A with Su Pollard:by Kerry
you a taster of how Leisure's
encounter with Hi De Hi star Su
Pollard went, let's just say the
conversation started with the
actress mistaking News Shopper
for Happy Shopper.
obviously got the wrong bloody
thing, the wrong end of the
stick," she laughs when I
explain News Shopper isn't a
hilarious form, Su was in Bromley
to promote her new show Shout,
also starring stage starlet
Claire Sweeney, which opens at
The Churchill theatre this week.
her legendary character Peggy
Ollerenshaw in holiday camp
comedy Hi De Hi, she's bubbly,
talkative and very funny.
a little about Shout, Su.
great to acting in something
that's really feel-good, for the
performers as well as the
audience. It's lovely as well
because loads of people can
identify with the 1960s. Even the
younger ones have got some sort
of story which has been passed
down from their aunty.
play an aunty. Aunty Vonnie,
Claire's character Ruby's aunty.
wants to try her luck in London.
She gets restless and wants to
have a new adventure. So she
rings her aunty Vonnie and asks,
can I come and stay with you
until I get sorted'.
does your character get up
set in a hairdressing salon,
because Vonnie's a hairdresser.
Her salon is called Best Cuts,
which makes me laugh because it's
off her husband Bert, who's a
Vonnie decided when she was
Ruby's age she didn't want to
kick her heels in Mansfield, she
wanted the bright lights.
or fortunately, she met her
husband who persuaded her to stay
in London. Basically that's the
premise of the whole piece. We're
just having a celebration really
of the sixties and how innovative
a fan of the music?
very much so. I was so lucky
because I remember nearly every
single number. So of course, it
was great for me because I had
memory tunes in my head.
fantastic to listen to all these
numbers and think I remember
that, I love that song'. The
nicest thing is even if you
didn't know this kind of music
there is no reason why you
couldn't like it. It's not
complicated; they're good tunes
and feel good.
show has great choreography
because it's all the 1960s stuff.
And it's fun. A lot of it is
quite quirky. I've already lost
like the outfits? (Our interview
takes place straight after a
photo shoot and Su is dressed in
full 60s gear)
I must admit I do. Although poor
aunty Vonnie has to wear slacks
and a tabard in the salon. But
the she goes on her holidays and
she transforms. I can't keep
wearing these, it would do me
at the colours. You saw so many
colours in the streets in the
1960s but now you look at people
and, it's really for practical
reasons, but they're nearly all
those lyrics in Colour My World,
it's a Petula Clark song and even
the lyrics are full of colour. It
was a fabulous, fun era to be a
part of. It was a great decade,
get to wear your trademark
had to really wear all these type
of things (inspects her huge,
zebra-print specs). It's like
secretary glasses, that sort of
shape. So I do have to stick to
the period. Yyou can't match the
1960s with something from 2008.
admitted to accidentally calling
you Peggy in rehearsals. How does
this make you feel?
don't mind. Because the thing is
if you've been associated with
something which people have
really liked and was popular then
I don't think there is any reason
why you shouldn't embrace that.
It's nice. And people still watch
good stamping your foot and
thinking oh god, I've done all
sorts of other things'. It's like
Michael Crawford He doesn't mind
talking about Frank Spencer
because it was very good to him.
have fond memories of the Hi De
fantastic. I remember just
laughing so much. Every single
day we laughed and laughed. The
camaraderie of it, it was such a
good team. It was a team effort
and it was just lovely to do such
quality work. The writing was all
My mum and
dad would watch the show
sometimes with me and I would
love to see them rocking back and
forwards. How lovely.
still in touch with your cast
yeah. I saw Ruthy about two weeks
ago, saw Paul, went to Jeff's
wedding. So we're all good mates,
which is nice.
through so much together. I mean
I remember Ruth's children were
only about two and they're 30-odd
now, married with kids. So you go
through life together. We'd
confide in each other. Friendship
binds you together.
