TV COMEDY actress Su Pollard will be in Redditch next week, along with Tommy Cannon and Bobby Ball, for the hilarious HA HA HOOD! And the Prince of Leaves!
Ahead of the performance at The Palace Theatre next Friday (September 19), The Standard’s Tristan Harris caught up with the star who found fame as wannabe yellow coat and chambermaid Peggy in Hi-De-Hi and servant Ivy Teasdale in You Rang My Lord.
AFTER successful laugh out loud Ha Ha productions, including Ha Ha Holmes, Ha Ha Hitler and Ha Ha Hamlet, the team is back with its latest offering.
The show written by Ben Langley offers a new take on Robin Hood, centering around a divorced Robin Hood and Maid Marion who have split up after ten years.
The Sheriff of Nottingham has just been released from prison and sets his sights on Marion, who has been working as a nurse for the NHS in Sherwood Forest.
Being from Nottingham, Su is perfectly placed to play ‘Matron Marion’ (as she calls her as she portrays her as a brave and strong-willed character) and, she said, had a lot of fun doing it.
“I think there is a love of Robin Hood ingrained in you from a very young age when you come from Nottingham.
“You grow up with the legend.
“I’ll always remember the statue of Robin Hood in the courtyard of Nottingham Castle – the tourists used to steal his arrows as souvenirs.
“Ironically though,” she said. “Nottingham is one of the few places we’re not going to.”
Su was approached about the role and loved the script when she was sent it.
She said what she liked most about it was that, similar to a variety show, it had lots of elements in it, including farce, panto, singing, tap-dancing, audience participation and even an archery contest.
“It’s a lot of fun and there really is something for everyone.
“It’s about telling a really good story, with a good few gags and plenty of silly stuff.
“There is a lot of off the wall humour which I love as well.
“Writer Ben, who also playes Robin, loves panto and believes it should be available all year round and I agree with him.
“You can always make them more Christmassy at Christmastime, but who should say you can only wear your Sunday best on Sundays – why can’t you wear it on Wednesday afternoons?”
Su said she was really enjoying doing live theatre again as, in these days of catch-up TV and viewers recording programmes, people did not tend to watch shows at the same time.
“That’s the most wonderful thing about theatre – you are taking the group of people in the audience with you on a journey and you get instant feedback from their reaction.
“When you’re filming a TV show, you have to wait months until it is aired to find out what people think.”
As well as being well-received by the audiences, Su said there had been some very positive posts on Twitter and Facebook.
“We’ve even had some standing ovations – when I saw people standing up at the end, I thought they were putting their coats on and getting ready to run for the bus, then I realised.”
The 64-year-old is also having great fun working with Canon and Ball.
“Tommy plays the Sheriff of Nottingham and Bobby is Friar Tuck and they are both hilarious.
“We know each other from years ago, but we have never worked together for such a long period of time.
“We are always working hard to make things even better, which is great.”
She added that meant – like with all good live theatre – the show was evolving as it went along – funny things happening by accident end up being written into the show to add even more comedy.
When it gets to Redditch on September 19, it will have been on the road for exactly a month, so the show should have no problems living up to Su’s description of it being ‘a plethora of pleasure’ or its billing as simply ‘The funniest farce in the forest’!
HA HA HOOD. The Prince of Leaves takes place at 7.30pm on September 19 at Redditch’s Palace Theatre. Tickets are £20.75 and £19.75 (party rate for groups of ten or more) – that is inclusive of a 75p booking fee per ticket up to a maximum of £3. It is suitable for those aged 12+. Children aged under that must be accompanied by an adult. For more, or tickets, visit www.redditchpalacetheatre.co.uk or call 01527 65203.