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ATV Today: Doctors Say Hi-de-Hi

October 2nd, 2018

atvtoday18aDoctors say Hi-de-Hi to Ruth Madoc and Su Pollard

The holiday camp actresses are joined by Paul Harman-Elliott, better known as Paul Chuckle, for a forthcoming storyline.

From 1980 until 1988 millions of viewers tuned to BBC One for a regular visit to the Maplins Holiday Camp in Crimpton-On-Sea. The fictional home of 1950s-set sitcom Hi-de-Hi! The series made stars of the cast which included Simon Cadell as entertainment manager Jeffery Fairbrother, Ruth Madoc as seductive head yellow coat Gladys Pugh, Paul Shane as always on the fiddle camp host Ted Bovis and Su Pollard as the over-excited chambermaid Peggy Ollerenshaw; who was forever trying to become a yellow coat.

The series followed the adventures of the staff at the run down holiday destination as their attempts to entertain the campers entertained beeb viewers across 58 episodes, nine series, and even lead to a stage version and cast album. The comedy was created and written by Jimmy Perry and David Croft who had also brought to life Dad’s Army, It Ain’t Half Hot Mum and You Rang M’Lord?

Two of the key actresses from the show – Ruth Madoc and Su Pollard are being reunited on screen in BBC One daytime soap opera Doctors. Ruth plays Jean Marsh while Su features as Mary Dunlop in an episode to be screened on 8th October. The pair are joined for the plot by ChuckleVision ‘Chuckle Brother’ Paul Harman-Elliott who plays Ronnie Hislop, a man whom has been a little naughty to say the least.

• Continue reading at ATV Today.

Malvern Gazette: Let’s Say Hi-de-Hi Again

October 2nd, 2018

snowwhite18kLet’s say hi-de-hi again to national treasure Su

Su Pollard leans back in the chair, her face breaking into the kind of smile that seems to suggest she’s known you all her life.

You’ve hardly sat down, but she’s already delivering that big Nottinghamshire welcome treatment, those long, drawn-out east Midlands vowels immediately making you feel at home.

There isn’t any trace of weariness in her voice, which is all rather remarkable, because the star of a string of iconic television sitcoms is still very much living and working in the fast lane.

Su’s starring in this year’s Malvern Theatres pantomime Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and quite obviously can’t wait to hear all that barrage of boos and hisses as she plays the part of the Wicked Queen to the full and then some.

‘Legend’ is a much-used word. But in the case of Su Pollard, the epithet is richly deserved. The star of television’s Hi-de-Hi, You Rang M’Lord and Oh, Dr Beeching has been a household name for more than three decades, so Worcestershire panto fanatics will be in for a real treat.

• Continue reading at the Malvern Gazette.

Ludlow Advertiser: Snow White’s the Malvern Panto

October 2nd, 2018

snowwhite18iMalvern Theatres has announced more details about this year’s panto at the venue, which will be Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

A spokesman said: “Hi ho, hi ho! It’s off to Malvern Theatres panto we go!

“This spectacular production stars the legendary Su Pollard as the Wicked Queen, alongside Francesca McKean as Snow White, Aiden Banyard as the Prince, Philips Meeks as Nursie… and back by popular demand is comedy star Mark James as the loveable Muddles!

“Join us for a magical adventure with a beautiful Princess, the jealous Wicked Queen, an enchanted mirror and a dashing Prince; with a little help along the way from the Muddles, Nursie and of course the Seven Dwarfs…

• Continue reading at the Ludlow & Tenbury Wells Advertiser.

British Theatre Guide: Su Signs Up For Snow White

October 2nd, 2018

snowwhite18jSu Pollard will play the Wicked Queen in Malvern Theatres’ 2018 panto Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Francesca McKean will play Snow White, Aiden Banyard will be the Prince, Philips Meeks takes the role of Nursie and Mark James plays Muddles.

The pantomime is produced by UK Productions. There will be a full supporting cast including children from dance school the Cecilia Hall Dance Centre.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs runs at Malvern Theatres from Thursday 13 December until Sunday 6 January 2019.

• Continue reading at the British Theatre Guide.

Redditch Advertiser: Loads Of Laughter In Store

September 25th, 2018

snowwhite18fOnce it was ‘Hi-De-Hi’, but now it’s going to be very much a case of ‘Heigh-ho, Heigh-ho’ for one of the favourite characters from the famous holiday camp comedy series in which she played Peggy – the staff chalet maid.

