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The Su Online News Section offers you up-to-date info about Su. We compile all the latest headlines, confirmed Su news, rumours, and events. We also bring you the latest on all of Su's appearances, plus all the info on new & forthcoming releases.
Only on these pages will you find News and info direct from Su herself.
 
 MARCH/FEBRUARY/JANUARY 2009 NEWS:
.Su News Round Up!
.Monday 30th March, 2009...................................................................................Round Up
Su attended the Press Night for Spring Awakening at the Novello Theatre, London, on Thursday 26th March 2009... She was featured in the Daily Mail over the weekend, and today the newspaper is running a great picture feature on Su, and she is also pictured on their front page... The feature can also be viewed online... Shout! in the West End has been covered by numerous online news and theatre websites, including Playbill, The Stage, Broadway World, and Whats On Stage.

.Shout! - LONDON'S New Swinging 60s Musical
.Tuesday 24th March, 2009.....................................................................................Theatre
Su Online can now confirm that Su is returning to Shout! The show opens at the Arts Theatre, London on 29th April, with previews from 17th April. Su will be appearing for approximately 10 weeks before she opens in the UK Annie Summer tour.

The show's title has been slightly changed to mark its London debut. More details soon.

.London Theatre Guide - Shout! at Arts from 17 April 2009 starring Su Pollard 
.Tuesday 24th March, 2009.....................................................................................Theatre
Shout!, a musical celebration of the swinging 60s, will open at the Arts Theatre 29 April 2009, following previews from 17 April - booking to 28 June 2009. 

Directed and choreographed by Bill Deamer, the cast includes Su Pollard, best known for playing Peggy in 1980s television sitcom Hi De Hi! 

The show is based on an original idea by Phillip George & David Lowenstein, and is adapted by Julie Balloo. 

Set in a hair-dressing salon, the audience are taken on a musical journey around swinging London, capturing the fashions, sexual liberation and great fun of the times. Five women and one man will twist and shout, shimmy and shake while belting out classic, timeless hits including Downtown, Son Of A Preacher Man, I Only Wanna Be With You, To Sir With Love and These Boots Are Made For Walking. A Soundtrack full of pop songs which made big stars out of Cilla Black, Petula Clark, Lulu and Dusty Springfield. 

.London Theatre Guide - Pollard Joins Shout at Arts
.Tuesday 24th March, 2009.....................................................................................Theatre
Su Pollard is to lead the cast of Shout!, a musical celebration of the swinging 60s, which plays at the Arts theatre from 17 April to 28 June (press night 29 April). 

Shout!, which comes to London following a regional tour last year, is billed as a feel-good musical which celebrates the hazy days of swinging London, when the Beatles conquered the world, students took part in sit-ins, England won the World Cup and Top Of The Pops was born. 

The show follows three young girls as they arrive to try their luck in the big smoke at the start of the 1960s. The score features more than 30 of the biggest pop hits of the decade, including Downtown, Son Of A Preacher Man, These Boots Are Made For Walking, I Only Wanna Be With You and the title tune. 

Pollard is still best known for playing Peggy in 1980s television sitcom Hi De Hi!, though her background is in theatre. In recent years she has been seen on the stage in Menopause The Musical, The Vagina Monologues, Annie The Musical and The Pirates Of Penzance, as well as several pantomimes. Further back, she appeared in West End productions of Godspell, Me And My Girl and Don’t Dress For Dinner. 

Shout! is directed and choreographed by Bill Deamer, whose previous work in London includes The Boy Friend and Lady Be Good at the Open Air theatre, Regent’s Park. His choreography for The Boy Friend earned him a Laurence Olivier Award nomination in 2007. 

Shout! opens at the Arts theatre following a production of Saturday Night, Stephen Sondheim’s first musical, which transfers from the Jermyn Street theatre to the Arts, where it plays from 25 March to 11 April. 

.This is Kent - Final curtain for Canterbury's Marlowe Theatre
.Tuesday 24th March, 2009................................................................................Press Clips
There were tears of laughter and then sadness as the final curtain fell on Canterbury's Marlowe Theatre on Sunday.

