Su Puts A Record Straight

Su Pollard helped set audience records when she starred at the Forum Theatre in Billingham a year ago in Annie.

Now she is back again with the show for the week from Tuesday and out to prove it is every bit as good.

"It's my third tour with Annie and I'm having a fabulous time. It's a pleasure to go to work," says the friendly and effervescent actress.

"It's a world renowned musical which sells itself. It doesn't have to have famous people in it, though our production does and it's nice to know that all the family can come out to see it without any untowardness.

"It's marvellous to see their happy, smiling faces - though I can't see them because I don't my wear glasses in it," she adds confusingly.

"I know they're happy and smiling because I see them at the stage door when I am wearing glasses and they're happy and smiling then."

Su (pictured right) plays the tyrannical Miss Hannigan, the baddie of the piece, and has never done any other part in Annie. In fact, she has never been asked to do any other part.

She was first approached to take on the role years ago and finally agreed after three requests by the producers.

"When it first started, I was too busy doing a lot of Hi de Hi and when they asked again I still said 'No' and thought 'That's the last I will hear about that.'

"To be honest I was probably too young to do it then," says Su, now 54. "You need to have that bit of weight about you, not physical weight, but she's feisty and people have to believe in you."

They certainly do, fans and critics alike. Su has another reason for loving the role - she can get ready so quickly.

"I just stick on this dreadful wig that makes me look like Worzel Gummidge or worse, and can do my make-up in five minutes.

"Poor Louise English (another cast member) has to have her hair in rollers for four hours before the show."

Miss Hannigan spends a lot of time at the whisky. "It's not real. It's a Jack Daniels bottle full of tea or coke," explains Su.

"Diet Coke is all right but it's the wrong colour and too sweet. Cold tea is the right colour but it tastes horrible. I've had to get used to it."

She has to drink an awful lot during each performance and this has an inevitable effect. "At the end of the show, I've found myself having to go to the bathroom several times more than I normally would, but it keeps you going and nicely attuned inside," she confides.

Su was also at the Forum in the spring in the new spirit world comedy, A Happy Medium. "We are hoping to do it worldwide and hoping to take it to Australia," she reveals.

"They have done a few rewrites and I've had a few discussions with them. I brought some ideas of my own and I think next time it will be a more thorough production. Everybody had a ball doing it - oh ball, crystal ball, no pun intended."

Annie is likely to come round one more time and Su would be happy to be part of it. In the meantime, she is off to Australia.

"I'm going to stay with my friend Ray Meagher who is Alf in Home And Away and do a bit of TV. Hi de Hi is getting another airing and I have to do trailers and chat shows."

IC Teeside
October 2004