Needn't get to know you, Su!

Not everyone will know the story or songs from the musical Annie, but everyone will know the actress playing Miss Hannigan in the forthcoming Blackpool production.

Su Pollard made her name as dippy chambermaid Peggy in "Hi-de-Hi" -- but in Annie she struts her stuff as a hard-faced and drunken orphanage manager.

"It's fantastic to be able to play a part you don't have to glam up for. She wears make-up on top of make-up and she's taken to the drink because her life is meaningless. She always takes it out on the kids but you do feel sorry for her really," Su said.

Her showbiz CV makes great reading. After an apprenticeship at the Arts Theatre in her home town of Nottingham, she came second to a singing jack russell on TV talent show Opportunity Knocks.
Undeterred, she quietly amassed a wealth of experience all over the world. She's taken lead roles in musicals such as Grease, Little Shop of Horrors and Me and My Girl, farce (creating the role of Suzette in Don't Dress for Dinner), countless TV comedies and programmes, recordings of musicals, pantomime, summer seasons (including Blackpool's North Pier), cabaret in New York and on the QE2 -- even voices for cartoon characters.

Not surprisingly, you could sum Su up in just one word: enthusiastic.

"With Annie, in a way people already know what they are coming to see. But it's up to every performer in the show to give 110 per cent.

"We work really hard, but we also have a policy that we work hard and we play hard!"

And she is still happy to be remembered as Peggy. "The only time it gets on my nerves is when people are too shy to speak and they wait until I've passed and shout 'hi-de-hi' after me. Of course, I shout 'ho-de-ho' back. And then I think: well, that's the voice gone for tonight's performance!"

by Nikki Masters

Blackpool Citizen
November 2002