After a marathon four-hour variety show the 25-year-old theatre - converted from a former 1933 Odeon cinema - has gone "dark" so it can be pulled down to make way for a new 25.6 million building.

Among those on the final bill of A Night of a Thousand Stars were comedian Brian "It's A Puppet" Conley, TV presenter and magician Stephen Mulhern, and former EastEnders actors John "Nasty Nick" Altman from Herne Bay, Emma "Honey Mitchell" Barton and Shaun "Barry Evans" Williamson from Selling.

They were joined by The Bill actor Graham "PC Tony Stamp" Cole and 84-year-old Oliver! veteran Ron Moody who went down a storm.

There was a video message from Pirates of the Caribbean Hollywood hunk Orlando Bloom whose first foray into showbusiness was on the Marlowe stage as four-year-old. His mum was in the audience.

But the biggest cheer was reserved for a reprise of the theatre's famous ghost bench sketch led by tubby Herne funnyman Dave Lee. With him on the specially-extended seat were Chief Scout and former Blue Peter presenter Peter Duncan, John Altman, panto producer Paul Hendy, Stephen Mulhern, impressionist Hilary O'Neil, Emma Barton and pint-sized Phil Holden. All the celebrities gave their time for free.

Lord Mayor of Canterbury Cllr Carolyn Parry, who admitted being part of the Hot Gossip dance troupe in her youth, said: "Tonight is a landmark in Canterbury's history. This theatre has been an enormous success but now it is old and falling down. I am so proud the city council voted on Thursday to build the New Marlowe Theatre on this site. It will be the centre of our community."

The Marlowe was opened with a gala in 1984 starring Barbara Windsor, Frankie Vaughan, guitarist Bert Weedon, boxer Henry Cooper, Bernard Bresslaw, comedian Norman Collier, Billy Dainty and Hi-de-hi stars Paul Shane, Ruth Madoc, Su Pollard and Jeffrey Holland.

Barbara Windsor had agreed to be part of the final show but had to pull out because of filming commitments for EastEnders.

Everything from glitter balls, seats and signed photos to office furniture is up for grabs at the Marlowe Theatre this Saturday, March 28, in an end-of-run sale from 11am. Paula Gillespie, the theatre's head of operations, said: "It all has to go. We will be accepting any reasonable offer."

Proceeds will go towards buying equipment for the new building which is due to open in September, 2011. To help raise 5.6 million visit www.newmarlowetheatre.org.uk.

.The Official David Croft Website
.Sunday 8th March, 2009........................................................................................Internet
David Croft has launched his brand new official website at www.davidcroft.co.uk

There are lots of rare behind the scenes photos from all his shows including Hi-de-Hi!, You Rang, M'Lord?, and Oh Dr Beeching!

.Annie - Summer 2009 UK Tour
.Sunday 8th March, 2009........................................................................................Theatre
Su will reprise her Miss Hannigan in hit musical Annie for a Summer tour of the UK this year.

The tour will begin in July and we will bring you further information and full tour dates in the next few weeks.

.Su in Snow White Christmas 2009
.Sunday 8th March, 2009........................................................................................Theatre
Christmas 2009 does indeed feel like a long way away but we thought we would let you know about Su's plans for the next festive season anyway...

Su will be the Wicked Queen, her sixth time playing the role, at the Pavilion in Bournemouth this Christmas in, of course, Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs.

There will be more information on this later in the year... Oh yes there will!! :)

.Su's Latest Webletter - Part One - Now Online
.Thursday 5th March, 2009.................................................................................Su's Letter
It's been a while, but all good things are worth waiting for... Yes! Su's first webletter for a while has just been added to the site. Read up on all Su's news from the last year, from Shout! to Cinderella and much more, in Part One. Part Two will be added soon.

Please return soon. Over the next few days we will be updating with Su's plans, so far, for 2009.

