Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle and Dick (2010)
Directed by Steve Imrie
A comic play, set behind the scenes of the Carry On movies.
You think you know the Carry On films? All Blackpool naughty postcards and happy families? Think again!
Welcome to Sid James’ Merry Traveller, a bone of contention between him and his manic-depressive, flashing co-star Kenneth Williams and the scene of many a dirty innuendo with a ‘carry on’ extra.
That is until Sid meets Babs Windsor, a spunky, loud-mouthed, blonde bombshell who gives just as good as she gets! Set in Sid James’ caravan-cum-dressing room at Pinewood Studios during the making of the eponymous films, Sid attempts to romance Barbara under the arched eyebrows of Kenneth Williams.
Terry Johnson’s famous play focuses on the behind scenes shenanigans of our most loved Carry On stars and includes caravans, flying off bikini tops, some bottom trouble, a hired heavy and a few scantily clad girls!
- Sid - Clive Manning
- Kenneth - Guy Jones
- Barbara - Donna-Marie Ward
- Sally - Karen Webb
- Imogen - Kimberly Datnow
- Eddie - Nick Conway
- Lighting & Sound Operation - Sue Jacobsen
- Set Design - Charles Doyle and Graham Clements
- Set Construction - Charles Doyle, Graham Clements, Mark Ireson, Gavin Parker
- Set Artwork - Michael Wilson
- Sign Language Interpreter - Paul Michaels
I don't have a programme so can't name-check everyone/thing I liked best, there's some really lovely performances from old and new faces - sure they don't LOOK like the familiar carry-on actors much but there is enough of a similarity in their speech and mannerisms (and costume!) to allow you to immerse into the story. I particularly liked the portrayal of Kenneth Williams, and Barbara Windsor lit up the stage whenever she appeared (you wait with bated breath for her entrance in Act 1!).
Although something of a bit-part, the play is really about Sally the non-famous dresser assigned to Sid James, played with aplomb by Karen Webb.
I'm not allowed to tell you about Act 2, but I can mention all the boobs and buttocks and 'in your end-ohs' which will keep you giggling.
We were also lucky enough to see the (rather cute!) signing man do his thing, which Greg said was like watching Hollyoaks on a Sunday Morning and didn't distract him at all. I personally enjoyed watching his interpretation along with the action, and he certainly held Ben's attention for an entire Act without crying!! (I also now know how to sign 'anus' which will come in handy).
Finally, my last two shouts go to the creators of the set, one of the best I've seen at SLT, and to Barbara's flying-bikini-maker - v funny!
The play is every bit as funny as the Carry On films themselves - I was hooting with laughter for much of the play, as I'm sure the actors can attest. However (for those who find Carry On films a bit too superficial) I can assure you that the play has depths too - although I've been forbidden from saying too much about them. Suffice it to say that Sally is by no means an incidental character. In fact, none of them are. All the actors are excellent, in my opinion: not a bum note among them (although there is a bum, and quite a few boobs).
So, flesh and feelings and a flipping amazing set
I just have to reinforce what people have already said - this is a really good show, the cast are all great and it's probably not what you're expecting. I was really knocked out by what I saw
As others have said, there's innuendo a-plenty and all the seaside postcard action you can shake a stick at (so to speak), but there's also a whole lot more going on. With the wrong cast, this could so easily slide into cringingly awful caricature, but everyone on stage here is beautifully cast. The three main faces especially all give us a level of pathos and real emotion that brings these famous characters alive much more strongly than a simple impression can do. Without giving too much away, Guy's moving delivery of Kenneth's bathroom-mirror bit will remain with me even after the flying bikini has left my memory (and let me tell you, that'll be a long while!).
Yes, there's boobs, bums, and oops-a-daisy, but there's a lot more to this show than Carry On.
what a treat it was, it was also great to see bell packed to the rafters and with a box-office queue snaking out all the way to the street.
The show is a great mix of pathos and humour, the set is amazing and last night we had the childish fun of watching the excellent signer translating some very rude things!
Well done to the director, cast and crew, defiantly a show to remember.
Great show last night - I thoroughly enjoyed it. Cast and crew ( and yeah, OK, the director)can all feel very proud of themselves. After the morning I'd had I needed a laugh, and there were plenty, but also many moments of genuine poignancy. A well-balanced piece, convincingly brought to life by this energetic group.
It was good to see more of Donna Marie (after her panto performance); Guy got right down to the bottom of his characterisation, and Clive certainly wasn't afraid to penetrate the depths of his Sid James interpretation.
great show, everyone did a wonderful job and were well cast.
Special congratulations however to Karen and Donna, whose performances I particularly enjoyed.
Reminiscences and Anecdotes
The author himself came to see one production one night and then met all the cast.
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