Madam & Eve started life as comic strip characters nearly a decade ago. The satirical strip takes a humorous look at the unique relationship between two South African women as they reach out to each other - across the kitchen – in the new South Africa. In 2000, Penguin Films Chief Executive Officer, Roberta Durrant, adapted the cartoon to a live sitcom for e-tv, South Africa's second free to air channel. It soon became the channel’s top watched local programme, scoring highly across all demographic groups. Its success resulted in the commissioning of a second series that started flighting in February this year. By the second episode, it was again notching up the channel’s highest ratings for a local programme.
Like the cartoon strip, the sitcom examine the fears, prejudices and foibles of white and black South Africans alike. As the famous sit-com “All in the family” did in the 1970’s in America, the Madam & Eve sit-com aims to show South Africans the absurdities of separateness, while keeping audiences laughing.
Madam & Eve is, more than anything else, a comedy of hope and reconciliation.
VAL DONALD BELL AS MADAM
Val Donald Bell plays Gwen Anderson - the Madam. Gwen is an attractive, middle-aged, single, unemployed-but-comfortable white woman. Something that she would never admit is that her best friend and confidant is in fact her ‘domestic executive’, Eve. Gwen is regularly involved in various ventures that usually accomplish two things: they are singularly unsuccessful and they drive Eve crazy. Madam tries very hard to be politically correct – something Eve finds very trying. Val Donald Bell is an award-winning actress and has appeared in numerous television, theatre, film and radio productions.
TINA JAXA AS EVE
Well known film, stage and television actress Tina Jaxa plays the maid, Eve - a sassy, sexy thirty-something black woman with a razor-sharp wit. She has no intention of being a maid for very long but times are tough, so she stays. Eve is sharp and never misses an opportunity to deliver a sarcastic comment - her verbal putdowns are lethal weapons. When she’s not working, Eve prefers to watch television, read magazines and catch up on the latest gossip about other madams from her fellow domestic executives.
JOE MAFELA AS SOL
Joe Mafela portrays the character of Sol, Madams handyman and gardener. He is Eve's older cousin and often her partner in crime. Joe has an impressive career in film, which includes Shout at the Devil. As a director of Penguin Films he co-produces all of the companies drama and comedy productions with Roberta Durrant.
PLAYS the inimitable Mother Anderson. She replaces Pat Sanders, who recently passed away. Canavan is a veteran of radio, stage and screen, and states categorically that it is not her aim to emulate Pat Sanders. Instead, she plans to develop and enrich the character with her own range of unique attributes.