 Diane Holland: 1930 - 2009
 Thursday 19th February, 2009.....................................................................Diane Holland
Very sad news. Diane Holland, known to millions as the snooty diva of the Hawaiian Ballroom, Yvonne Stuart-Hargreaves, in Hi-de-Hi!, passed away on 24th January 2009. Diane appeared in all 58 episodes of the comedy show. She will be sadly missed by Su and all at Su Online.

Please click here to read 'The Times' Diane Holland Obituary.

 Celebrity Radio - Two Su Interviews
 Thursday 19th February, 2009 • Thanks to Alex.....................................................Internet
Su has been interviewed by Alex Belfied of 'Celebrity Radio' a couple of times over the last few years, most recently just last year while touring in Shout!

Click here to listen to that interview. And click here for the earlier interview, from 2006

 Camp Bestival 2009 - Su Screen Captures
 Saturday 7th February, 2009 • Thanks to Rob/Mark...............................................Internet
A small selection of screen caps from the video of Su, as Peggy from Hi-de-Hi!, announcing the line up for this year's 'Camp Bestival'. Please click on the caps to view larger versions.

This, taken from the 'Bestival' website: And, if you haven't seen it already, you gotta check out Hi De Hi’s Peggy (AKA Su Pollard) launching Camp Bestival 2009 on the PA system at Blue Coat HQ! Find it on the opening page of www.campbestival.net or on Bestival's YouTube page - www.youtube.com/bestivaltv

 Camp Bestival 2009 - Online Press
 Saturday 7th February, 2009.............................................................................Press Clips
Just a selection of what is being reported online:

Yahoo News: News of the line-up was announced in typically unusual style today with a mini-film featuring "Hi-D-Hi" star Su Pollard revealing the names.

Virtual Festivals: And finally… The prize for most innovative band announcement goes to the Best New Festival of 2008 – Camp Bestival. In keeping with the Hi Di Hi style holiday camp theme, which the festival models itself on, organisers got Su Pollard from the original TV show to reveal the first names for July's event (watch the clip at the top of this story). PJ Harvey will make her only UK solo appearance, while Bon Iver, DJ Yoda and many more live atcs, DJs, poets and comedians will be there too.

We Love Festivals: Su Pollard does a brilliant line up review for Camp Bestival on their new website. The video is very much Hi De Hi, and deserves a quick look if you fancy this family friendly version of Bestival.

Rivmixx: Su Pollard, who played camp chambermaid Peggy in 80s sitcom Hi-De-Hi, today announced the line-up for this summer's Camp Bestival. “Hi-De-Hi, campers!” begins Su Pollard from a mocked-up Camp Bestival radio studio on a specially recorded viral for the festival. Pollard then announces the line-up in her unique, inimitable way. So it seems the Great British camping holiday is back - and what a magical musical sprinkling it is.

Numerous other websites have reported on this. 

 Camp Bestival & Su - All Over The Internet
 Saturday 7th February, 2009.............................................................................Press Clips
Su has been namechecked, and pictured, on numerous news and music websites over the last 48 hours. The trailer video, marking the first high-profile return of Peggy Ollerenshaw of Hi-de-Hi! for two decades, announcing the line-up for the 'Camp Bestival 2009' has really caught the imagination of the online media.

 Ventnor Blog - Camp Bestival: Lineup Announced
 Saturday 7th February, 2009.............................................................................Press Clips
Anyone who went to the award winning Camp Bestival last year will remember the friendly ‘Hi de Hi’ announcements over the PA System every morning.

The purpose of the announcements were to enlighten festival goers with the lineup for the day and we all loved the witty and humorous delivery, but it wasn’t quite the same as hearing good old Peggy Ollerenshaw (aka Su Pollard) over the airwaves.

This year is different though, well for the announcement of festival lineup at least, as Camp Bestival organisers have wheeled in the most iconic yellow coat around. 

Yes folks, if you haven’t seen it already, the Camp Bestival Web site this morning sports a rather excellent video starring dear old Peggy, all made up in her Maplins regalia.

So what news did she have for us Camp Bestival lovers?

