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Su Pollard On...Annie

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One of Britain's favourite entertainers - Su Pollard returns to the region as Miss Hannigan in the classic musical - Annie which is currently touring the UK. We caught up with her to discuss the enduring appeal of the show, working with children and animals and of course - Hi-De-Hi.

You have been in Annie many times now. What do you like about the show?
It is a proven product – all the ingredients for great entertainment – great singable tunes, good storey, interesting characters, fab orchestrations and a happy ending.

Miss Hannigan differs slightly according to who plays her. How do you see her?
Frustrated, as her life has not turned out at all like she imagined, hence her taking to the bottle. She just wants to be loved really. Oh and RICH!

They say never act with children and animals and you perform with both. Any funny Sandy stories?
We have only ever had one Sandy – real name Danny. He tends not to perform well if he is not given any Wensleydale cheese.

There are many young girls who dream of being in a show like Annie. What advice would you give a young person who dreams of being on stage?
I would suggest they join an amateur company to learn how to interact with others, listen and learn and audition for everything. I must stress that the entertainment business is very competitive, but if the person believes in them self enough and is prepared to give everything then I would say give it a go.

You have had a great stage career but many people still know you for Hi-De-Hi - do you mind and what are your memories of that time?
I am always thrilled with any comments re Hi-De-Hi. It has always been a source of great joy to be associated with a show so beloved by the public. My memories are too numerous to list, but I can say to laugh every day for ten years is the best one ever.

What's your favourite song in Annie and why?
I adore "You’re Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile" as the message is so fabulous. No matter where you’re from, rich or poor, you’re not complete as a person if you don’t smile. That’s so true. A smile brings pleasure and warmth to yourself and others.

What messages do you think the show holds for contemporary audiences?
Annie offers hope out of despair and that however bad circumstances are, things can and do improve. Also, that the human spirit does shine through & there’s always "Tomorrow."
What are your plans once the tour is over?
I shall be working on a TV light entertainment quiz, travelling with my one-woman show and visiting friends in Spain. Hooray!!

Su Pollard was speaking to Glenn Meads.

Annie is at the Palace Theatre Manchester from 8 - 12 November and the Blackpool Grand from 22 - 26 November.

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