Dawn French is bringing solo show to Buxton Opera House

Dawn French’s first one-woman tour is called 30 Million Minutes - because that’s roughly how long she’s been alive - but French still isn’t quite sure what it is.

Dawn French
Dawn French

“It’s not a stand-up show. It’s not a play. I guess it is a monologue because it’s just me talking,” she said.

“It’s a slide show to an extent. But not JUST a slide show. It’s not like your awful, most feared auntie who’s just come back from Egypt where you have to sit and watch everything. It’s quite autobiographical, so I show you the people that have made me - so to speak. There’s quite a lot about my mum and dad.”

Her grandmothers - ‘Good Granny’ and ‘Evil Granny’ - also feature in her show which comes to Buxton Opera House on November 27. Although Evil Granny did actually steal from her, she knew the nickname was a joke. “In fact she coined it - she thought the other one was so good,” said Dawn.

She’ll be revealing more about herself in this show than she has done on previous tours with her friend and comedy partner Jennifer Saunders, but she’s not entirely easy with it being all about her. “It’s a little bit, ‘Aren’t I interesting?’ I keep saying to Michael Grandage (who is directing her show), ‘I need to take this out,’ and he says, ‘Absolutely not - that’s the WHOLE point. Do NOT push it away from you. Absolutely own it and be completely strong and confident about that.”

“And so that’s what I’ve done.”

Dawn doesn’t seem to be on an ego-driven mission. She’s doing the tour, she says, because she’s got things to say, thinks it could be fun and because she hasn’t done it before.