Writer: Dawn French
Director: Michael Grandage
Reviewer: John Roberts
30 Million Minutes or as close to 56 years as you are likely to get, is the title to Dawn French’s touching and often hilarious one woman show which charts a side of the comic’s life which we very often don’t get change to see.
30 Million Minutes doesn’t cover her professional career, instead this is the story of what makes Dawn a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a friend and above all a beautiful woman. She shares stories that will make you laugh, make you cry and make you passionate about reforming the ‘celebrity’ culture that envelops people within the public eye despite the consequences.
French is a bundle of energy, she may stumble over the odd line here and there, but that really doesn’t matter, especially when her story is so open, honest and ultimately engaging, never has two hours in a theatre gone so quickly or leave you wanting to hear more.
Played out on a simple black stage designed by Les Brotherston, with nothing but an occasional video clip or photo to accompany her story, this is all about Dawn and director Michael Grandage makes sure the celebration of her life is a vivacious and as interesting as the woman herself. He finds a balance which perfectly juxtaposes the jovial light-hearted anecdotes to the darkest moments of her life – the story of her father left this reviewer with a few tears trickling down his face, made even more poignant that the performance was on Father’s Day.
One could go into many details of the show, but to do that would be a disservice to her story, for the only person that could tell it to you with such depth and passion is the person whose story it is.
This is Dawn French like you have never seen her before and with plenty of her life left to share that hasn’t been touched upon one hopes it’s a side of her we are likely to see again in the very near future.
Reviewed on Sunday 15th June 2014