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It’sPanto Season…


As pantomime season comes around again, Listed lifts the red curtain on the South Coast’s top shows and talks to their celebrity stars


How do you feel about being reminded about Hi-Di-Hi every day? I think that is rather nice that even if people remember you for one thing, that it is for Hi-Di-Hi. It was such an important part of people’s lives. We obviously made an impact because it made them laugh and cry. I think it was Tony Curtis that said he was very happy to talk about the show because if you don’t acknowledge it, you’re almost saying that part of their lives didn’t exist. You have to respect what your audience have liked. I shall probably get ‘Peggy was here’ written on my gravestone.


Listed’s Ruth Walker caught up with Su Pollard at Aruba


T


he Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre is just weeks away from being


filled with heckles of ‘He’s behind you’ And ‘Oh no you didn’t’ for Sleeping Beauty, this year’s Christmas panto. Local favourite Chris Jarvis is returning this year as Happy Harry alongside Su Pollard, Colin Baker, Asa Elliot and Kate Weston who will all be embarking in a life of sparkle and fetching frocks for the 25 day stint...


At what age did you realise that you were funny, that you liked making people laugh? That came about when I was six years old. I was the Angel Gabriel’s Assistant. I had to say: “Don’t worry Mary, Gabriel will be coming along soon and you will be with child.” The teacher was supposed to make me a box to stand on, but it was a cardboard box and she’d only taped the lid over, so of course my foot went through the lid. Everybody started laughing and I thought ‘Oh I quite like the sound of that.’ Is it nice to be re-united with Chris Jarvis for another panto? Chris is terribly good in the fact that because of CBeebies, he is used to


interacting with people. He knows the skill of what to bring to the stage as a director as well as a performer. He cares what the production looks like and how it sounds. It is so nice to work with someone that is so committed to that, so you know that it is going to be a good show.


We often see you playing the baddie in pantos. Do you enjoy playing the villain?


I’m used to playing the baddie, but with a bit of a twist and a bit of humour. You can’t be too evil. I always make sure that the audience join in. I’ll say “You call that a boo? That’s pathetic!’ When the kids come from school I get them to scream and scream and of course all the teachers go away and they’re deaf for the next few days!


Do you think that there are still taboos in the comedy world? I think that it is a shame that over the past few years the so called P.C brigade have taken over. But there are promising signs that that has been done away with now. People know their own boundaries; they’ve


got enough common sense.


If you could perform on stage in any musical which would you choose? I probably wouldn’t do any of the ones we currently have on stage. I would love to do ‘Funny Girl’ made famous by Barbara Streisand. I think that the range of musicals that we have at the moment are wonderful but some of the older musicals are just as good and they stand the test of time.


You’re seen as a style icon. How do you feel about that? I think it’s absolutely marvellous! It just shows you that every decade someone makes an impact. I think that I was ahead of my time when I started; I was a goth when I was 12. Then there are people like Lady Gaga. I sent her a letter and she sent one back saying don’t we look similar. I tell people I’m Gaga’s mentor. There is always room for people who have an individual taste whether it might be bizarre to someone else or not. It’s each to their own I guess. I try to be myself and be a little out there; I never want to get a closed mind.


You are often described in the media as being outspoken. How do you feel about that? I would like to think that I am not being two-faced. If you’re really passionate about something I think you have really got to get that across. So many young people have been brought up to not talk about certain things at the risk of it being misconstrued. Nobody wants to say too much for fear of being misunderstood and it being taken out of context. There’s too much timidity about.


Who would you say has been your biggest influence throughout your career?


I would have to say definitely David Croft and Jimmy Perry because they gave me the chance to grow as a performer. I’m indebted to everyone that has given me a passion.


You can see Su Pollard playing the bad fairy Carabosse in Sleeping Beauty at Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre from 08 December 2012 to 06 January 2013.


For more information visit www.bic.co.uk or call the Box Office on 08445 763000. Photos by Richard Lee.


18Listed


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