Su Says Hi-de-Hi to Derry in New Theatre Musical

Actress Su Pollard this week said "hi-de-hi" to Londonderry as she donned the dressing gown and whiskey whine of Miss Hannigan in the musical Annie.

This week, the NWT caught up with the actress as she prepared to tread the boards at the Millennium Forum.

It's been two years since the popular screen and stage actress made a big impression on the city. 

And she says the feeling was mutual.

Speaking in her trademark up-north lilt, she said: "I love Derry. Everybody was so fantastic the last time we were here, so I've been really looking forward to coming back.

"The people are marvellous, they come up to you in the shops and they make you feel so welcome."

The former Hi-De-Hi and You Rang M'Lord comedy actress added: "The Millennium Forum is a fantastic venue and a great flagship for Derry. 

"For anybody interested in the arts and media, it's a beautiful place."

Ms Pollard said that her new role had presented her with a thrilling challenge and added that the old warning regarding working with children had not proved true.

"One of the perks is that if you have had a bad day you can then take it out on them as Miss Hannigan; get your anger out," she laughs. 

"Only joking, the kids are really, really good especially the ones in Derry.

"The last time, they knew everything that was taught to them."

Urging local people to come and watch the show, she added: "I like it because it's family entertainment: you could take your great grandmother or your great grandchild to see it. 

"The story keeps moving and it's a feel good show, a rags to riches tale, and after all that adversity it all turns out well.

"Of course the songs are brilliant as well."

She adds: "It's great value for money. People have to save up hard and that's important that they go away thinking, 'you know, that was well worth it'," she said. 

And Su added it has been interesting performing in the broken heels of Annie's carer.

"She is more human that most and her position is very relevant today - the haves and the have-nots still exist.

"Her life has totally gone down the pan and she's been left looking after a stack of kids."

And Su doesn't mind a bit that she still gets the Hi-De-Hi from the public almost every day.

"I'm just so glad that it is still going strong in people's memories," she says.

Belfast Telegraph
November 2004