Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Thirty Million Minutes

These cold nights are drawing in. Winter Is Coming, as the Stark family would have it. Wellington, however, seems to be ignoring the usual cycle of the seasons, and whilst the mornings are getting darker and the days shorter, the temperatures are remaining in the twenties (“hot” for Wellington, “where’s my cardie?” for West Islanders).

With the changing of the season comes more indoor activities, and we have a veritable feast of comedy, theatre and music coming up. Also, we have a mere 71 days in which to use up our Entertainment subscription, so a few tasty dinners are on the cards as well.

First cab off the rank is Dawn French, with her show Thirty Million Minutes. And first dinner is at Shed 5 – the fish restaurant formerly owned by world-famous-in-New-Zealand chef Simon Gault. We’ve been there a few times before, and always had good food. It’s now in the hands of  Alfredo Icedo Romero, and the food is still great. The emphasis is on fresh fish and seafood, all of which is filleted in-house.

We took a leisurely stroll down to the Opera House for the show, which started at 8pm. It’s called Thirty Million Minutes, which is approximately how long she has been alive – at least when she began the tour, in 2014 (it takes a little while to get all the way around the other side of the world). She makes references to the number of million minutes at various stages of her, and some other people’s lives, when significant events happen.

The show is not really a stand-up comedy show. For a start, she sits down for a lot of it. It’s more of a one-woman show, autobiographical in content. Of course, a lot of it is funny in an anecdotal way, but some parts of it a very sad and serious, when she talks about the deaths of grandparents and parents. But then there were some seriously funny bits, as she explains the difference between good granny and evil granny, and how, being English, she’d rather bleed to death in the bathtub than call the doctor and spoil his evening.