My Brilliant Divorce

Geraldine Aron

Apollo, Shaftesbury Avenue

(2003)

Review by Philip Fisher

This play delivers exactly what its audience demands. A funny performance from Dawn French as the Irishwoman whose Jewish husband ditches her for a woman half her age.

Under Garry Hynes' excellent direction, together with some spectacular pyrotechnics that might burn the Apollo down before the end of the run, Miss French takes us through the life of a woman so neurotic about age that she not only lies about her own but her dog's. The only company that this poor lady has is Axel the dog, played on stage by a rather attractive a mongrel on wheels.

We go through the initial anger and incomprehension through dubious, unconfident dating and potential reconciliation to an inevitable happy ending. Along the way, the star is able to demonstrate her varied talents. These include impeccable comic timing, a malleable face that often says as much as her words, and a rare ability to work her audience.

There are many genuinely funny lines but the material rarely surprises and is a bit thin for its 90 minutes. For lovers of Dawn French and those who want a light evening's entertainment with a few digs at the inconstancy of men, this is just the ticket.