Dawn French makes her solo stand-up debut with 30 Million Minutes
The thing about career-long double acts is that both members can find it virtually impossible to have much success outside of their established coupling. For every Rik and Ade or Vic ‘n’ Bob perfectly capable of doing decent work on their tod, there’s a showbiz graveyard of Morecambes and Wises who weren’t able to do anything of much worth without having their comedy partner by their side.
Despite being an inherent part of the British cultural landscape from their beginnings in the alternative comedy boom of the early 80s to latterly spoofing Lord of the Rings and Titanic, French and Saunders have still managed to forge perfectly admirable individual identities. Whether you think Vicar of Dibley or the recent Ab Fab are any good is neither here nor there: the fact they garnered massive success with those sitcoms is enough.
But going solo on a new TV show is nothing compared to stepping out onto a stage and doing your thing in front of a live, breathing and waiting-to-be-dazzled audience. Which makes Dawn French’s decision to pick this moment as the one in which she heads out on tour alone for the very first time as brave (or foolish) in the extreme. 30 Million Minutes finds her ‘sick with excitement’ as she regales us with tales from her busy life and career.
As she further dictated to the person who typed this out onto her press release: ‘At last, I have one of my three genie wishes granted, which is that I finally get to work with [director] Michael Grandage. The other two wishes are as yet unfulfilled. They are secret obviously, but suffice to say, one is about Barack Obama in Speedos. The other is about me in Speedos, with cheesecake involved.’
Pavilion Theatre, Glasgow, Tue 10–Thu 12 Jun.