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Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders have been collaborating as writers and performers since the late 1970s. They have appeared together on stage, film, and television.
The comedy duo of French and Saunders met as students at London’s Central School of Speech and Drama. They formed an act which they took to London’s alternative comedy scene, where they also became original members of the famed U.K. comedy troupe The Comic Strip.
Together, they created, wrote, and starred in the hit television series Girls on Top and French & Saunders. One skit on the latter program led to Ms. Saunders creating and starring in the classic show Absolutely Fabulous; that series brought her BAFTA, International Emmy, Royal Television Society, British Comedy, and Writers Guild of Great Britain Awards.
As with Absolutely Fabulous, Ms. Saunders’ most recent series, Clatterford (a.k.a. Jam and Jerusalem) and The Life and Times of Vivienne Vyle, which she co-wrote and starred in, aired in both the U.K. and the U.S. Her film credits include Kenneth Branagh’s A Midwinter’s Tale (a.k.a. In the Bleak Midwinter); Brian Henson’s Muppet Treasure Island; Kay Mellor’s Fanny and Elvis; Bob Spiers’ Spice World; and Peter Richardson’s The Supergrass. Prior to Coraline, her most notable voiceover work was as Fairy Godmother in Andrew Adamson, Kelly Asbury, and Conrad Vernon’s Shrek 2.
Ms. French created the memorable role of Geraldine Granger in The Vicar of Dibley, one of the U.K.’s most successful television series. Her other television work includes Murder Most Horrid, Wild West, The Storyteller, Little Britain, and Lark Rise to Candleford; and such telefilms as Gavin Millar’s Sex & Chocolate, Steve Bendelack’s Ted and Alice, and Dewi Humphreys’ Tender Loving Care.
Her notable U.K. stage appearances include My Brilliant Divorce (a one-woman play), Smaller (created for her and Alison Moyet), When We Are Married, and – as Bottom – A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Her film credits include Alfonso Cuarón’s Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban; Alek Keshishian’s Love and Other Disasters; and Steve Barron’s The Adventures of Pinocchio. Prior to Coraline, Ms. French’s most notable voiceover work was as Mrs. Beaver in Andrew Adamson’s The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.
Ms. French and Ms. Saunders have just completed the U.K. tour of their live show French & Saunders – Still Alive.