STAR INTERVIEW: Comedy double act take on the legend of Robin Hood

Canon and Ball in Ha Ha Hood
Canon and Ball in Ha Ha Hood

Ha Ha Hood! And The Prince of Leaves is coming to the Castle Theatre, Wellingborough on October 15. The comedy take on the Robin Hood tale tells a story about the legendary characters in later life.

It stars Cannon and Ball along with Su Pollard.

Here the comedy duo tell us about the show and the secret of their long-lasting partnership.


How did you hear about this production of Ha Ha Hood! and what appealed to you about it?

Bobby Ball: When our Manager first called I thought he’d been in the pub as it sounded like nothing we had ever done before. He began to explain to us the concept behind the production and we became interested straight away because it sounded like a lot of fun. ‘But I’m not playing Maid Marian,’ I shouted to uncontrolled laughter from Tommy!

Tommy Cannon: We received a call from Phil Dale our manager. After a few calls and me and Bobby talking it all through, we decided that it was something completely new for us and it sounded like a lot of fun. As such we are really looking forward to it!

How would you 
describe your characters in the show?

BB: Mad! Barking mad! And funny! And who knows, maybe a little factual?

TC: The Sheriff is mean, mad and bad with a little twinkle in his eye. I have to say I’m worried about Bobby as he’s said that for his role of the Friar he can go back to the pies and chips. Oh and he then went on to say that I have to stay sleek and watch what I eat. That doesn’t seem fair.

So Bobby, are you making the Guy of Gisborne especially evil?

BB: He might change on a show by show basis depending on the audience. However, I see him as a flawed character who would steal sweets from kids!

And what about your Friar Tuck? Does he 
differ from previous portrayals of the 
character?

BB: He’s not a foodie as the original Friar Tuck was always portrayed. He’s more of a lover of junk food. He would be proud to know that years and years later his image and name would be stolen for Chip Shops across the Country like The Happy Friar.

And Tommy, are you making the Sheriff of Nottingham especially evil?

TC: Oh yes, especially as Bobby won’t like it, which will help in the comedy. The Sherriff will be as bad as can be. In fact, if he could give out parking tickets he would start with Bobby’s car…

Are you watching a lot of the old Robin Hood films as research?

BB: No, I’d like to find each of the characters myself without film and TV versions – I’m an actor, darling!

TC: Well I see a lot of Alan Rickman in my version of the Sherriff so yes I’ll be watching the film again.

Who is your favourite Robin Hood and Maid Marian from past 
versions?

BB: Richard Green and Sienna Miller. Okay, Sienna has never played Maid Marian, but I can dream can’t I? But let’s be honest, Su is going to make a marvellous Marian. She’s my favourite already.

TC: I’ve honestly never really thought about it although I do remember watching a wonderful TV series when I was a kid. I still remember the theme tune.

Does the fact that the characters are older than usual give this production a fresh take on the legend?

BB: Of course because the industry always shows characters as young people. But what happened to them later in life? Well come and see the show and we’ll show you!

TC: Absolutely because they have lived and have so many great stories to tell now. Although we are a bit worried if Marian is really still a maid?

Why has your double act lasted so well? What’s the secret of a successful double act?

BB: Firstly we are friends and secondly, we don’t know how to do anything else! And we have a great manager.

TC: Genuine friendship which has taken us through the highs and lows which all careers inevitably go through. A friend in our manager Phil Dale and an understanding of each other’s different needs over the years.

Tickets for Ha Ha Hood are £20.

They can be purchased by calling 01933 270 007 or online at www.thecastle.org.uk