It has been a while since I interviewed Brendan van Rhyn so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to do so now.
For those who are not in the know, Brendan van Rhyn is probably better known as the lovely Cathy Specific in the Madame Zingara show, Celebration. If I get my genders confused from time to time, please forgive me.
When we girls get together we do a bit of gossiping, and that’s precisely what the gorgeous Cathy and I did for an hour and a half at the Mugg & Bean at Montecasino.
We discussed the people she knows from the airline (she was a stewardess before going on stage and she misses the travel from time to time, especially the overseas flights which put her in place to see some great shows on Broadway, the West End and famous opera houses around the world) and my niece, a flight attendant, who is marrying a pilot (cockpit) and then the people she knows from show business. She and Ms Evita Bezuidenhout worked together at the Fugard. Well, not together, but at the Fugard at the same time. (Both of them worked there at the same time as Atholl Fugard himself). She gets on well with Tannie Evita whom she admires greatly (also Pieter-Dirk Uys). She shared some details of which shows she has seen recently, and we both loved Sweeny Todd. She loves Jonathan Roxmouth’s voice and calls it “a great instrument” without a touch of double entendre. We talked about “Tree Aan” when Cathy Specific wasn’t needed and Brendan van Rhyn worked as a “troepie” in the old SADF. We talked about Deon Opperman and other people we know. Time passed quickly.
We even talked about Celebration which is, theoretically, what I was there to discuss. We talked about management, the cast (and her special admiration for the fast change duo), then the make up artists (don’t miss them when you go). We talked about the penguins (also known as waiters). Cathy greets and welcomes every patron to the Queen of Flanders, just the way she used to greet the passengers on board her aircraft, with a sincere smile of delight that they were there. Without them she would be out of work and would have to go back to playing Pooh Bear in children’s theatre (which is where I met Brendan van Rhyn, although I had seen him in the Panto (A Lad n’Lamp) and in a serious piece about Oscar Wilde, The Judas Kiss, before that – actually I saw all of him in that – it was one of those plays which featured nudity – but must admit I can’t remember him at all – he was only just grown up then and it was a small part, … er, role.)
We greeted every actor (nearly) working at Montecasino at the moment (they obviously like Mugg & Bean coffee). We chatted to theatre management and oohed and aahed over the coming productions (have you booked for Swan Lake on Ice yet?)
We discussed her diet. After a season of eating Madame Zingara’s lovely food Cathy had put on 14 kilograms which showed on her not so pert butt when she (as Brendan van Rhyn) played Frank N Furter in Rocky Horror recently. She has slimmed down again and once more has the prettiest bum in show business (also great legs, but Elsabe Zietsman has better). She now takes her own food to work to keep her girlish figure.
I admire Cathy Specific as an actor, but I love her more as a woman. She is so engaging and generous to all her fellow flight attendants and fellow thespians. She is a genuine, warm and loving person. It really is a pleasure for her to welcome you to Madame Zingara’s and to pose for a photograph with you. And as I hug and kiss her goodbye, I just know that I am greeting a great girlfriend, a remarkable performer and a wonderful person.