Interview: Su Pollard, actress

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'THE sun'll come out tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar..." so sang the irrepressible Su Pollard in the Benidorm Christmas special - appropriate for a couple of reasons.

First, she returns to the Capital next week to reprise her role as the dastardly Miss Hannigan in Annie, from which the song comes.

Second, the sun certainly came out for her whistlestop trip to the Costa Blanca.

"We filmed Benidorm last August while I was touring Annie, it was a pretty tight schedule," reveals the Hi De Hi star.

"We finished Annie in Bradford on the Saturday, flew to Benidorm on the Sunday, a few hours later we started filming, filmed all day Monday and then flew back to do Annie in Milton Keynes on the Tuesday.

"It was very hot, about 120 degrees. In fact, it was so hot the crew were pouring bottles of water over their heads instead of drinking them."

In Benidorm, the actress appeared as herself and admits that playing a fictional version of Su Pollard was surreal.

"It was very weird. Obviously I had to stick to Derren Litten's script, but equally I could say, 'May I suggest I substitute this for that, as this is what I would normally say?'

"He was fine about that but the real worry is, you don't know exactly how much of yourself you should reveal, so you have to play a version of yourself."

That said, the little nod to Annie as she belted out Tomorrow would have struck a chord with anyone who has seen the feel-good musical.

"That was the campest thing ever," she laughs. "Derren loves his musical and he just thought it would be a good idea. Of course it was a great plug for the show and my producer was jumping about with glee.

"But best of all, I think they want me to do some more, which is fabulous. I'm seeing Derren in a couple of weeks for a little chat, so fingers crossed."

In the meantime, Pollard has returned to playing the drunken orphanage warden Miss Hannigan, a role she has made her own four times over the last ten years.

"She is so terrible, but I do feel sorry for her. She has all these kids who dangle mice in front of her and generally create mayhem."

Simply put, Annie is the rags-to-riches tale of an orphan who escapes the day to day drudgery of the orphanage when she is adopted by millionaire Oliver Warbucks.

Pollard adds, "Poor Miss Hannigan has been surrounded by children for 30 years, she doesn't see any adult company. No wonder she's taken to the drink.

"I try to make her a bit sympathetic. I've given her a back story and each time I play her more things come to mind.

"You can't be one dimensional, and I believe that underneath the harsh exterior she is quite sensitive... and of course, she does get her come-uppance at the end."

Annie, Edinburgh Playhouse, Greenside Place, Tuesday-Saturday, 7.30pm (matinees 2.30pm) 8.50-28.50, 0844-847 1660