Dawn French meets up with old Caistor school pals

Thursday, 5pm: WHEN three former Caistor Grammar School pupils arranged to meet up in London for a reunion they decided to add a bit of sparkle with a trip to a West End theatre. One of their former classmates happens to be the much-loved comedienne, Dawn French, who was starring in the show "French & Saunders Still Alive" at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, with her comedy partner Jennifer Saunders and so it seemed appropriate to make the trip.

Dawn has recently published her memoirs and mentions her brief time at Caistor Grammar School, as her father was stationed at RAF Faldingworth in 1969/1970.

So Frances King, who organised the trip, decided to write to Dawn at the theatre and mentioned a few names of former classmates. It was with great surprise that Dawn responded by inviting the three friends backstage after the show.

The girls spent half an hour reminiscing over a glass of wine and chocolates and looking at the 1971 school photograph.

Dawn’s best-selling autobiography entitled “Dear Fatty”, takes the form of letters, which she writes, mainly to her late father. She mentions how much she hated cross-country running at the school, and her antics with friends who lived on the RAF Camp, together with her love for the city of Lincoln.

Frances and her friends Olive Boles, now in London, and Kim Robinson from Middle Rasen, remember Dawn at school as a bright, bubbly, imaginative bundle of fun who used to make them giggle a lot.

When asked about her plans for the immediate future, she told the girls that she and Jennifer plan to take the show to Australia, she may write another book, and will hopefully be taking a much-earned holiday, probably in her beloved Cornwall, where she has just moved to with her husband, Lenny Henry.

Frances King said “the backstage meeting was amazing – we were taken on stage and then through to Dawn and Jennifer’s dressing room where Dawn welcomed us with a kiss and we had a chat about school friends”.

After half an hour, it was time for us all to leave and as we opened the Stage Door, with Dawn and Jennifer following us, the excited fans erupted with shouts, whistles and cameras flashing – we felt like stars ourselves!”

* Do you have memories of school days with dawn or did you share a desk with any celebrities yourself?

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