of us, and we could have if we'd
wanted to, never spilled the
beans on each other. Could you
imagine if I was to say something
like, So and so had five
affairs'. No. We always vowed
that we'd never. There are a lot
of things, what we got up to when
we went out and had a few bevies
for a start. We all do whatever
job we've got.
remember it was the most
fantastic fun of the whole era.
feel you've been lucky career
can't grumble. I've been very
fortunate to work with some very
good people whose standards are
very high. So they teach you
there's nothing wrong with the
diamond standard, either. I've
had good fun always doing it and
hopefully I will carry on in the
liked Simon Cadell when he played
Mr Fairbrother; he taught me a
lot about cameras. He was
extremely helpful. There are lot
of people along the way you learn
from. But really, a lot of people
don't know about directors, but
there are so many good directors
who really help you when they see
that you've got potential.
suppose you learn from each
person. I've been dead lucky.
you had chance to work with any
of the Hi De Hi cast since.
done a couple of sketch shows
together and some charity work.
And then of course a few of use
went on to do You Rang M'Lord?
But mostly we don't work together
so much now we just socialise
really. It's really nice we can
still do that. We've done pantos
do panto this year?
I was in Malvern playing the
Wicked Witch in Snow White.
Unfortunately, I don't get asked
to do principal hall any more.
I've moved on, darling.
it you look for in a role?
I feel a script's good and I like
what I've been offered, I think
yeah great that sounds nice. I'll
give that a go.
I look for
good dialogue. You've got to say
the same thing twice a day for X
amount of weeks. It's got to be
well written. It's got to be a
you know you've got the basic
things to start from then it's
marvellous to take off and create
something within that piece.
Otherwise, you're only as good as
your tools, you see. If you've
got something you feel gives you
something back, that's half the
ever get the chance to
collaborate or offer your input?
especially on something like
Shout which is not a play, not
really a musical, it's almost
like a revue. If you wanted to
suggest something for your
character or say to the writer,
I've just had a thought, can I
run this by you please?'. They
may say yes we'll use that, it's
not bad' or they might say thanks
for the offer darling, but it's
not going to quite work'.
in panto they welcome your input.
Because it sounds more natural if
you say it in your own speak, as
you got any exciting work in the
think Shout is exciting because I
think they want it to come to the
West End and I've also got a
couple of things I've been asked
to do but I don't want to say too
not allowed. We can't. I haven't
signed on the dotted line yet.
Once I got
in terrible trouble. It was a TV
thing we were doing, it was a
game show and all hush-hush.
And I just
happened to blurt it all out and
of course the producer called me
into the office and said excuse
me, we've not even done the pilot
yet, so what do you think you're
doing?' I got cleaned which, in
theatrical speech means I really
got into trouble.
a good term, cleaned
it's good. Cleaned. Wiped the
floor with somebody.
you been offered any reality TV
shows? Will we be seeing you on
I'm a Celebrity?
been offered five times now, I'm
a Celebrity. But I'd be no good.
I'm the wimp of the world. I've
only got to look at a grub I'd be
get any meals. I'd be starving
within a day.
you'd be great.
you'd have to try and be bubbly
to get through, however long
you're on there, a bloody month
or however long it is. She gasps
No make up, no eye shadow, no
mascara, I'd go mad.
could always smuggle some make-up
would. I'd have to shove it in
one of my orifices in my body.
get cleaned for that.
I'd get cleaned. Ha ha.
know both you and Claire are Rear
of the Year award winners?
that case we've got to be
pictured with our bums. That was
about 20 odd years ago. It was
marvellous; you get a nice free
pair of jeans. It's great,
get this little plaque with an
outline of your bum on. This
gold-plated plate, like a tray.
So when you offer guests a drink
you can say here's my bum on the
tray'. Ha ha. I'll mention it to
Claire. Show us your bum,
parting words of wisdom?
only thing I want to add is about
this show. You'll come out and
however fed up you are or
depressed life is for you, you'll
come out and a great cloud will
be lifted. You'll have a
starring Su Pollard and Claire
Sweeney, opens at The Churchill,
Bromley on Feb 8 and runs until
Feb 16. Box office 0870 060