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Exposing Edith - FRINGE WORLD - Review

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by Douglas Sutherland-Bruce (subscribe)
Douglas has been a professional food writer since 1986. He is also an award-winning actor and director in Community Theatre and has been for many years. His blog may be found at: www.urbaneguerilla.wordpress.com
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Every damn thing you do in life, you have to pay for - Piaf
Edith 'Piaf', the Little Sparrow (born Edith Giovanna Gassion) is one of the world's icons. The French cabaret singer/songwriter is widely regarded as the voice of France.

Exploring Edith, Perth Fringe World 2018, Michaela Burger, Greg Wain, Edith Piaf, La Vie en Rose
Edith Piaf (Photograph courtesy Wikimedia Commons)


Her personal life was a shambles, a tragic mix of circumstances and poor life choices. Born in 1915, she spent her early childhood, while her father fought for France in the First World War, in the care of her grandmother's home, a brothel in Normandy.

At fourteen she performed in public for the first time with her father, a street acrobat. The minuscule Edith (4'8") sang with her half-sister Simone as buskers while the father performed.

When she was sixteen she fell in love for the first time and had a child a year later. In 1935, when Edith was twenty she was discovered singing in a nightclub, given the name La Môme Piaf (The Little Sparrow) and a job in a Paris nightclub by Louis Leplee, who also told her always to wear black. (He was later murdered).

Exploring Edith, Perth Fringe World 2018, Michaela Burger, Greg Wain, Edith Piaf, La Vie en Rose
Michaela Burger as Edith Piaf (Photograph courtesy of M Burger)


Piaf's personal life and relationships were chaotic and made worse by her addiction to painkillers and alcohol. She died at the early age of forty-seven of liver cancer, leaving a legacy of heart-breaking songs and the adoration of hundreds of thousands of fans.

Since her death her reputation has grown due to her recordings and the many biographies and films about her.

Her singing voice was distinctive and her vibrato gave her songs a richness and pathos in which her sadness, desperation and love of love resonates.

Exploring Edith, Perth Fringe World 2018, Michaela Burger, Greg Wain, Edith Piaf, La Vie en Rose
Michaela Burger and Greg Wise in Exploring Edith (Photograph courtesy of Perth Fringe World)


This is the singer that Australian singer/songwriter/actress Michaela Burger embodies in her one woman, one man show, Exploring Edith at Perth Fringe World.

With Greg Wain on acoustic guitar, she interweaves Piaf's life story with Piaf's songs, in turns the singer herself in character, sometimes in her own voice as narrator.

The seventy-minute show is an absolute triumph of musician and showman-ship. By turns pathetic and desolate intertwined with joyousness and love of life.

La Vie en Rose, Milord, Padam ... Padam and what is really her anthem Non, je ne regrette rien (No, I regret nothing) all epitomise the divine Edith and Burger's amazing range and tone all evoke her.

The venue - St George's Cathedral in St Georges Terrace, has the acoustics to do her voice justice, and the hardness of the pews go un-noticed in the strength of her and Greg Wain's performance.

Exploring Edith runs until the 3rd February. Tickets cost $35 and may be booked online here.

Very Highly Recommended Indeed.

exploring Edith, Perth Fringe World 2018, Michaela Burger, Greg Wain, Edith Piaf, La Vie en Rose


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Why? Edith Piaf sings again
When: 7:00pm, 8:15pm and 9:30pm
Where: St Georges Cathedral, St Georges Terrace, Perth
Cost: $35
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