Ver­sa­tile ac­tress in PE show

After lengthy ab­sence, Dick­son ready to wow fans in Mu­sic at the Mar­ket, writes Za­man­dulo Malonde

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT -

TWENTY-FOUR years since she last per­formed in Port El­iz­a­beth, South African singer and ac­tress Bethany Dick­son re­turns to per­form at the East­ern Cape Phil­har­monic Orches­tra’s Mu­sic at the Mar­ket con­cert next week­end.

This, after she cre­ated a name for her­self with lead­ing roles in mul­ti­ple Cape Town mu­si­cals with which she has toured the world.

Week­end Post re­cently caught up with the Sun­set Boule­vard star.

Q: You were born, raised and stud­ied in Cape Town and still live there. When last were you in Port El­iz­a­beth?

A: I have al­ways been a Cape Town girl but I have al­ways had fam­ily I still visit in PE. If my mem­ory serves me right, I last per­formed in PE at the age of six in the An­nie Get Your Gun pro­duc­tion that was di­rected by my aunt Robin Wil­liams and starred my mother, Julie Dick­son.

Q: Your first pro­fes­sional gig was when you played Shar­pay Evans in the South African ‘High School Mu­si­cal’ en­sem­ble. How old were you at the time?

A: I was 21 and, while I had done am­a­teur the­atre be­fore, this was my first pro­fes­sional mu­si­cal the­atre show which was a great first ex­pe­ri­ence. We trav­elled to Jo­han­nes­burg and went all the way to China with that pro­duc­tion.

Q: Did com­ing from a fam­ily that is more than fa­mil­iar with the­atre make it any eas­ier for you to be­come a good per­former?

A: It’s al­ways a bit daunt­ing when you do some­thing for your­self for the first time, re­gard­less of how fa­mil­iar you are with it, so I def­i­nitely felt the sense that I was start­ing from the bot­tom and I needed to learn my own way.

I had am­a­teur stage ex­pe­ri­ence from singing and danc­ing in church and do­ing shows as a child but it was never at the same pro­fes­sional level as when I started High School Mu­si­cal.

Q: Now that you have done pro­duc­tions like ‘The Sound of Mu­sic’, ‘Grease’, ‘Sin­gin’ in The Rain’ and more, what dif­fer­ences can you iden­tify be­tween the Bethany in ‘High School Mu­si­cal’ and the Bethany now?

A: Def­i­nitely a sense of know­ing what I am do­ing. I don’t know ev­ery­thing be­cause one is al­ways learn­ing, but I now have a more cer­tain un­der­stand­ing of what is re­quired of a pro­fes­sional the­atre per­former.

A lot goes into it and it takes a lot of prac­tice. Those are some of the things I may not have fully un­der­stood back then.

Q: Of all the pro­duc­tions you have per­formed in, which one stands out for you and why?

A: Play­ing Maria in The Sound of Mu­sic was a huge bucket list role be­cause not only am I a huge fan of Julie An­drews, but my mom had also played the role of Maria in the same pro­duc­tion 15 years ear­lier. It was in­cred­i­bly spe­cial and in­sanely scary for me be­cause Julie An­drews is holy ground. You don’t mess around with a role like that.

Which pro­duc­tion did you last per­form in and what have you been up to since then?

A: My most re­cent role was Kathy in Sin­gin’ in the Rain with which I trav­elled all over the world. Lately, I have been fo­cus­ing on my fam­ily, my church in­volve­ment and the cof­fee shop I opened two years ago.

Last year, my hus­band and I had a baby boy and he’s just brought a whole new way of liv­ing. My cup is over­flow­ing.

For the first year and a half of my baby’s life, I did not re­ally want to fo­cus on any­thing else but I am au­di­tion­ing for a cou­ple of roles now, so we’ll see how that goes.

Q: How do you feel about com­ing to per­form in PE after so long?

A: I’m very ex­cited. I love PE be­cause I’ve been to visit my fam­ily there many times. I’m hon­oured to have been asked to per­form along­side such awe­some mu­si­cians.

Dick­son will per­form along­side soloists Charl du Plessis, Asemahle Tsholoba, the East­ern Cape Phil­har­monic Orches­tra and con­duc­tor Richard Cock.

Mu­sic at the Mar­ket will be held from 3pm to 9pm on Sat­ur­day and 11am to 5pm on Sun­day at the Feather Mar­ket Cen­tre. Tick­ets are R100 to R120 for adults, R70 for pen­sion­ers, R50 for pupils and R20 for pre-school­ers at Com­puticket. Ac­cess to the Cam­panile bells, food trucks and live en­ter­tain­ment at Vuy­isile Mini Square is free.

MULTI-TAL­ENTED: Ac­claimed mu­si­cal the­atre per­son­al­ity Bethany Dick­son

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