Interview: Su Pollard’s musical menopause
TV icon Su Pollard is known throughout the land for her much-loved turns in a range of hit BBC sitcoms, among them Hi-De-Hi and Oh,Doctor Beeching! Such was her iconic status, she won Rear of the Year in 1988.
Now she is back on the London stage.
After achieving phenomenal success in both America and Australia, Menopause the Musical is making its debut on these shores.
Su is one of the stars of the show and PinkNews.co.uk’s Amy Bourke was granted an interview with the great lady.
How would you describe Menopause the Musical?
Every character in the show is a stereotype. There is an earth mother hippie type, a housewife.
I’m the housewife, so I’m dressed up in a very dowdy costume. They are all stereotypes, but they have one thing in common: the menopause. Every woman can recognise herself in those stereotypes.
The show is a very difficult one to perform. It’s all-dancing, all-singing with moving scenery.
Each actor or actress only gets three minutes each off stage during the entire performance, so it’s a bit manic. But tons of fun!
The show has been a massive hit in America. Do you think it translates well?
Absolutely. In many ways it is a very American show, but audiences here seem to love it, it can be very interactive.
The songs are all parodies of songs by bands like the Beach Boys. They are American songs, but also classic songs that everybody knows.
The last play you did was Shakespeare. What inspired you to move on to something so different?
I played the part of Nanny in Romeo and Juliet, which was a venture for me. I thought “Blimey, at last I’m doing Shakespeare!” It was fantastic.
If you show me a good script with interesting content, I’ll give it a go, whether it’s Shakespeare or the Vagina Monologues.
I love Menopause the Musical because we sing songs about St John’s Wort and Prozac, hot flushes and lack of sleep; real things that affect real women.
It is far more upbeat than the Vagina Monologues. There is no stigma attached to the menopause in this show.
Why should our readers come and see it?
If you’re a woman who is fed up, crying, thinking you can’t recognise yourself, then you should come to our show!
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It will make you see the menopause in a totally different light. We have a lot of lesbians in our audiences because of course they have two women going through the “change” in one house, which can be very difficult.
The show is hilarious and as camp as Chloe, darling. Gay men should come because it will give them some insight into what their mothers are going through. It’s just a funny show, and everyone loves a funny show!
Menopause the Musical is now showing at the Shaw Theatre, Euston Road. Performances run from Tuesday-Saturday at 7.30pm, and on Thursday, Friday and Sunday at 2.30pm. Tickets are priced at £39.50. For the box office, ring 0870 033 2626.
L to R: Miquel Brown (Power Woman); Amanda Symonds (Earth Woman); Samantha Hughes (Soap Star); Su Pollard (Rutland Housewife)
photos: Donald Cooper