Saturday, 28 June 2014

Why Carla and Anna are currently Corrie's finest

(This post was originally posted by Graeme N on the Coronation Street Blog in June 2014.)

I have no doubt in my mind that two wonderful actresses are carrying Corrie at the moment. Yes, I love Roy Cropper and David Neilson is sublime, but Alison King (Carla) and Debbie Rush (Anna) have been front and centre for months and are yet to put a foot wrong.

Both actresses have been given challenging scripts since the beginning of the year. Both Carla and Anna were deeply involved in Hayley's death and its aftermath. They put in superb performances throughout this moving story which complemented both Julie Hesmondhalgh and David Neilson beautifully.

However neither King nor Rush were allowed to rest on their laurels as both actors were almost immediately plunged into their own difficult, emotionally draining storylines. 

In recent weeks we've seen Carla come terms with a pregnancy she never thought she'd have, deal with her husband's descent into alcoholism once again, learn about his affair with TIna and then the shock of Tina's death and being one of the main suspects in her murder investigation. On top of this, Alison King turned in a superb, moving performance as Carla lost her baby. Alison King has put in powerhouse performances throughout and deserves all the awards going. She typifies the modern Coronation Street woman - strong, vulnerable, sassy and full of spirit.

Debbie Rush, meanwhile, has been at the centre of the Windass family struggles throughout their association with the vile Pat Phelan. While I'm struggling with how grim their story has become, Debbie has been marvellous as the matriarch - doing everything she can to cling to normality and keep her deeply flawed family together. While Gary thinks with his fists, Katy flounces off and mixes things with a very big stick and Owen can't handle the truth, our Anna continues to slave away in her pinny at Roy's and deals with Faye's underage drinking as stoically as she can manage.

Her grief and inner torment is almost palpable to us, the viewer. While I questioned Anna's actions with Phelan to begin with, Debbie Rush's performances have convinced me that Anna would go through with something so degrading and abhorrent for the greater good of the those she loves. 

I love Roy's interaction with both Anna and Carla. Both women have been brought closer into his own orbit than he would probably ever have thought possible. Having come together to help Roy and Hayley in their time of need, Roy is now there as a quietly reassuring presence for both these women as they battle their own demons. Hayley would be proud.

Coronation Street has always been about strong, capable women, digging deep and fighting hard in the face of adversity. There are surely no finer examples in recent years than the wonderful Anna and Carla. 

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