Having a laugh with Maid Su Pollard

Ha Ha HoodECCENTRIC, kooky and downright hilarious, there’s no denying that Su Pollard is quite a character.

Known for playing the loveable and ditsy Peggy in 80s sitcom Hi-de-Hi as well as Ivy Tisdale in You Rang M’lord, she’s since become notorious for her northern twang, unique style and those bright signature specs.

Now, having just starred as Miss Hannigan in the New Zealand tour of Annie, the blonde bombshell is travelling back to medieval times to take on Nottinghamshire’s feistiest female, Maid Marion in the UK tour of Ha Ha Hood! And the Prince of Leaves.

Erupting into song when I call her at her home in London – she’s still on a high from touring with Annie – she tells me that she’s slightly jetlagged from her flight home from New Zealand, but you wouldn’t have been able to tell.

“New Zealand is amazing because there’s only about five million people all together that live there, so it feels really empty,” she says, excitedly. “Everything is only about 15 minutes away, it’s not like getting the tube in London where everything is so cramped!”

Although Su has lived in London for the past 40 years, she was originally born in Nottingham. So when the opportunity arose to be a part of a comedy parody from her home town, she jumped at the chance.

“It’s just simply a very funny idea to create clever parodies of myths and legends and I love the idea of taking the micky out of stories we all know,” says the 64-year-old of the Ha Ha productions, which have previously included Ha Ha Holmes, Ha Ha Hitler and Ha Ha Hamlet. “I love sketches and panto, because the audience can join in.”

Su Pollard2No stranger to the panto stage with recent roles in Peter Pan and Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Su is returning to theatre, following in the footsteps of Audrey Hepburn, Cate Blanchett and Uma Thurman as the screen goddess Maid Marian – and she’s promising to deliver a whole new take on the classic role.

“I think Maid Marian is marvellous,” she enthuses. “I remember in the 50s when Patricia Driscoll played a very glamorous Maid Marion, so I’m in good company! My version is quite feisty and ballsy though and she’s not afraid to speak her mind. She’s not just the damsel with the long hair, there’s a feisty twist.”

Coming to Chelmsford on 19 August, the comedy production created by Ben Langley, follows Robin Hood and Maid Marian, who are forced back together 10 years after a messy divorce to fight the Sheriff once more to save the citizens of Nottingham.

Starring Ben Langley as Robin Hood, the show also features comedy duo Cannon and Ball sharing the roles of the evil Sheriff of Nottingham, Little John, Friar Tuck and Guy of Gisborne.

“I think that when Ben was writing the part he had in me in the back of his mind,” says Su. “Cannon and Ball are marvellous as well and between us I think we’ll put on a good comedy show.

“It’s such a fun project and I like the process of starting from scratch and working out where you can get an extra laugh here and there,” she adds. “It’s not easy but it’s all about the finished product when you hear the audience laughing with you.”

Ha Ha Hood! And the Prince of Leaves opens at the Civic Theatre in Chelmsford on Tuesday, 19 August and runs until Saturday, 23 August, with evening shows at 7.45pm and a Saturday matinee at 2.30pm. For tickets, call 01245 606505 or visit chelmsford.gov.uk/theatres.

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