Top of the list for us and probably many others is the amazing PJ Harvey. Rob Da Bank has managed a great scoop with this one, nailing PJ Harvey’s only solo UK show of the year. Being a Dorset lass, she won’t have far to travel and should right at home.

Also on the list is indie folk singer Justin Vernon’s, Bon Iver. They’ll be joined by disco classics Chic who’ll be getting everyone discoed out along with soul singer, Candi Staton. 

Bringing some rock to the party will be Mercury Rev and there’s more than a handful of brilliant DJs to throw into the mix.

He might be getting on a bit, but DJ Derek certainly knows how to get festival goers partying.

The gorgeous Annie Mac will be doing what she does best and Bestival regular Gilles Peterson returns for the party.

But as with Bestival, it’s not just all about the music. Camp Bestival is the family festival and there will be tons of stuff for the kids, including the teenagers.

Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall will be bringing the River Cottage to Lulworth Cove and the Bestival team launch their very own Real Ale Festival within the festival.

 Bestival 2009 Website
 Saturday 7th February, 2009..................................................................................Internet
Click below to visit the 'Bestival' website. There you'll find links to the 'Camp Bestival' site, plus full details of both festivals taking place in 2009.

Inspired by the halcyon days of summers past, imagine the 1950s British Holiday Camp with a twist and you'll get close to what Camp Bestival is all about...

 Get Well Soon, Paul!
 Saturday 7th February, 2009.......................................................................Get Well Soon
Su, and Su Online, send Paul Shane best wishes for a speedy recovery.

 Su on the Radio - For Better Or For Worse
 Saturday 7th February, 2009.....................................................................................Radio
For Better Or For Worse: Episode Eight - BBC Radio 7 : Friday 13th February - 5.30pm
For Better Or For Worse: Episode Eight - BBC Radio 7 : Sat 14th February - 6.00am
Iris is proper poorly - but not as poorly as Wilf thinks she is. Sitcom starring Gordon Kaye and Su Pollard. From April 1993. Episode 8 of 8.
 The Gay Nation - Interview with Su Pollard
 Tuesday 3rd February, 2009................................................................................Interview
Su is interviewed at, recently launched, The Gay Nation online magazine. Andrew Howard talks to Su on the set of SHOUT! The 60s Musical. Please click below to read the interview.

 Hi-de-Hi! 2009 Anniversary - Tickets On Sale Now!
 Tuesday 3rd February, 2009....................................................................................Events
Tickets for the 30th Anniversary event at Dovercourt in October are now on sale. The 2007 event sold out very quickly so snap them up whilst you can.

The location will be the CLIFF HOTEL, DOVERCOURT, HARWICH (the hotel which was used by the BBC during the making of the series). 

Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th October 2009 will see a weekend of Hi-de-Hi! related activities.

On Saturday we will be holding A NIGHT IN THE HAWAIIAN BALLROOM. An evening of Maplin's fun including a Question & Answer session with the writers and stars, a Maplin's quiz and live music.

Sunday morning will be the unveiling - three weeks ahead of it's official release - of the brand new Hi-de-Hi book with the cast and writers signing copies for fans. Then in the afternoon will be the 30th ANNIVERSARY LUNCH where cast and fans come together to mark the milestone - with maybe a surprise or two in store... Not forgetting of course that we also celebrate 21 years of You Rang, M'Lord? too.

Already invitations have been provisionally accepted by Jimmy Perry OBE, David Croft OBE,  Jeffrey Holland and Su Pollard (subject to professional commitments) with many other cast members showing a great interest in attending.

PLACES WILL BE STRICTLY LIMITED DUE TO THE CAPACITY REQUIREMENTS OF THE CLIFF HOTEL.

The cost of a weekend ticket (including the Sunday lunch) will be 29.50 per person. Tickets can be purchased online through Paypal from our Web Store or by sending a cheque made payable to A. Tarran to: 

Hi-de-Hi Event, 32 Beach Road, Dovercourt, Essex. C012 3RP 

Tickets will be sent out within 28 days of order.

