2 items from 2012
TV comedian's first foray into musical theatre – Viva Forever!, based on the Spice Girls' music – opens in London this week
She is the bossy, egocentric narcissist in French and Saunders, and the self-obsessed Edina in Absolutely Fabulous, but it is still of little surprise to hear Jennifer Saunders earnestly described as "a very generous person to work with – very co-operative and very unegotistical".
Thirty years after audiences first saw her in Channel 4's The Comic Strip Presents… Saunders now finds herself in the "national treasure" bracket. The latest chapter in her life goes on show tonight when Viva Forever!, the Spice Girls musical she has written, opens in the West End.
Because of her track record – with Dawn French in one of the best-loved British comedy double acts and then Ab Fab and Jam & Jerusalem – there are incredibly high expectations of the musical and Saunders will not be »
- Mark Brown
A night with the comedian during the filming of Girls on Top in 1985
In January 1985 Jennifer Saunders was in makeup before location night scenes in a snowy Nottingham. She was filming Girls On Top, a sitcom she'd written with Dawn French and Ruby Wax, about four women sharing lodgings. Saunders was playing a proto-Edina from Ab Fab character; less alcoholic but more dim, and named Jennifer.
"My character tries to make her kidnappers party snacks," she explained. "She's clueless, has no dignity and is an original on TV. No actress would ever play her." At adjacent makeup mirrors, French and Wax nodded in deadpan agreement.
Inspiration was drawn from Saunders and French's days sharing a flat in Swiss Cottage (while at the Central School of Speech and Drama). Here they'd drunk Blue Nun in "a messy kitchen with stale food"and developed their "act" under the name Kitsch 'N' Tiles. »
- John Hind
2 items from 2012
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