Saturday 30 April 2016

What a Carry On at the London Film Convention!


The London Film Convention is now in its 43rd year. My attention has been drawn to this by one of my lovely Twitter followers (thanks Michael!) The Convention gives fans of classic film and television a chance to meet stars, have photos taken with them and go home with an autograph as a lovely memento.

The next Convention is due to take place on Saturday 21st May and although it's early days, there have already been some guests announced with strong Carry On connections! Leading the field is that legend of classic British comedy, Liz Fraser. Liz has been acting on stage and screen for decades and is a real favourite of mine. She tells it as it is, doesn't mince her words and has a delightful sense of humour! We know her best from her gloriously glamorous turns in four Carry Ons - as Delia King in Regardless, Glad Trimble in Cruising, Sally in Cabby and finally Sylvia Ramsden in Behind. 


Joining LIz is another class act of British film comedy - Fenella Fielding. Fenella appeared in two Carry Ons, first of all as Penny Panting (!) opposite Kenneth Connor in Carry On Regardless and then several years later in her most iconic role as Valeria Watt in Carry On Screaming. I have been fortunate enough to meet Fenella before and she is an absolute delight.

Another delightful Carry On leading lady in attendance will be Jacki Piper. A real fans favourite, Jacki starred in four of the Carry Ons produced in the early 1970s. She first appeared in the series as June in Up The Jungle before returning for further adventures in Loving, as Sally Martin; At Your Convenience as Myrtle Plummer and finally as Sister in Matron.


The final Carry On name to be announced so far is Alan Curtis. A well-known supporting actor for decades, Alan appeared in stand out cameos in two 1970s Carry Ons. He first appeared in Carry On Henry in 1970 before returning two years later to be play the Els Bells Chief of Police in the classic Carry On Abroad. 

There are more names to be announced soon so keep your eyes peeled for further announcements!  

The London Film Convention will be taking place on Saturday 21st May, between 10am-4pm at Central Hall, Westminster, in Central London. You can find out more about the Convention by visiting their website

If you attend this event please do get in touch and let me know how it went and who you met!

You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan and also Facebook

New Carry On Pop Art from Art and Hue!

With thanks to the wonderful Twitter, my eye was drawn to some brilliant new art work inspired by the Carry On films. The new pop art collection by Art & Hue has been months in the preparation, with trips to the archives at Pinewood Studios, and is now online. 

The Carry On films have their own distinct style that is totally unique, beloved by many and an important part of Britain's comedy, film, and cultural heritage and 2016 marks 50 years since the final Anglo-Amalgamated Carry On film. 


British film company Anglo Amalgamated distributed the first 12 Carry On films starting with Carry On Sergeant in 1958 and ending 50 years ago with Carry On Screaming in 1966.

Delving into Studiocanal's archives at Pinewood Studios, where the Carry On series was filmed, Art & Hue has created six pop art portraits of the much-loved stars as well as reworked the classic posters of the first 12 films into stylish fine art prints. Unlike traditional movie posters which are printed on thin paper with inks which fade, Art & Hue has created fine art print versions of the posters printed on museum-quality archival card of 310gsm, made from 100% cotton, using pigment inks which last lifetimes. Based on the first 12 Carry On films, all of the prints come in three sizes and 16 colour options, are available with or without cast billing, with most using (or remixing) the original poster imagery, and some re-imagined.

Sid James, Kenneth Williams, Hattie Jacques, Charles Hawtrey, Joan Sims, and Barbara Windsor (Dame Babs) have been given the Art & Hue treatment featuring Art & Hue's signature halftone style (halftone is an age-old technique that uses dots to make up the printed image, similar to newspapers or comic books). to create a collection of pop art portraits, also available in three sizes & 16 colours to choose from to fit into any design scheme. 

You can find out more about this stunning new art work and purchase some via the Art & Hue website:

You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan and also on Facebook

Friday 29 April 2016

Joan Carries On ... as Ellen Moore


This blog is part of a new regular series on Carry On Blogging. I'm going to attempt to blog about each of Joan Sims' wonderful roles in the Carry On films. Joan was the most prolific of all the actresses involved in the series, clocking up 24 films. Indeed, only Kenneth Williams made more Carry Ons.

Today I am going to write about Joan's role as Ellen Moore, the wealthy widow in Carry On Again Doctor. Although I love this film for Jim Dale's central performance as Jimmy Nookey and for giving us our first glimpse of the glorious Patsy Rowlands in a Carry On, the majority of the film is fairly forgettable as far as I'm concerned. Again Doctor is a film of two parts. The first half is a pretty standard follow up to the classic Carry On Doctor. Dale, Kenneth Williams, Charles Hawtrey and Hattie Jacques camp around a remarkably similar hospital, being remarkably similar to their previous medical roles. 

This time around Williams and Jacques are playing more sympathetic characters while Charles Hawtrey actually gets to play the villain of the piece. I actually quite enjoy his turn as the vaguely fiendish Dr Stoppidge. The second half of the film sees our hero Jim packed off to a remote tropical island after he disgraces the hospital once to often. This story arc finally sees the introduction of Sid James as the wonderfully named medical missionary Gladstone Screwer. 

Jim and Sid share some brilliant scenes in this section and it's clear they had a great time working together. The final section of the film see Jim's Dr Nookey discover a miraculous weight loss treatment and set up his own fancy clinic with the help of money from the wealthy Mrs Moore. I have never been a fan of the fat farm section as it seems in quite poor taste really, but I digress. What of Joan's involvement in all this.

Well actually Joan has precious little to do in Again Doctor. After two barnstorming Carry On performances in 1968 (Khyber and Camping) Sims' role in Again Doctor is fairly limited and low key. Much of the action revolves around Williams, Dale, Hawtrey and latterly Sid James. Joan pops up throughout the film but is mainly a feed for the likes of Kenneth Williams. The pair do share a lovely scene during the party sequence at the hospital although I'm always distracted by Joan's perilously low cut gown! Much later there are also great scenes when Joan shares a room at the clinic with Charles Hawtrey in drag as the superb Lady Puddleton!


However, rather sadly this role sees Joan back in the familiar pattern of playing middle aged shrewish women. Given what we know about Joan as a woman, it must have been a bit trying to play those fat farm scenes. She does look good throughout but by this stage had pretty much been passed over in the glamour stakes by bubbly Barbara Windsor and her three strategically placed love hearts (!).

As you'll probably gather I'm not particularly fond of this film or Joan's rather bland role in it. Sims never gave a bad performance and is always a joy to watch, I just think in this case she deserved a lot better. As always she sparkles when paired with the likes of Kenneth Williams and Hattie Jacques, but I'm left rather disappointed with Ellen Moore and Carry On Again Doctor. The highlights remain a glorious camp villain in Charles Hawtrey, Jim Dale's amazing comedic physicality and lovely supporting turns from the likes of Patsy Rowlands, Peter Butterworth (too brief a performance!) and Kenneth Williams.

So what did you think of both Carry On Again Doctor and Joan's role as Ellen Moore? Get in touch and let me know!



You can follow me on Twitter @CarryOnJoan and also on Facebook