Dawn French has added new dates to her one-women show ‘Dawn French is a Huge Twat’ and will be coming to Truro in Novemeber.
She is unarguably one of the most beloved comedians, and not just because she’s funny.
Her new show, ‘Dawn French is a Huge Twat’ invites us to revel in the most excruciating gaffes and howlers of a forty-year career as a comedian and actor. The 2022 leg of this hilarious one-woman show was met with critical acclaim and sold-out houses across the UK. Now, a further 38 dates have been scheduled for this year, kicking off in the autumn. This show is not just an admission of twattery, but a celebration of our gloriously messy common humanity. Dawn French likes a laugh, and she likes it best of all when the laugh is on her.
“The people I love are flawed”, she says, “hilariously flawed and I can relate to that. If you think of the best laughs you have with people it’s when you say, ‘Oh my God, you’ll never guess what I did today?’ When you unzip and admit you’ve been a fool.”
As you’d expect, this is a funny show, but it is so much more than straightforward stand-up. It digs deeper into our human fallibility and the message has never been more timely.
Dawn explains: “We live in a time when we’re told we’ve got to be perfect, and we’ve got filters and selfies and all we ever present is the good part. That doesn’t appeal to me at all. I can’t relate to that because I know I can’t achieve it. I can’t look like that; I can’t be like that. I haven’t got that aspirational perfect life and I’ve got no time for it either.”
“My mum used to say, ‘we don’t do perfect’ and she’s absolutely right. Don’t even aspire to it. Go on your journey knowing you’ll never get there. And even when you do make progress, don’t get too up your arse about it because the mistakes are what make people so endearing.”
Michael Grandage, the director of Dawn French is a Huge Twat, explains part of Dawn’s appeal: “Nobody punctures the myth of celebrity better than Dawn. She’s very willing to show that she’s actually a person just like us, and one way she does that is by showing that she can make mistakes.”
Grandage is what might be referred to as a man of substance. Possibly the most important theatre director working in Britain today, he is not the obvious choice for a comedian, but Dawn was adamant that she wanted to create something more than laugh-a-minute knockabout comedy.
“This new show is all about the fact that we are all twats sometimes,” says Michael, “so can we please, a) own up to it, and b) even celebrate it and not make it a big deal, and by owning up to it make the world a slightly better place?”
Dawn French is a Huge Twat is like being let into a huge secret, seeing behind the scenes rather than the polished product. Dawn has experienced buttock-clenching humiliation in the company of Dustin Hoffman, Ben Elton and countless royals. It is gossiping around the water cooler at its most delicious.
Among the funny stories are more serious moments from Dawn’s career and one which audiences will relate to is that curious phenomenon where suddenly, without notice, a part of our life just dies.
She tells the story: “I was filming at the BBC and there was one sketch that went a bit wrong. Lots of the choices were wrong but still, to this day, I don’t know what happened in my head but as I got in my car that night to drive home, I decided I could no longer do comedy sketches. I had to call Jen (Jennifer Saunders, Dawn’s long-term comedy partner) and say, ‘I can’t do it anymore, I’m out of love with it.’ It was nobody’s fault, but there was something that went wrong, and I never wanted to experience that again.’”
Dawn French is a Huge Twat is touring across the UK from 7 September until 26 November.
She will be in Truro Hall for Cornwall on November 8-11 2023.
Tickets and venues: dawnfrenchontour.com