Piaf takes to Loft stage

By IH 23/03 Updated: 05/04 11:10

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Buy photos » Hannah Farquharson is Edith Piaf at The Loft. (s)

THE TROUBLED life of legendary French singer Edith Piaf is brought to the stage at Leamington's Loft Theatre until April 14.

Pam Gems' play Piaf charts the career of Edith Gassion - known to all as “Piaf”, the sparrow - who rose from the back streets of Paris to worldwide fame.

It includes some of Piaf’s greatest songs, such as La Vie en Rose, Mon Dieu and Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien, as it explores the glamour and squalor of her life, and the rise and fall of this complex, fragile and enigmatic performer.

While her life was seldom without alcohol, drugs and heartache, this play celebrates an artist who continues to be remembered and revered for her dedication to her art and her extraordinary voice.

Chris Gilbey-Smith directs with musical direction by Alastair Evans.

Making her Loft debut, Hannah Farquharson takes the title role, supported by a cast of eight who between them play over 30 other roles.

"Recreating Piaf’s turbulent life has been a real challenge for both the actors and production team’, said Chris. "The cinematic feel of the play has been tackled head on by our fantastic teams in lighting, sound, wardrobe and props working with the cast to give the audience a real Piaf experience."

When it premiered in 1978, Piaf was hailed for breaking down the barriers between play and musical. It is very much a play with music rather than a traditional musical, a fact duly acknowledged when Jane Lapotaire, who played Piaf in the original RSC production, received a Tony Award for Best Actress in Play during the show’s 1981 Broadway run.

For tickets and further information visit www.loft-theatre.co.uk or call 0844 493 4938 between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.

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