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REVIEW: Dawn French live at the Civic Theatre

The best of art and performance is when the artist provides their audience with an opportunity to connect with parts of themselves and to share that sense of connection with others. Last night the audience of the first of four sold-out shows by Dawn French left Newcastle’s Civic Theatre with strained faces from smiling, hoarse throats from laughing, and a strange sense of comfort knowing that despite our differences, we are all twats.

Comedic trailblazer Dawn French famous for her roles in the hit TV show ‘Vicar of Dibley’ and for the iconic French and Saunders skit show, has brought the tour of her hilariously cringe and thoughtful show Dawn French Is A Huge Twat to Newcastle, to the delight of Hunter punters, keen to know more about this likeable and loveable actor and comedian.

During her one-woman show, French invited her audience to laugh with her as she shared some hilarious behind-the-scenes moments from her celebrated career on stage, TV, and cinema.

It’s a real treat to be a fly on wall of these crazy celebratory and showbiz moments, like the time French dressed in a chimp costume, to attend the 50th birthday celebrations of her friend Elton John, only to stay at the extravagant party for a few minutes because the ridiculously heavy and hot costume left her overheated, nauseous, and with a sense of relief that her host didn’t recognise her who under her plastic mask.

Rarely do we see a person so well-known be so open about their foibles and quirks.

French reminded us that even famous people are human, make mistakes and can be real twats when she shared multiple personal and professional stories about times when nerves or her ego got the better of her causing misunderstanding, foot-in-mouth moments and stuff ups that every man in the audience could relate to, because we all know that even the smartest and most successful people do stupid things.

She shared the story of a silly misunderstanding of the information given to her by a medical specialist, which led French to manage years of extreme pain and walk assisted with a walking stick instead of having regular pain-relieving injections. French told her enthralled audience about a time when her nerves got the better of her and she stuffed up an audition for the part played by Julie Waters in the hugely popular movie recreation of the musical Mumma Mia, missing her chance to fulfil her lifelong dream to perform in a musical. To make up for her mistake, and because it was her show, French indulged her desires and ended her magnificent one-woman show with a rousing performance of As Long As He Needs Me by her favourite character Nancy from the hit musical Oliver, to the rousing applause (as instructed) of her audience.

It was a fabulous night out!

French returns to the Civic Theatre for her final show at the Civic in May. Visit livenation.com.au for tickets.