Thursday 5 October 2017

Watch: Joan Sims as Amelia Dyer in The Ladykillers

In 1980 Joan Sims was handed one of her most dramatic roles. In a long career spanning five decades, Joan built up an enviable reputation as one of Britain's most reliably brilliant comedy actresses, across all genres. Known for her sterling work in the Carry On films and for her appearances alongside some of the best comedy performers this country has ever produced, Joan's was a career dominated by comedy and the satisfaction of making the nation laugh.

Despite this, Joan Sims was a classically trained RADA actress, capable of so much more. Her range was superb, she was gifted with excellent timing and amazing skill as a performer. Sadly, the industry at the time could not see past her comedy roles and serious, dramatic parts were few and far between. I've just written a blog highlighting some of my favourite dramatic performances from Joan's long career and one of those was the harrowing role of child killer Amelia Dyer in the play Suffer Little Children, which formed part of the series Ladykillers. 

Produced by Pieter Rogers (not the Carry On man) for Granada Television, Suffer Little Children was introduced by the actor Robert Morley, directed by Nicholas Ferguson and written by Nemone Lethbridge. The Ladykillers was a series of seven hour long plays looking at the trials of some of the most infamous female killers in British history. Joan is phenomenal in the role of Dyer and while not an easy watch, if you haven't seen it I urge you to give it a go. You'll see a very different side to the talented, wonderful Joan Sims.

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