 Cinderella - Final Dress Rehearsal Photo
 Friday 30th January, 2009 • Thanks to Mark..........................................................Pictures
To round off January, a final photo from the dress rehearsal of Cinderella.

 Su on the Radio - For Better Or For Worse
 Friday 30th January, 2009.........................................................................................Radio
For Better Or For Worse: Episode Six - BBC Radio 7 : Friday 30th January - 5.30pm
For Better Or For Worse: Episode Six - BBC Radio 7 : Saturday 31st January - 6.00am
Iris dreams of hearing Pavarotti in concert, so Bernard tries to organise it. From March 1993. Episode 6 of 8.

For Better Or For Worse: Episode Seven - BBC Radio 7 : Friday 6th February - 5.30pm
For Better Or For Worse: Episode Seven - BBC Radio 7 : Saturday 7th February - 6.00am
A day trip to France brings buried memories to the surface for Bernard. Stars Su Pollard and Gordon Kaye. From March 1993. Episode 7 of 8.

 Review Of The Year - Su's 2008: Part Two
 Wednesday 21st January, 2009...........................................................................Su's Year
In July Shout! The New Swinging 60's Musical rounded off its successful first UK tour with residencies at Theatre Royal, Nottingham and Theatre Royal, Brighton... Su was interviewed by 'Brighton Life' magazine... she was also interviewed, in her hometown, by BBC Radio Nottingham... and made a hasty return to Loose Women.

August saw the Autumn UK tour dates for Shout! made available... and the artwork for the final Hi-de-Hi! DVD release, series eight and nine, was revealed, with Su once again on the cover.

In September the final two series' of Hi-de-Hi! were released on DVD... Su was interviewed by 'Swansea Evening Post', 'Southern Daily Echo', 'Bath Chronicle', and the 'Lancashire Telegraph'... The Autumn tour of Shout! The New Swinging 60's Musical opened in Southampton and also played in Bath and Blackpool... the press launch/photo call for Cinderella took place in Swansea... Su Online's Shout! Special went live... Su and Claire Sweeney were interviewed for The Mayflower Theatre website. 

Shout! visited Southend, Bromley and Leicester in October, receiving yet more great reviews along the way from, among others, 'Lancashire Evening Post', 'Melton Times', and 'North Wales Pioneer'... Su was interviewed by Blackpool Gay Radio.

In November Su was interviewed by the 'Leicester Mercury', 'Bangor Mail', 'Get Surrey' and 'UKTheatre.net'... Su and Claire guested on BBC Look North... Shout! played in Llandudno, Newcastle Upon Tyne and rounded off the Autumn tour in Woking... Su became the first 'Digital Spy' female icon... she lended her support to the Tenovus campaign... and celebrated her birthday!

December was busy, and all about panto... Su was interviewed by 'The Indepenent'... she travelled to Swansea to star in Cinderella at The Grand Theatre... The panto opened on 17th December and received positive reviews from 'The Stage', 'Western Mail', 'Llanelli Star', and 'Wales Online'... Su supported Living Painting's Books at Christmas for Blind Children campaign... and she visited the children's ward at Singleton hospital along with the Cinderella cast... and over Christmas BBC7 began to re-air For Better Or For Worse.

2008 saw Su Online have its busiest year since we launched in 2000. Thanks to everyone who visited the site and for all your emails, comments and feedback.

 Su on the Radio - For Better Or For Worse
 Wednesday 21st January, 2009.................................................................................Radio
For Better Or For Worse: Episode Five - BBC Radio 7 : Friday 23rd January - 5.30pm
For Better Or For Worse: Episode Five - BBC Radio 7 : Saturday 24th January - 6.00am
Bernard finds himself called in on a Sunday to cope with unexpected demand. Stars Su Pollard and Gordon Kaye. From March 1993. Episode 5 of 8.

For Better Or For Worse: Episode Six - BBC Radio 7 : Friday 30th January - 5.30pm
For Better Or For Worse: Episode Six - BBC Radio 7 : Saturday 31st January - 6.00am
Iris dreams of hearing Pavarotti in concert, so Bernard tries to organise it. From March 1993. Episode 6 of 8.

