As previously tipped (See The Goss, 4 Dec 2002), comedienne Dawn French will make a solo return to the West End in the new year. She'll star in the UK premiere of Geraldine Aron's one-woman play, My Brilliant Divorce, which opens at the Apollo Theatre on 24 February 2003, following previews.

French (pictured), best known as one half of comedy double act French & Saunders, last acted in the West End at the Albery Theatre playing Bottom in Matthew Francis's spring 2001 staging of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. On television, French's acting credits include The Vicar of Dibley, Murder Most Horrid and Let Them Eat Cake.

In My Brilliant Divorce, she plays a woman who's husband has left her. The piece follows her character's development leading up to and through the dissolution of her marriage.

Aron's play premiered last year, with American screen actress Glenne Headly, at the Druid Theatre in Galway, Ireland. The UK production is directed by Druid founder and artistic director Garry Hynes, whose previous London productions included Martin McDonagh's Leenane Trilogy, which played at the Royal Court in the West End before transferring to Broadway.

Currently at the Apollo Theatre, the revival of Anthony Shaffer's Sleuth, now starring Ian Ogilvy and Jonathan Kerrigan, closes on 8 February 2003.

- Terri Paddock