)? I did have a caregiver who looked after my mother, but my mother is now in a retirement village. The caregiver used to keep my house spotless and immaculate. However, she was nothing like Thuli – while she spoke slowly and elegantly, Thuli puts a million stories in one sentence.
So how different is TV compared to theatre for you? There’s a big difference between theatre and film work], whereas television is somewhere in-between the two. So for me to switch isn’t very difficult because in all three mediums I have to be true to my character.