 Cinderella - Another Dress Rehearsal Photo
 Wednesday 21st January, 2009 • Thanks to Mark..................................................Pictures
Cinderella has now completed its successful Christmas run at The Grand Theatre, Swansea. Su has had a wonderful time in the show. Here is another photo from the dress rehearsal. We have one more to bring you soon before we say goodbye to Cinderella.

 2009 - A Year Of Celebration / Su's 2009 Plans
 Thursday 15th January, 2009..............................................................................Site News
2009 will be a year of celebration for Su and SuOnline. Su's plans for 2009 include more theatre, television and voiceover work. We will bring you further details on this as soon as it is confirmed.

This year is the 30th Anniversary of Hi-de-Hi!, 21st Anniversary of You Rang, M'Lord? and Su will celebrate her 60th birthday in November. We will be bringing you lots of special updates throughout the year to mark these occasions and events. As you may have noticed we have already made some changes to the front page of the site. We will also be adding newly redesigned Features, Episode Guides and Theatre sections, as well as other bits and pieces. Please stay tuned to Su Online throughout 2009.

 Cinderella - Party Pictures
 Thursday 15th January, 2009 • Thanks to Andrew.................................................Pictures
Photographs from the Cinderella party, which took place on Friday 9th January. Please click on the photos for larger versions.

 Review Of The Year - Su's 2008: Part One
 Thursday 15th January, 2009...............................................................................Su's Year
January, and Su started off 2008 in panto at The Festival Theatre in Malvern. Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs completed its Christmas run on Sunday 6th January... We announced almost immediately after that Su would be touring the UK in 2008 in Shout! The New Swinging 60's Musical... Su appeared, along with her co-star Claire Sweeney, at the photo call/press launch of Shout! at The Churchill Theatre, Bromley on Friday 18th January. 

In February Su was interviewed by 'News Shopper'... Shout! The New Swinging 60's Musical opened in Bromely on the 8th... Su was interviewed in the 'Bromley Times'... 'The Stage' gave Shout! a positive review... Su guested on BBC Radio 4's Loose Ends... and Shout! visited Liverpool and Cardiff.

March saw Su voicing Costcutter's TV commercials... Shout! played Edinburgh, Norwich, Wimbledon, Glasgow and Manchester... Su was interviewed by 'East Anglian Daily Times', 'The Scotsman', 'Glasgow Evening Times', and the 'Littlehampton Gazette'... Estelle cited Su as an influence on her huge hit 'American Boy'... and Su guested on ITV1's Loose Women.

In April Su was interviewed by 'What's On', 'Manchester Evening News', and 'Staffordshire Sentinel'... Shout! visited Woking, Stoke-On-Trent and Eastbourne... and the show continued to receive great reviews, with Su being praised for her performance as Yvonne.

May, and Shout! twist and shouted its way to Birmingham, Bradford, Grimsby and Surrey... Su was interviewed by 'The Scotsman', 'Grimsby Telegraph' (who also put Su on the cover of their 'What's On' magazine), 'What's On South West'... Series 7 of Hi-de-Hi! was released on DVD... and Su guested on BBC News.

Su and Claire attended The Royal Cornwall Show in early June... Shout! played in Torquay, Truro, Cheltenham and Bristol... Su guested on ITV's Central Tonight... We confirmed Su would be appearing in panto at The Grand Theatre, Swansea for Christmas 2008, in Cinderella... and tour dates for an Autumn run of Shout! The New Swinging 60's Musical were announced.

 Cinderella - More Dress Rehearsal Photos
 Thursday 15th January, 2009 • Thanks to Mark.....................................................Pictures
More photographs from the dress rehearsal of Cinderella. Please click on these for a larger versions. We will be adding more soon. The panto runs until Sunday 18th January.

 Wales On Sunday - Still On The Road
 Thursday 15th January, 2009............................................................................Press Clips
Cinderella @ Grand Theatre, Swansea (today until January 18)

WHAT, Christmas is over you say?