Afficionados of the hugely popular television series won’t need reminding that Peggy Ollerenshaw was played by the always effervescent, if not zany, Su Pollard. Now Su is about to play the Wicked Queen in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which will be the festive pantomime at Malvern’s Festival Theatre over the Christmas period.

And she was in town this week to help launch the panto along with fellow cast members.

Throughout the 58 episodes of Hi-De-Hi, Su’s character had aspirations to become a Maplin’s Yellowcoat but now she will be wearing costumes far more colourful and outrageous – much like her outgoing personality.

She was the life and soul of the launch and Malvern audiences will be in for a real treat with her in this form.

Born and raised in Nottingham and very proud of her roots, she has been ‘treading the boards’ – first performing in clubs – since she was 15 years old. Su says she is delighted to be returning to Malvern.

• Continue reading at the Redditch and Alcester Advertiser. Click below for further info and to book tickets. (Photos © Redditch Advertiser)

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UK Theatre Network: Harpy Review at Underbelly, Edinburgh

August 24th, 2018

harpy18eSu Pollard is not only famous for her role as chalet maid PeggyOllerenshaw in the eighties sitcom Hi-de-Hi, but also for heroff-screen zany personality and mile-a-minute chatter.

But in Philip Meeks’ play, although her signature earnest delivery is still evident, this is Su Pollard in contemplative mood, as Birdie, a lonely woman who lives among the detritus of life talking to her fish…and her social worker. She also shouts at the woman next door who bangs on the wall when Birdie sings into a hairbrush.

There’s a hint of madness as Birdie’s story unfolds and we get to understand just why she – and maybe other hoarders like her – is the way she is. But there are moments of stillness in Pollard’s performance and she does cut a sad figure.

• Continue reading at UK Theatre Network. (Review by Clare Brotherwood) (Photo © Karla Gowlett)

Theatre Box: Harpy Review at Underbelly, Edinburgh

August 24th, 2018

harpy18kSu Pollard is Birdie, the infamous hag of her little village. She sits in her house on the hill, perched like a harpy atop her hoard, and waits for the return of the one thing she ever let slip away – the most important thing in her pitiful, lonely life. Throughout the course of this hour-long one-woman show, we watch her converse with her fish, her social worker, her neighbours (through the intervening walls), the local busybody (and almost-friend), and assorted other characters from Birdie’s past and present.

The play was written for Hi-de-Hi! star Pollard, and she brings warmth and complexity to her eccentric character, exhibiting in turns a shrewd Marple-like observant of human nature, and a fragile, vulnerable lost soul. Deftly handling both comedy and aching pathos, she helps her audience forge a deep and personal understanding of this misunderstood old lady.

• Continue reading at Theatre Box. (Review by Sophia Halpin) (Photo © Karla Gowlett)

Everything Theatre: Harpy Review at Underbelly, Edinburgh

August 20th, 2018

Old age is a scary beast. Scary for those who approach it – as it carries uncertainty – and scary for those who watch it from a distance, because it’s hard to understand. So is Birdie (Su Pollard) scary, because nobody wants to get close to her. They prefer to observe her from a distance, like some sort of mythological creature. Like a harpy.

In reality, she’s just an old lady who lives on her own and has no friends or family. Nobody in the neighbourhood knows her personally, but they call her a harpy, a harridan, and report her to the social services for listening to loud music in the dead of night. In a way, she’s proud of her reputation and giggles at the idea that her presence can make people so uncomfortable.

• Continue reading at Everything Theatre. (Review by Marianna Meloni) (Photo © Karla Gowlett)

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Rev Stan’s Theatre Blog: Harpy Review at Underbelly, Edinburgh

August 20th, 2018

revstan18aBirdie (Su Pollard) is a hoarder and the bane of her neighbours and social services.

She likes to belt out 80s pop music – Bananarama, Eurythmics – late at night and her house is a health hazard.

Harridan and harpy to most, locals tell children that she’ll take their soul if she catches them looking in the window. Her comments are sharp and insensitive – and often witty – and she sees the ‘mishaps’ that envelop her as not quite how they appear to everyone else.

However, for all her bluster she has a keen observation and there is an organisation to the chaos of her home, a rationale that unfolds slowly in her life story.

