YiaYias just the tonic for acting guru

THE president of the Port Elizabeth Gilbert and Sullivan Society is gearing up for the first performance of The Pirates of Penzance tonight. “It’s silly but great fun,” says Rose Cowpar of the G&S comic opera which plays at the Savoy Theatre in Perridgevale until November 9.

The fun-loving Australian director reckons it will be a light theatrical tonic as it is the first G&S musical to be staged in the city for 26 years. It’s her first time as director; Cowpar is more used to acting and last month she starred in Calendar Girls for Pemads – one of the brave souls who bared it all for charity.

She showered high praise on her cast members over a lunch date with La Femme at YiaYias in Stanley Street and loved her chicken gyro – a generous plate of two yeasted flatbreads wrapped around a filling of grilled chicken, salad and chips, all slathered with delicious, garlicky tzatziki.

Accompanied by a glass of rosé wine, Cowpar found the Richmond Hill Greek-themed restaurant the ideal spot to while away a sunny spring afternoon and chat about theatre.

I like YiaYias Kitchen because it’s somewhere new and different and reminds me of the great food in Sydney where I’m from.

The best thing about Gilbert and Sullivan is the opportunity we give to people of all ages and backgrounds to learn, express, create, make friends and grow in so many ways – including me!

I’ll know I’ve made it when I’m not sure I want to make it! I like to always have a new challenge coming my way.

The person who has taught me the most is my bestest BFF in Australia, Julia Brovedani, the most loyal, fun, talented, wonderful friend.

I should have studied drama, it would have saved me a lot of catching up now, although my mother would not have approved – to her it was a hobby, never a career.

I’d love to party with Bette Midler – she’s been my number one celeb I’d like to meet since I was 16.

I’m reading the script for the musical of The Secret Garden – always thinking a show ahead (and way too many e-mails, aargh!).

When I was 16, I wish I knew that great things can be achieved with patience and persistence and just taking one step at a time. We don’t have to do everything perfectly every time; if we did, how would we learn from our mistakes?

My music weakness is ’80s pop – it brings back my just-out-of-school party years every time.

Nothing makes me happier than performing for an audience and feeling that instant live response.

My favourite item of clothing is shoes, always shoes, especially my Dr Martens wedge boots from London two years ago.

I absolutely hate nothing really. I realised a long time ago that what I project onto other people or things says more about me than them so it’s best to be looking in a positive light.

I am saving to buy lots of shoes on my trip to Australia for Christmas.

I share my life with hubby and superman Ed Cowpar who, according to him, rescued me from a life of drudgery in Australia

I can’t go a day without being grateful that life took such an incredible and exciting turn eight years ago.

My favourite places in the metro are the Savoy Theatre, home of all our G&S shows; Captain’s Central – our family business and home away from home; home in Summerstrand where the best parties are; Stanley Street, which reminds me so much of the great restaurant strips in Sydney and especially YiaYias which was amazing; any road that leads down to the harbour and gives me that “wow” moment as I see the sea.


  • Further information on The Pirates of Penzance from Cowpar, call 072-906-1977. Tickets are available at Computicket.


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