Oh no it isn’t! At least while panto is still going on.

Su Pollard, the former Hi-De-Hi star who is the only person alive to give Dennis Taylor glasses envy, stars as Baroness Hardup, Cinders’ evil step-mother. CBeebies presenter Chris Jarvis is Buttons while local favourites Kevin Johns and Frank Vickery are the boo-tastic Ugly Sisters. Swansea lass Nia Jermin takes the title role, and the Sensational Shetland Ponies will be on hand to take her to the ball in a spectacular carriage.

Neigh, neigh and thrice neigh, as Frankie Howerd might have said.

Call: 01792 475715

 Cinderella - The Stage - Panto Review
 Sunday 11th January, 2009....................................................................................Theatre
UK Productions’ second panto production at the Grand is not only a surefire box office winner, but a genuinely happy show and a real crowd-pleaser - indeed, I would venture to suggest that this is the most focused and effective panto to have been staged at this venue for some time.

Director Chris Jarvis - who also stars as a hugely sympathetic and likeable Buttons - is best known to mums and their little ones for his appearances on CBeebies, and he enjoys a massive fan following which is bound to set the tills ringing throughout the show’s run. There are those who bemoan the fact that pantos now tend to be dominated by TV stars, but the genre undoubtedly calls for a larger than life approach and Jarvis achieves exactly the right balance, combining smart and slick comedic delivery, pathos and rapport with the audience with plenty of topical and local references - including a well-aimed pot-shot at the “crazy one-way system” which has effectively crippled the city centre since its inception.

And speaking of larger than life performances, who better to play Baroness Hardup than Su Pollard? A fabulous trouper of the old school, she is clearly having a whale of a time in this show and her performance is a veritable tour de force. She is also adept at projecting her voice - a lesson that many other stage performers would do well to learn.

Ugly sisters Britney and Paris are played by Swansea favourites Kevin Johns and Frank Vickery, who exploit the comic potential of their characters to the full, while Cinderella herself is played by Nia Jermin, a delightfully charismatic performer who is ably supported by Craig Tyler as the handsome Prince Charming and Gavin Lee Rees as Dandini.

Last, but by no means least, we have a particularly fine Fairy Godmother in the form of Sarah Thomas, instantly recognisable for her long-running role as Glenda in Last of the Summer Wine and very effective here as Cinderella’s guardian angel. 

Add to all this a pair of Shetland ponies, smart dancing from the students of the Grand Theatre School of Dance and Drama, musical direction from Griff Harries and colourful lighting design by Chris Barrett, and you have a show which should hopefully defy the credit crunch and warm the hearts of young and old alike. Panto does not come much better than this.

By Graham Williams

 This Is South Wales - Su Pollard's wicked role in classic panto
 Sunday 11th January, 2009.................................................................................Interview
Cinderella is still tussling with sibling rivalry and seeking true love in the panto at Swansea Grand Theatre.

Best known for her role as the guileless Peggy in Hi-de-Hi, Su Pollard gets to bare her teeth as the wicked stepmother, Baroness Hardup, alongside Frank Vickery and Kevin Johns as the Ugly Sisters, Chris Jarvis from Cbeebies as Buttons, Sarah Thomas as the Fairy Godmother and Nia Jermin as Cinders.

Su says it's good for her to get her teeth into a less-than-sunny character every now and again.
"She is always after a man, money and a name. She's already had seven husbands. And I really go for it with the character. You could say I'm made for panto.

"I'm not bothered about being over the top. Panto has to have broad strokes. I love dressing up and I love the audience to join in.

"It is lovely to feel you are getting the reactions as you are doing it. In TV you don't see the thing as a whole until it is edited and put together, but in panto you can see your work in progress."
The audience, she says, is treated to a show packed with highlights.

"They'll love the transformation, and Buttons as Bob the Builder — the coach breaks down at one point and he has to get someone to fix it." Producer and Buttons in the show, Chris Jarvis, agrees this is a crowd-pleaser.

