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Magic of Piaf is alive once more
5:32pm Monday 8th October 2012 in What's on in Lancashire
IN her trademark black dress, silhouetted in the spotlight, the tiny figure of Edith Piaf melted the hearts of concert goers throughout the Forties and Fifties.
With her distinctive, emotionally charged voice and songs which reflected her harsh early life, first France and then the rest of the world took her to their hearts.
Now Piaf — The Songs is a new theatrical show is keeping the memory alive.
“The power of the songs can’t be underestimated,” said Eve Loiseau, who performs as Piaf in the show. “Even today they connect with the audience.
“When I put on the dress and stand on stage I am overtaken by the emotion of the songs every time.”
Eve describes the show as a theatrical experience rather than a straight concert.
“I will act as narrator and also as Piaf,” she said. “I try and put the songs into context in her life but also use her own words she would use to introduce songs when she toured America.
“In some ways this show is the concert that so many people never got the chance to see.”
Piaf died in 1963, aged just 47. From her early life growing up on the streets of Paris to her later battles against drugs and alcohol, her global success could never hide the underlying tragedy.
“Until we started the show I was not totally aware of how much Piaf meant to so many people,” said Eve.
“There is a huge responsibility on me to interpret her songs and to perform them.”
Eve will be supported by violinist Fiona Barrow and accordionist Edward Jay for the show.
“They are my own little portable orchestra,” she said. “They produce a really full sound which surprises people.
“We aim to take an audience back to the Forties and Fifties. Once the accordion starts to play it immediately creates the right atmosphere.”
Eve is half French and grew up listening to the songs of Edith Piaf.
“My mother and my aunt were both singers,” she said.
“I never thought I sounded like Piaf.
“I sang like my mother.
“Piaf has a uniquely French sound which is in part her voice and also the pronunciation of the French language.
“I see it as my role to take an audience into Piaf’s world.”
The show features all the songs which Piaf became famous for including La Vie En Rose and her most famous song Je Ne Regrette Rien.
“Audiences are often surprised at how many songs of Piaf’s they know,” said Eve.
- Piaf – The Songs, Thwaites Empire Theatre, Blackburn, Saturday, October 20. Details from 01254 685500.
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