Though it may take as long as ten weeks to dismantle and remove the high-tech set of The Lord of the Rings after its closure on 19 July (See News, 14 Mar 2008), we hear there may still be time for a short autumn filler at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane before Cameron Mackintosh’s production of Oliver!, starring Rowan Atkinson and winners of casting show I’d Do Anything, moves in for previews from 12 December Oliver (See News, 26 Mar 2008).

And Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders may be just the ladies to fit the bill. After meeting at drama school in 1978, the comedy duo produced a string of hit TV sketch shows and became household names in the process before going on to solo success in the likes of Absolutely Fabulous (Saunders) and The Vicar of Dibley (French). Their “greatest skits” show, French and Saunders - Still Alive, opened in Blackpool on 29 February 2008 and continues touring until 6 May. Directed by The Right Size’s Hamish McColl, it’s billed a “not a farewell tour but a Not Dead Yet Tour" and features various much-loved sketches from their TV shows as well as new material.