Like father, like son
This father and son act are sure to entertain.
Pete Conway and Robbie WIlliams, Dave Evans and Lee Evans, Jerry Stiller and Ben Stiller.
These duos all have something in common, they are father and sons who have all entertained and influenced music and comedy. And another duo who follow in their footsteps are Sean ‘Rollo’ Rollason and his son Tommy J who will soon be part of the variety show Laugh Your Socks Off at the Princess Theatre, Hunstanton.
The fun comedy duo will be performing in the matinee and evening shows on Sunday, October 24 which promises entertainment for all the family including magic, slapstick, juggling and song.
Being funny is a gift, and making it a successful career is a real skill in the cut throat world of show biz.
Rollo, entertainer, comedian and clown left school when he was 16 and joined the circus in 1987 and stayed there for two years touring all over England, Scotland and Wales as a circus clown. He learnt to do juggling, escapology, fire eating and worked with other clowns and learnt things like comedy timing.
Inspired by clowns such as Coco the Clown (Nicolai Poliakoff), Jimmy Scott and Jacko Fossett, old circus clowns who Rollo was lucky to meet. He said: “Just chatting to them and watching the way they work and the way they move, especially in the circus because you’ve got an audience all around you, so you’ve got to remember you’ve got people over your shoulders, everything you do you’ve got to do three times really. It was a great learning experience being in the circus.”
Rollo describes Laugh your socks off as a proper variety show, family based, that he and his son Tommy are starring in together.
He said: “We started a double act aiming towards families and children, something we worked on during the pandemic. We’ve put some shows in different places with other pros on the bill. It’s going to be a great night”
Showbiz runs in the family. Rollo met his wife Michelle when she was a dancer during a summer season in Hastings where he was a compere. Michelle went from performing to teaching and runs the Rollason dance school. His daughter Lucy at one point worked as a synchronised swimmer and aerial act and also a dancer and singer.
He said: “They are all in the business but I didn’t push them into the business which I have been all my life, they wanted to do it so I have supported whatever they wanted to do.”
At the beginning of the pandemic the future was unclear for theatres and entertainers, and for Rollo the dates started being moved and it was hard to see which way the work would go.
Rollo was able to direct a huge drive-in pantomime which toured from Swansea to Bristol playing the role of the wicked step-mother and was involved in mini shows. Meanwhile Tommy played Prince in a show that his sister choreographed and Lucy taught dance classes on Zoom.
Rollo talks fondly about his children and their achievements and the idea of the show came from ideas and collaboration with them. The show is aimed at families and kids with silly comedy and slapstick.
With dates in Boston and Ely planned for their tour, the audience in Hunstanton will be seeing their very own double act as Rollo.
A highlight of Rollo’s showbiz career was singing I’m in the mood for dancing with none other than Maureen Nolan in the finale of the pantomime Cinderella in Rotherham. He is also honoured to have been asked to join the Grand Order of Water Rats a show biz fraternity that raise loads of money for charity.
He said: “ It was quite humbling to be asked to join the order with people such as Brian May and Joe Pasquale who are all real pros.”
With a background in the art of clowning Rollo has toured extensively around the world with a top circus.
His advice for people going into the business is based on extensive experience and he said: “I always watch other acts, you can always learn from other acts, and have respect for other artists, listen and don’t think you’re ever too good to learn.”
Father and son will be sharing the stage together and with their skills for magic and mayhem, no doubt the audience will be delighted by their performance.
The performance also showcases The Rollason Stage School students, magician Van Buren and Allyson plus vocalist Linda Newport.
Rollo and Tommy J and company will be perfect for Sunny Hunny’s theatre by the sea.
Tickets can be purchased at www.princesshunstanton.co.uk
Box Office 01485 532252