Abo Mzala

Sea­son 2 SABC2 20:30

TV Plus (South Africa) - - 6 FEBRUARY -

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.

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