By Casey Neill
Rhonda Burchmore is donning platform boots and lycra cat suits for a night out in Dandenong.
She and Lara Mulcahy will bring their Abba-Solutely Fabulous show to the Drum Theatre on Saturday 9 September
“I think I’ve played it once before with my Cry Me a River show,” Burchmore told the Journal.
“It’s got to be two or three years ago.
“I just remember a wonderful, intimate theatre and fantastic warm audiences.
“I did a little meet and greet afterwards.
“Everyone made me feel very, very welcome.
“It’s always good to go back to a theatre that looks after you.”
They’ll weave together 20 ABBA songs and a storyline.
“It’s not just like an ABBA tribute band kind of show,” Burchmore said.
“I was in the musical MAMMA MIA! back in 2001. I struck up a friendship with Lara Mulahy.
“We did that for three years.
“Fast-forward 16 or 17 years later, we’re best friends in real life.
“I thought ‘it’s 40 years since ABBA came down under for their tour’.
“I looked at the landscape of theatre shows that are on in Melbourne at the moment. There was nothing for me.
“I’m one that never sits idle for too long.
“Why not reunite with my best friend in life and do a celebration?”
She said there’d be “a good splash of Patsy and Eddy from Ab Fab”.
“It’s essentially about Lara and I growing up in the ’70s in Australia, diehard ABBA fans, but we didn’t actually get to the concert,” she said.
“The show pretty much wrote itself.
“I was the daughter of a mum who took me to dance classes, singing class in Sydney.
“Lara was exactly the same in Perth.”
There was always the question of who’d play Agnetha and Frieda.
“I was obviously Frieda because of the red hair!” she laughed.
“Women can relate to those stories and fashion – all of those things growing up in the ’70s.
“There’s no filter, we kind of say it how it is and the people just love it.
“My band are all very young, it’s like a bit of a cougar special.
“They’re young and they’re in their twenties and they’re in white, tight sorts and knee-high socks and sneakers and sequins.
“They’re having an absolute blast playing it.”
Burchmore said it was the quality of ABBA’s songs that has made their popularity so enduring.
“I think they’re really excellent pop songs,” she said.
“You can’t go to a party or an event where they don’t play one of those songs – Waterloo or Dancing Queen – to get people up on their feet.”
The show is for all ages and although it’s “a bit of a girl’s night out”, Burchmore said her husband loved the show.
“There’s a structure to the show and there’s a storyline,” she said.
“We throw in lines – you never know what the audiences are going to give us either.
“I go out in the audience when I do ‘Does your mother know’ to do a bit of a man hunt.
“I actually go out in the audience and find my Benny and Bjorn out there.
“It’s just good fun.
“Every show is a bit different.”
Visit www.drumtheatre.com.au for more information.