Rhonda is still ABBA-solutely fabulous at 57
THOSE flawless long legs were a gift from God, but everything else about legendary entertainer Rhonda Burchmore is a case of hard work and balanced living.
Touring Australia with her ABBA-SOLUTELY FABULOUS show alongside co-star Lara Mulcahy, Rhonda is a picture of health and vitality that belies her 57 year age.
"I started clocking off how old I was when I got to30," she laughed.
"It is how you age and feel that works."
Rhonda, who has a long and enduring career including stage, cabaret and television work, says a life-time working with young people, has kept her youthful, as well as spending as much time as she can with her young daughter.
"My daughter keeps me on my toes, I love hanging out with her, and I love working professionally with young people in the band," she said.
"Some of the band members are so young I have had to introduce them to ABBA," she said.
The ABBA-SOLTELY show, is not a tribute show, rather a fun party showcasing all the iconic ABBA songs along with plenty of humour and a story line. It requires Rhonda to slither into a skin-tight gold jump-suit which leaves nothing to hide.
"I can't have fish and chips before I get into that suit," she laughed. "I don't know what they (ABBA) were thinking in the 70s with those jump-suits, but dong the show is a joyful thing for me now."
At 182 centimetres Rhonda is long and sleek, a delightful contrast to her ABBA-SOLUTELY co-star, Lara Mulcahy, a small bundle of Rubenesque curves.
"We are like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito," Rhonda said.
"We don't care. We are a certain age and proud to get into our lyrca and spread the old girl-power message. Lara is very voluptuous and as short as I am tall. I think that is part of the joy we bring, the message that you can be fabulous at any age, get out and have a good time. We have the audiences up singing and dancing."
Obviously, the high-energy performance requires a good level of fitness which Rhonda works into her daily routines.
"I have two standard poodles I walk every day," she said. "I don't ever sit idle too long. I am not one of those ladies who does lunch, not that there is anything wrong with that, it is just not me. I am much better creating a project or running around. The only time I sit down is for dinner, or a movie or a bit of telly at night. I'm active all the time. I pine for those times when I can strip off all the make-up and the bling and go for long walks. It revitalises me."
Even though Rhonda appears to live a life of show-biz glamour, entertaining and attending parties, she emphasises the need to keep mind as well as body at peak performance as you age.
"I am like everyone else, I go through bad times. Everyone experiences loss and sadness but you can't dwell. Sometimes I could roll up in a big ball and die, and dwell in sadness. That is one of the reasons I am doing the (ABBA-SOLUTELY) show. It is my outlet, to go out and entertain, to enjoy life. People ask me when I will retire, and I say retirement is not a word in my vocabulary. I will not stop, there is no reason."
As for those famous long legs, Rhonda laughs off rumours they are insured for a million dollars.
"They are not," she said.
"That's a myth. What use a pair of legs if everything else falls apart?"
Rhonda Burchmore and Lara Mulcahy have toured regional Australia with their ABBA-SOLUTELY show and are currently in Queensland.
More information on show dates at venues at www.rhondaburchmore.com.