The show comes to the White Rock Theatre on Wednesday, September 17 and actress Su Pollard, of
Q: What appealed to you about this production?
A: “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
Q: How would you describe your Maid Marian?
A: “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.”
Q: How does your Marian differ from previous portrayals of the character?
A: “My Marian is very different. She’s gutsy. After her divorce from Robin 10 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.”
Q: Do you have a favourite previous Marian?
A: “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?”
Q: What can you tell us about the plot?
A: “The Sheriff of Nottingham has been in prison for 10 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.”
Q: Ten years after their messy divorce, is there still something between Robin and Marian?
A: “Yes. Marian still has a spark glowing for Robin. They never resolved things between them – you know those terrible divorces where the couples don’t talk things through? There was no marriage guidance back then. But when she learns of the Sheriff’s plot they are thrown back together again as they team up to save the citizens of Nottingham.”
Q: Why do we keep returning to the legend of Robin Hood?
A: “It’s a huge favourite because it’s an eternal myth. The characters have been portrayed in so many different ways throughout the centuries. Audiences know exactly what the story should be, but they don’t know how it will be interpreted. I think it’s enduringly popular because of that.”
Q: What makes Ben Langley’s writing so strong?
A: “He’s a great writer. He did 20 years as a street performer in Covent Garden, and all his dialogue succeeds because he had to learn and adapt to how to relate to audiences on the streets. He’s taken all that experience and put it directly into his writing. That’s why it’s so strong and so believable. Ha Ha! shows are so successful because even though they are parodies the subjects are still treated with respect.”
Q: What do you enjoy most about live theatre?
A: “The buzz. I love it. The audience are right there with you, and you’re taking them on a journey. You’re doing it for them at that very moment in time. That’s a special feeling. You give your all every night and get so much back. You can’t beat live theatre.”
Q: Does it bring you a thrill that TV can never match?
A: “Definitely. Live theatre gives you the most marvellous feeling in the world - it’s very gratifying. With TV, you’ve done the performance six months earlier but on stage it’s there and then. It’s where you really learn your craft. You can’t top it!”
Q: Did you always want to be an actress?
A: “Yes. I knew from the age of six that there was something special about showbiz. People often say, “I was born to do this” and I genuinely was. I wanted to learn the craft of acting. Whether you’re an actor, a car mechanic or an ice cream salesman, you have to have passion for your job and want to learn more about it. I knew acting would be my career - I didn’t have to look any further.
“When I told the school careers officer I wanted to be an actress, she said, “don’t be ridiculous, train to be a chef instead.” But I was not cut out for that. At least the catering industry was spared my culinary disasters!
Q: What would you say was your big break?
A: I was very lucky to get