"A pantomime is all about moments — moments when you are laughing uncontrollably, moments when you are wowed and moments when there are great songs. This has lots of those. It has a bit of High School Musical, pop, topical and local references, dance, and three very funny baddies in Su, Kevin and Frank."

Su is, of course, still familiar to many for her part in Hi-De-Hi as the luckless Peggy. Far from being shadowed by her, she is happy to raise a glass to the character.

"She was really good for me, and I think it's a shame when people want to forget their beginnings. Everyone has to start somewhere, and if you are a good enough performer and you get the character right, you carry the audience with you in other shows. Besides, she was such a lovely character I'm pleased to have been part of her life."

Cinderella continues at Swansea Grand Theatre until Sunday, January 18. For tickets, call 01792 475715.

 Su on the Radio - For Better Or For Worse
 Sunday 11th January, 2009.......................................................................................Radio
For Better Or For Worse: Episode Four - BBC Radio 7 : Friday 16th January - 5.30pm
For Better Or For Worse: Episode Four - BBC Radio 7 : Saturday 17th January - 6.00am
Friction follows the arrival of new office girl Christabel. From March 1993. Episode 4 of 8.

For Better Or For Worse: Episode Five - BBC Radio 7 : Friday 23rd January - 5.30pm
For Better Or For Worse: Episode Five - BBC Radio 7 : Saturday 24th January - 6.00am
Bernard finds himself called in on a Sunday to cope with unexpected demand. Stars Su Pollard and Gordon Kaye. From March 1993. Episode 5 of 8.

 Cinderella - Dress Rehearsal Photo
 Wednesday 7th January, 2009 • Thanks to Mark...................................................Pictures
A great photo from the dress rehearsal of Cinderella. Please click on it for a larger version. We will be bringing you more photos from the panto over the weekend.

 Cinderella - Wales Online - Panto Review
 Wednesday 7th January, 2009...............................................................................Theatre
Cinderella sparkles as Swansea Grand panto

Anyone venturing over Briton Ferry Bridge in search of traditional panto fun will not be disappointed by Swansea Grand Theatre’s 2008-09 offering, writes Anthony O’Connell.

Cinderella is everything the traditional festive event should be, with well-known faces from national television and familiar routines.

It wouldn’t be a pantomime without cries of, “He’s behind you”, “Oh yes it is” and four local children going on stage to join in the singing of a daft tune.

But this production, directed by the show’s star – CBeebies’ Chris Jarvis – has plenty more.

The scenery looks terrific, using the full depth of the stage to give plenty of room for the talented singers and dancers to exploit, and there’s even room for real horses to pull Cinders’ coach to the ball.

Local girl Nia Jermin, and Swansea Grand regulars Kevin Johns and Frank Vickery clearly had a lot of fun throughout, as did Hi-Di-Hi’s Su Pollard, perfectly cast for the role of evil Baroness Hardup!

But, without doubt, it was Jarvis who stole the show.

Loveable as the unlucky-in-love Buttons, the children’s presenter could sing, mimic, act and keep the interest of his young audience for the two-and-a-quarter hour show.

I’ve been a regular panto-goer for many years, but, having watched my four-year-old shout, laugh and dance throughout, there’s no doubt that this is a real winner.

Cinderella runs until January 18.
Box office: Call 01792 475715.

By Rachael Misstear

 Su on the Radio - For Better Or For Worse
 Wednesday 7th January, 2009..................................................................................Radio
For Better Or For Worse: Episode Three - BBC Radio 7 : Friday 9th January - 5.30pm
For Better Or For Worse: Episode Three - BBC Radio 7 : Saturday 10th January - 6.00am
Bernard and Iris scour the neighbourhood when his sulking dad goes AWOL. Stars Su Pollard and Gordon Kaye. From March 1993.

For Better Or For Worse: Episode Four - BBC Radio 7 : Friday 16th January - 5.30pm
Friction follows the arrival of new office girl Christabel. From March 1993. Episode 4 of 8.