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French & Saunders Still Alive at Drury Lane, 15 Oct

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As previously tipped (See The Goss, 22 Apr 2008), comedy double act French & Saunders will bring their latest – and possibly last – stage show to the West End this autumn. Following a regional tour, French & Saunders – Still Alive will run for a strictly limited four-week season from 15 October to 8 November 2008 at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

After meeting at drama school in 1978, Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders 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 & Saunders - Still Alive, opened in Blackpool on 29 February 2008 and toured the UK 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.

Commenting on the transfer today, Saunders said: “We’re so excited about bringing the show to the West End and giving the audience a great night out packed full of laughs. We’ve blended the best of our old material with the new and crammed it all into a couple of hours of great fun. It’s going back to basics for us and it’s what we do best." French added: “Can't wait. Bring it on! There's nothing like a live audience to change the colour of your pants!"

Currently at Drury Lane, the musical adaptation of JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings finishes on 19 July (See News, 14 Mar 2008). Further ahead, Cameron Mackintosh’s much-anticipated revival of Lionel Bart’s Oliver! - starring Rowan Atkinson and, from TV’s I’d Do Anything (See News, 2 Jun 2008), Jodie Prenger and three boys in the title role - opens on 14 January 2009 (previews from 12 December 2008).

- by Terri Paddock


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