HARPY Will Embark on UK Tour This Spring Starring Su Pollard

HARPY Will Embark on UK Tour This Spring Starring Su Pollard Following a successful run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2018, personality and national treasure Su Pollard (Hi-De-Hi! and You Rang M’Lord?, BBC) returns to reprise her role in Harpy by award-winning playwright Philip Meeks (Kiss Me Honey, Honey!; Murder, Margaret and Me), as part of an extensive UK tour this Spring. Best known for her star-turn as Peggy in the BAFTA award-winning sitcom Hi-de-Hi!, the much-loved Su Pollard has had a career in showbusiness spanning four decades.

She returns to the stage as Birdie in Harpy, a play originally commissioned for her, now under new direction by Abigail Anderson (Pride and Prejudice, UK and South Korean tour; Macbeth and Much Ado About Nothing, Merely Theatre). A tour-de-force performance from Pollard, Harpy is a heart wrenching exploration of one woman’s struggles with mental health and loneliness, manifesting itself through extreme hoarding. At heart it’s a bittersweet dramatic comedy, which showcases a grittier side to the Su Pollard of the eighties, and also asks us to look beyond our prejudices against those who appear to disrupt the norm.

The neighbours call Birdie a harridan and a harpy even though most of them have never even met her.

They see her obsessive hoarding as detrimental to the value of their own homes. For Birdie, saving what others regard as the junk from her own life allows her to make sense of the world around her; her possessions are memories of a time past. Shunned by conventional society, she regards it as her duty to salvage these tiny histories that without her would be entirely forgotten.

Harpy is inspired by the retro cinematic sub-genre of Grand Dame Guignol – or ‘hag horror’ – wherein fading stars battled to survive by playing mad, potentially dangerous women or bewildered creatures in peril. Beneath their acting veneer were brave and brilliant women and Meeks is fascinated by their survival instincts. This idea of struggling and fighting for what we believe in comes to the fore in Harpy which seeks to explore mental health, questioning what madness really is.

Su comments, I am thrilled to be able to bring Harpy to a wider audience across the UK, having first performed it at the Edinburgh Festival in 2018.

I hope the new audiences enjoy themselves as much as I’m enjoying revisiting this complex character. Philip Meeks’ writing is both funny and poignant, and many people have remarked at how relatable the content is, openly tackling issues of mental health. Su Pollard gives the performance of her life, an unmissable tour-de-force of comedy and drama brought together in a fantastically constructed piece of theatre. (?????

Theatre Weekly, Edinburgh Fringe 2018)

Tour Dates

12th – 13th March King’s Theatre

24 Albert Road, Portsmouth, Southsea PO5 2QJ
https://kingsportsmouth.co.uk/

18th March Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds Westgate Street, Bury Saint Edmunds IP33 1QR
https://www.theatreroyal.org/

20th March Brunton Theatre Ladywell Way, Musselburgh EH21 6AA
https://www.thebrunton.co.uk/

25th March Haymarket Anvil Arts Wote Street, Basingstoke RG21 7NW https://www.anvilarts.org.uk/

27th March Theatre Royal Margate

Addington Street, Margate CT9 1PW https://www.margate-live.com/

28th March Cornerstone Arts Centre

25 Station Road, Didcot OX11 7NE https://www.cornerstone-arts.org/

29th March Castle Theatre

10 Castle Way, Wellingborough NN8 1XA https://www.parkwoodtheatres.co.uk/castle-theatre

2nd April Pavilion Arts Centre

22 St John’s Road, Buxton SK17 6XN https://buxtonoperahouse.org.uk/

8th April Theatr Hafren Llanidloes Road, Newtown SY16 4HU http://www.thehafren.co.uk/

9th April Waterside Theate

1 Waterside, Sale M33 7ZF https://watersidearts.org/

14th April Blackpool Grand Theatre

33 Church Street, Blackpool FY1 1HT https://www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk/

15th April Gala Theatre

1 Millennium Place, Durham DH1 1WA https://www.galadurham.co.uk/

16th April Old Laundry Theatre Crag Brow, Bowness-on-Windermere, Windermere LA23 3BX

https://www.oldlaundrytheatre.co.uk/

20th – 21st April Leicester Curve, Studio Rutland Street, Leicester, LE1 1SB
https://www.curveonline.co.uk/

23rd April The Horsham Capitol North Street, Horsham RH12 1RG

https://www.thecapitolhorsham.com/

25th April Hull Truck Theatre

50 Ferensway, Hull HU2 8LB

https://www.hulltruck.co.uk/

28th April The Hazlitt Theatre

36 Earl St, Maidstone ME14 1PP https://www.parkwoodtheatres.co.uk/Hazlitt-Theatre

30th April Borough Theatre Town Hall, Cross Street, Abergavenny NP7 5HD

https://boroughtheatreabergavenny.co.uk/

2nd May Lichfield Garrick Theatre

Castle Dyke, Lichfield WS13 6HR

https://www.lichfieldgarrick.com/

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