Sunday, 5 July 2015

What's your favourite Joan Sims Carry On character?

There are just so many roles to choose from. Joan Sims has long been my favourite Carry On actor and she is by far the most prolific actress to have been a part of the regular team. Only Kenneth Williams made more Carry Ons than Joan and compared to the other main actresses (Hattie Jacques - 14 appearances; Barbara Windsor - 9 appearances), Joan's mammoth 24 Carry On turns provide a variety and in some cases even depth (for a Carry On at least) that is quite unrivaled.

So which role is her finest? I think we can all agree Joan never turned in a dud performance but what is her definitive role? Her roles decreased in later years - Behind, England and Emmannuelle were pretty much cameos - and sometimes she was saddled with the nagging, shrewish wife part perhaps once too often. Probably my least favourite of Joan's roles was Connie in Carry On Girls - it really gave her nothing to work with but as always, she gave it her all.

So what was your favourite role? Maybe the fiery Zig ZIg in Follow That Camel? Or the bouncy young Miss Sarah Allcock in Carry On Teacher? Or what about Lady Joan Ruff Diamond in the classic Up The Khyber? And then there's Belle in Cowboy...

My own favourite performance from Joan came in 1972's Carry On Abroad. Yes Cora Flange was a nagging wife, but there was much more to the character than that. Sid and Joan were so believable as a middle-aged married couple, whose marriage was crumbling. There was so much shared chemistry on display it almost felt real. You could see Joan behind the bar with Sid - what a double act. Joan could often subtly tug at the heart strings in many of her performances and she does it again in Abroad.

Best of all though are the scenes of shared laughter between Sid and Joan. As i've commented before, it often goes way beyond an acting performance. You could tell they got on, they liked each other and were having a blast. 

So Cora is probably my favourite of Joan's Carry On roles. Her frustration at Sid's potential's philandering, her tentative dalliance with Kenneth Connor's Stanley Blunt and her final, glorious reunion with her husband. What a lady!

So get in touch and tell me what your favourite Joan SIms Carry On role is.

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