Previewed 14 February 2003, Opened 24 February 2003, Closed 17 May 2003 at the Apollo Theatre in London
Geraldine Aron's one woman play My Brilliant Divorce in London starring Dawn French
Dawn French stars as Angela, who is unexpectedly dumped by her husband for a much younger woman. Angela had never expected to be divorced and we join her on a poignant and hilarious journey of dealing with life being back on the shelf. Along the way we meet an array of extraordinary characters, all played by Dawn French.
Starring Dawn French. Directed by Garry Hynes with designs by Francis O'Connor, lighting by Jon Buswell and sound by Paul Arditti.
"If you've seen Dawn French on television, whether with Jennifer Saunders or as the Vicar of Dibley, then I think the only thing she does in My Brilliant Divorce is demonstrate that she can keep on going, unaccompanied and uninterrupted, for 90 minutes... and for at least nine-tenths of the show I was perfectly glad to be in her company. It doesn't raise my opinion of her as an artist, and I'm surprised to find that she doesn't use this show to try extending herself in some new direction. She's a very able entertainer, but I didn't spot any real imagination or originality in anything she did here. But if you like Dawn French and you just want more of the same, then My Brilliant Divorce it is just the ticket." The Financial Times
"Dawn French fans should make a bee-line for it... Okay, Geraldine Aron's script may not be very original, but French's sheer amiability wins the day as she waddles about the stage, pulling her array of faces while making razor-sharp, life's-like-that observations. The show is infectious, bubbly and never depressing. Don't expect great drama; do expect to be well entertained by this large, daft and expert clown." The Express
"Thin is the last word you'd expect to read in a sentence that also includes the name of that vastly entertaining, enormously attractive, hugely talented comedienne Dawn French. But it's the appropriate adjective for the very light comedy My Brilliant Divorce, in which French plays fortysomething Angela. In the same week that her husband Max trades her in for a younger, slinkier, foreign model, Angela's daughter moves out to live with her boyfriend. Hypochondriac Angela must now negotiate her solitary way through the lonely hearts columns; the sex shop and singles holidays - until she finds happiness in the arms of... well, I'm not telling, but it was a sweet surprise. While Geraldine Aron's monologue is entirely insight-free and as unoriginal as a Woman's Own article, it is nicely spiked with spite, occasionally very funny and sometimes moving, if finally mawkish to the point of squidgy. French carries it off with knowing nods, lots of tossing of glossy Cleopatra-style hair, and with the same wit, mischief and self-deprecatory aplomb with which she carries her extra pounds. As a performer, French is as irresistible as a chocolate truffle. And yet, I enjoyed the show in the way that I enjoy a slice of reduced-calorie bread; no trouble getting it down, but it's utterly insubstantial. I left feeling distinctly peckish. Had French written the recipe herself, it might have had real flavour and offered something to chew on." The Mail on Sunday
My Brilliant Divorce in London at the Apollo Theatre previewed from 14 February 2003, opened on 24 February 2003, and closed on 17 May 2003