• Continue reading at Rev Stan’s Theatre Blog. (Review by Rev Stan)

BritishTheatre.Com: Harpy Review at Underbelly, Edinburgh

August 17th, 2018

britishtheatre18bMark Ludmon reviews Philip Meeks’ new play Harpy starring Su Pollard at Underbelly, Cowgate at Edinburgh Fringe

The cult popularity of 1960s “hag horror” movies, led by Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, is part of the inspiration for Harpy, an entertaining and heartwarming new black comedy from Philip Meeks. The gothic horror has been relocated to south London to tell the story of Bridget, known as Birdie, who has turned her house into a nest packed with curiosities from dentures, magazines and mannequin parts to a collection of glass eyes. After the sudden mysterious death of her Auntie Maureen in the attic, Birdie has become a figure of hate to her neighbours and a worry for social services.

• Continue reading at British Theatre. (Review by Mark Ludmon)

Edinburgh Evening News: Harpy Review

August 17th, 2018

een18aLiam Rudden: Forgive me for harping on about Su’s Fringe debut

Have to say, it’s long overdue. Yes, at 68-years-young the irrepressible Su Pollard is currently making her Fringe debut in a wonderfully bitter-sweet piece by Fringe First Award-winning playwright Philip Meeks.Harpy tells the story of aging eccentric Birdie. Birdie lives alone. She is a hoarder with a love of Bananarama and singing into her hairbrush. The neighbours call her a harpy, although most have never met her.They see her hoard of treasures as a threat to house prices, but all her bits and bobs aren’t rubbish, well, not to Birdie. Her ‘collection’ is her life’s work. It exists because, many years before, something she deeply cherished was stolen.

• Continue reading at Edinburgh Evening News. (Review by Liam Rudden) (Photo © Karla Gowlett)

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The Wee Review: Harpy Review at Underbelly, Edinburgh

August 17th, 2018

weereview18aSu Pollard shines and delivers a fascinating monologue.

The set already hints at the characteristics of the eponymous protagonist – played by well-known TV and stage actress Su Pollard – before Harpy has even begun. Looking like a well-stocked jumble sale, bric-a-brac and junk are littered around the stage: clothes, plastic bags, paintings, boxes and a symbolic filthy fish tank. Pollard plays Birdie, an eccentric, scatter-brained but sensitive middle-aged woman living in the house where she was sent as a young adult to live with her now-deceased aunt.

The monologue unfolds to detail Birdie’s day-to-day life as the subject of local gossip. They think she is a mad hoarder who lives alone and who may or may not be a murderer. Woven throughout this narrative are her reflections and memories that give us subtle insights into her fragile, yet defensive psyche and at times upsetting moments from her past.

• Continue reading at The Wee Review. (Review by Matthew Keeley)

Sardines: Harpy Review at Underbelly, Edinburgh

August 17th, 2018

harpy18kOne of the pleasures of the Edinburgh Fringe is to see familiar performers doing something new, and that was certainly the case with Harpy by Philip Meeks, a one woman play with Su Pollard playing an elderly hoarder and some of the other people in her life, especially her well-meaning social worker Mrs Featherstone. Appearing from the back of the small White Belly venue, Pollard is almost unrecognisable when dressed down for the role and without her trademark glasses, but it is immediately clear that she is more than up to the challenge of such a part.

• Continue reading at Sardines. (Review by Chris Abbott) (Photo © Karla Gowlett)

The Stage: Richard Jordan at The Fringe

August 17th, 2018

stage18cRichard Jordan: Forget Dannii Minogue as Lady Macbeth, the fringe offers established stars a platform for reinvention

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe may once have been considered a rite of passage, where many of today’s leading performers cut their teeth and before embarking on successful careers. However, now it seems that the festival is the place to play after you’ve enjoyed career success.

…This year that point is exemplified best by two shows: Philip Meeks’ new play Harpy starring Su Pollard, and Stripped, John Partridge’s one-man cabaret performance. Pollard, who makes her fringe debut, became a household name in the 1980s BBC sitcom Hi-de-Hi!. However, as a result, Pollard was frequently typecast and her acting range neglected.

In Harpy, her name will guarantee ticket sales from those who loved her as chalet maid Peggy Ollerenshaw in the comedy show. However, Pollard’s appearance at the fringe has provided her with an opportunity to show off her own versatility as an actor.

• Continue reading at The Stage.