Saturday 13 August 2016

Carry On Blogging Interview: Louise from Joan Hickson Fans!


I recently caught up with the lovely Louise who runs the popular Joan Hickson tribute account on Twitter. I love this fan account and was keen to hear more from Louise on why she is such an admirer of the great Ms Hickson...

Can you tell me when you first became a fan of Joan Hickson and what made you decide to set up your fan account on Twitter?

I first became a fan of Joan many years ago after watching an episode of Miss Marple, I was utterly entranced with her performance and I have been a huge admirer of hers ever since. There isn't really a reason as to why I set up my fan account, I just wanted to help other fans and admirers of Joan. 
If you had to pick one Joan Hickson performance to introduce her to people unfamiliar with her work, which would you choose and why? 

This is a difficult question as there are so many to choose from but if I had to choose one it would either be Miss Marple, Carry On or Clockwise. 


Why do you think Joan has become the definitive Miss Marple?

I think Joan has become the definitive Miss Marple for many reasons. I believe it is due to her outstanding performance, she portrays Miss Marple exactly as Dame Agatha Christie pictured her. 

Apparently when Joan received an OBE in 1987 her majesty, Queen Elizabeth II was reported to have said to Joan: 

"You play the part just as one envisages it" 

Her majesty was a fan of Dame Agatha Christie, the series and of course Joan's performance as Miss Marple. 

Which of Joan's BBC Miss Marple films is your favourite and why?

I love all of the Miss Marple films but if I had to choose one, it would be Nemesis as Nemesis is my favourite Agatha Christie novel that involves Miss Marple. 

Do you think Agatha Christie would have been happy with Joan's portrayal of Marple?

I do think that Dame Agatha would have been happy with Joan's portrayal as Miss Marple as Dame Agatha herself wrote a letter to Joan in the 1940's and at the end of this letter she wrote "I hope one day you play my dear Miss Marple" 

Joan Hickson was quite a private person I believe, I don't know much about her life away from her acting career. Can you tell me any more about her background?

There isn't really much I can say about her background as she was incredibly private about her life. However Joan was born on 5th August 1906 in Kingsthorpe, Northampton and was the only daughter of Alfred Hickson, a shoe manufacturer and his wife Edith. I also know that she had wanted to become an actress after seeing a pantomime at the age of five as she said: 

" I was utterly entranced, and asked my parents to move as near to the theatre as possible. I knew immediately that the life I wanted was there" 

However this ambition to become an actress apparently received disapproval from some of her family as she said: 

"My Aunt Aggie - she was about 4 feet tall - drew herself up to her full height and said, 'What is Joan's destination to be?' which she thought was the gutter, you see".
Joan appeared in five Carry Ons during her long career - which role is your favourite and why?

I love all of them, but if I had to choose one, it would be Mrs. May in Carry On Constable. Her reaction in the shower scene was absolutely priceless.

Away from Marple and the Carry Ons, what other roles do you think best define Joan HIckson?

I think all of Joan's performances define her as they prove that she was an incredibly versatile and talented actress who would never fail to entertain you. She also proved during her career that actresses and actors of a certain age are just as wonderful and important as their younger counterparts. 

The role of Miss Marple really does define Joan's career but she was really prolific in other areas of the business. Can you tell me anything more about her stage career?

Joan made her professional stage debut in 1927 and she often and successfully played comedic, often eccentric characters in the West End, including the role of the cockney maid Ida in the original production of See How They Run in 1944, and then at the Comedy Theatre in January 1945. Her stage career also included roles in Noël Coward's Blithe Spirit, the Tony Hatch-Jackie Trent 1975 musical The Card. 

She also received a Tony Award (Best Featured Actress in a Play) in 1979 for her performance as Delia in Alan Ayckbourn's Bedroom Farce.

Joan was one of those actresses who turned up all over the place, in all kinds of film and television. Although she appeared in several Carry Ons, I was still slightly surprised to see her in a Confessions film - Do you think she still regarded herself as a jobbing actress at the time?

I too was quite surprised that she appeared in a Confessions film! I don't know if she regarded herself as a jobbing actress but what I do know is that she apparently never acknowledged that she was famous, she refused to appear on chat shows (including Wogan). 

Finally, which is your favourite Carry On film and why?

I love and adore all of the Carry On Films especially the ones that feature Joan however my other favourites are Carry On Camping and Carry On Abroad. I shall always treasure the performances of the Carry On Cast as they all brought something to the films, something I feel is irreplaceable. They shall never be forgotten!


Many thanks once again to Louise for taking the time to answer my questions. You can follow Louise on Twitter here

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

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