Exposing Edinburgh at Assembly George Square Studies is 70 minutes of sheer joy for anyone who, like me, is a fan of the music of Edith Piaf.
From the moment the diminutive Michaela Burger comes on to the stage as Piaf, demanding to be allowed to sing to Greg Wain’s guitar music, you know you are in for a treat. Michaela tells the story of Édith Giovanna Gassion starting from her teenage years busking in the streets of Paris, with Michaela taking on various parts along the way with great skill and of course singing some of the wonderful songs which are still remembered and loved today. Edith was “discovered” by nightclub owner Louis Leplee, who nicknamed her La Môme Piaf, Parisian slang for The Little Sparrow, which gave her her stage name.
Starting with the first song Piaf sang on Radio, “Mon Légionnaire”, this show includes some of Piaf’s greatest songs, including “Hymne a L’Amour”, “La Vie en Rose”, and of course the song which became almost Piaf’s theme tune, “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien”.
Piaf’s story is an ultimately tragic one of a woman always searching for love, finding it in an all too short-lived relationship with Marcel Cerdan, and turning increasingly to alcohol and drugs before dying in 1963 at the age of 47. Michaela Burger brings this story lovingly to life, telling of many of the highs and lows of Piaf’s short life, and does it all with a wonderful voice which more than does justice to these great songs.
Assembly George Square Studios
Aug 11, 13-18, 20-26
1 hour 10 minutes
Group: Burger and Wain in association with SquareSums&Co
Review by Lisa Sibbald