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Review - 'Dawn French: 30 Million Minutes' at the Vaudeville Theatre 2015

Queen of Comedy and national treasure Dawn French started touring her one-woman show 30 Million Minutes around the UK last year and it now arrives at the West End's Vaudeville Theatre for a limited run.

Based on Dawn French's life, the comedienne explains the meaning behind the 30 Million Minutes title in the show's programme: "That is how long I've been alive, give or take a minute obviously. I just wanted to make the point in this show that all the big stuff is made of all the little stuff really and every little minute that we have makes a big life in the end for all of us and that every minute counts. So I describe things that happen in some of those minutes that I've been alive."

And so we are taken on a journey through several key moments in Dawn's life, with no stone left unturned. We enjoy and laugh at the highs such as her excitement with meeting the Queen Mother and are taken to a very dark place when hearing about the tragic circumstances surrounding her father's death. This is not a show that comprises of a gag a minute. Yes it's funny, and very funny at times, but it has a deeper point to make. It is thought provoking and it's key message, as spoken by Dawn in the very last line in the show, is that "every minute counts".

Covering thirty million minutes in the space of a two hour show is no mean feat but Dawn French handles it with ease. Each story moves on swiftly, aided by a large screen which flashes up pictures, graphics and videos. The show is also greatly helped by Micheal Grandage's expert direction. The critically acclaimed director is also currently enjoying another West End hit, "Photograph 51", starring Nicole Kidman, at the Noel Coward Theatre.

If you already love Dawn French, this show will make you love her even more. But what if you don't already love her? Well, be prepared to fall in love. It's a must see and you should beg, steal or buy a ticket before it sells out.

Dawn French: 30 Million Minutes runs at the Vaudeville Theatre until 9 December 2015 and will then move on to tour Australia.

Originally published on

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