She’s a Naledi and Fleur du Cap Theatre Award nominated actress. For more than a decade, Bethany has been charming audiences by tackling some of musical theatres most iconic roles. After making her debut in High School Musical, she has since gone on to perform in Singin’ in the Rain, Sunset Boulevard, The Sound of Music, Grease and most recently, Matilda.
Coming from a highly musical family was there ever any other career path you’d have chosen?
Yes – although I had an extremely “musical” upbringing I did consider a few other options. I studied public relations but pretty much to the day, when my PR internship finished, I got an audition for my first professional pro- duction, and I was told I got the part. But I’ve never for one second doubted that this was where I was meant to be.
How ‘cut-throat’ is the industry in South Africa and do you have any advice for aspiring actors?
It’s all about what you make of it. Some people think the most cut-throat part is in landing that big role. But I would say the most cut-throat part can be once you have landed something… to have a career that survives thereaf- ter. I feel it’s got a lot to do with making wise choices regarding who you get close to, keeping your head down, working hard, and protecting the work at all costs. Also, don’t let your success- es or “failures” define you.
Describe the production you’d most like to feature in, and the role you’d give your eye teeth to play.
I love this question. Les Miserables – Fantine…and I would give an arm. (Kidding, not kidding) I am in love with the score and the story. So to play in it would be a dream come true. The King and I – Mrs Anna – my grandmother played this role, and when my mom was in her 40’s she played the role, so for me it would be quite a full circle moment to be able to play in this incredible piece.
May being Mother’s day month how has your Mum influenced you in your life?
My mom is my absolute rock and mentor. She has shown me everything about living life as a woman focused on God, your family and making dead sure you do everything with excellence.
How do you balance the needs of being a Mum with your career and other demands?
With the unwavering support of my husband, Gary and our family. I am truly blessed to have a real “village”. I also have a sense of humour – which has helped In times of desperation.
How do you think the theatre set in South Africa compares to overseas productions?
We have so much to be proud of. We have an excited, young and talented industry. I know for a fact that productions and performers here in SA are on par, if not better, than what you would find overseas.
Describe your ideal weekend!
Home, in Hout Bay. With my husband and my son. Ordering in Thai Café , with chocolates on standby for afterward. To have my brothers and parents and oth- er family come visit and cause chaos. And church on a Sunday, and a Sunday roast at my mom’s afterward. So basically family, food and soul food at church.
How do you go about preparing for your various roles and where do you draw inspiration from?
I try to remain as blank as I can until I get to rehearsal. I will read my script and do some general thinking in the run up to rehearsals. And then I allow the director to move me and help me paint my character.
What’s your all-time favourite movie and who’s your all-time favourite actor?
Nothing Hill and Kate Winslet and Christoff waltz.