Su Pollard, best known for her roles in Hi-de-Hi! and You Rang, M’Lord?, and comedy duo Cannon and Ball talk to Freetime before they take to the stage in Ha Ha Hood! A hilarious, laugh out loud new romp of a show. Su, Bobby and Tommy tell us why they love this production.
What appealed to you about this production?
Su: I knew that the Ha Ha! productions had a fantastic cult following and that the creator Ben Langley had a good reputation in the industry. Then my friend Joe Pasquale, who starred in Ha Ha Holmes! last year, said to me, “It’s great fun. You’ll have a fabulous time!” so I thought, “Give it a go!”. I also really like the way the Ha Ha! brand takes a familiar story or set of characters and puts its own unique stamp on it.
Bobby Ball: When our manager first called I thought he’d been in the pub as it sounded like nothing we had ever done before. He began to explain to us the concept behind the production and we became interested straight away because it sounded like a lot of fun. ‘But I’m not playing Maid Marian,’ I shouted to uncontrolled laughter from Tommy!
Su, how would you describe your Maid Marian?
Su: My Marian is really independent, ballsy and brave. She’s very to the point and strong willed. I far prefer playing a character like that to a poor princess who whimpers and simpers all the time. I can't wait to get hold of this character!
Bobby and Tommy how would you describe your characters in the show?
Bobby: Mad! Barking mad! And funny! And who knows, maybe a little factual?
Tommy: The Sheriff is mean, mad and bad with a little twinkle in his eye. I have to say I’m worried about Bobby as he’s said that for his role of the Friar he can go back to the pies and chips. Oh and he then went on to say that I have to stay sleek and watch what I eat. That doesn’t seem fair.
So Tommy, are you making the Sheriff of Nottingham especially evil?
Tommy: Oh yes, especially as Bobby won’t like it which will help in the comedy. The Sherriff will be as bad as can be. In fact, if he could give out parking tickets he would start with Bobby’s car.
Su how does your Marian differ from previous portrayals of the character?
Su: My Marian is very different. She’s gutsy. After her divorce from Robin ten years ago she thought “Get a proper job. I don’t want to be with a bloke who wants to live in the forest up a tree!”. So she is currently working as an NHS nurse at the Nottingham Infirmary. Also, I’ll be talking in a proper Nottinghamshire accent.
Do you have a favourite previous Marian?
Su: Yes, my favourite was Patricia Driscoll who played opposite Richard Greene’s Robin. I particularly liked Patricia’s Marian because she clearly had steel in her soul – otherwise why would you be living with this nomadic robber and maverick?
What can you tell us about the plot?
Su: The Sheriff of Nottingham has been in prison for ten years for committing dastardly deeds. When he comes out he wants to get even with Robin by marrying his once true love Marian. Guy of Gisborne gets wind of this plan and tells Marian that the Sheriff is coming to do them all in and so the drama unfolds!
Ha Ha Hood! is at Civic Centre, Duke Street, Chelmsford, from Tuesday, August 19 -Saturday, August 23. Details: 01245 606505, chelmsford.gov.uk