Review: Piaf, Leicester Curve

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FANS of music drama should make and take that extra effort and mile and head off to Leicester’s Curve to catch ‘Piaf.’

There, until Saturday 16th March, there’s a chance to experience the rollercoaster life and times of iconic French singer Edith Piaf (‘Little Sparrow) whose “gutter to greatness” story is given renewed focus in this the 50th anniversary of her death.

The show stands, or falls, on the choice of singing actress to play the title role and Frances Ruffelle - an award winner for playing Eponine in the original London and Broadway productions of ‘Les Miserables’ - did not disapppoint.

Curve director Paul Kerryson’s choice of staging this biopic in the 300-seater Studio added a noisy immediacy and nightclub feel to the production, giving full vent to the late Pam Gems’ racy, and, at times, expletive-ridden script, which captured the bittersweet life and times of Piaf who went from poverty to sellout concerts on both sides of the Atlantic.

But her troubled childhood and the high life of the much-loved star took its toll, the high and lows being captured and delivered with conviction by Ms Ruffelle, whether it was belting out such classics as ‘La Vie en Rose’ or the show-stopper ‘Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien,’ to more reflective moments as near the end and ravaged by illness she looked back on a life not without incident or memory.

Further details of showtimes and tickets can be obtained from the Curve box office on 0116 242 3595, or at curveonline