Profile: Dawn French
Audiences at the Vaudeville theatre are in for a treat this November as Dawn French brings her solo show 30 Million Minutes to the West End for what will undoubtedly be an unmissable evening.
But prior to her arrival with this latest show Dawn has already found huge success as a comic performer, whether it has been as a solo artist or alongside Collaborators like Jennifer Saunders, and with this in mind we’re taking a look at some of the highlights of her career in the spotlight.
Dawn French was born in Holyhead, Anglesey, in 1957, and she studied at schools in England (often near RAF locations where her father was stationed) before she went on to study in New York at the Spence School and then the Central School of Speech and Drama. It was whilst studying at the latter than she made a partnership that would have a huge effect on her career.
With Jennifer Saunders she first started a double act and then, together, they won over nationwide audiences as members of the Comic Strip group, who emerged as part of the Alternative Comedy scene of the 1980s (alongside Keith Allen, who has also been featured in a previous piece recently and can soon be seen in The Homecoming at Trafalgar Studios 1). Other members of the Alternative Comedy scene include the late Rik Mayall, plus Adrian Edmondson and Nigel Planer, amongst others.
As well as appearing in Comic Strip Presents, Dawn French would go on to work closely with Jennifer Saunders with the series French And Saunders. As the years went by she also found success with the sitcom The Vicar Of Dibley.
As for the stage, audiences have seen her work in an array of roles, including Shakespearean work and opera, including a performance of The Daughter Of The Regiment at the Royal Opera House, London. Naturally, she has also appeared onstage as part of French And Saunders and they brought their farewell show to the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in 2008 under the title French And Saunders: Still Alive.
This time, however, she takes to the stage alone as she recounts stories from her life and career, with anecdotes across the decades that have made her a household name. Audiences can catch 30 Million Minutes at the Vaudeville Theatre from Thursday 12th November 2015 (previews from Wednesday 11th November 2015).