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The Famous Spiegeltent in George Street is the venue for Christine Bovill’s Piaf. The smoke machine and the red lighting transports us to an intimate French venue to hear the story and songs of Piaf’s life. As Christine finishes her first song and tells us that she was born in a small town north of Paris – Glasgow – we know that we are about to enjoy something special.

Bovill tells us she hated French at school and hated her French teacher until she was given an LP (remember those) with Piaf songs. From then on she became a Francophile – loving French, doing a degree in French, teaching French and singing Piaf.

We are led through the Piaf story, some of which we might already know:-Piaf was born and lived on the streets of Paris, nightclub owner Louis Leplee discovered her at the age of 17, her life became a roller coaster of tremendous highs and recurring tragedies. The passion and intensity of her life gave us all her brilliant and enduring songs.

Accompanied by only a violin and piano, Bovill clearly loves Piaf who is her great influence and heroine. Mixed with song we learn of Piaf’s affairs, loves and losses. Bovill is not Piaf and does not try to be, but she sings with the intonation and certainly the emotion of Piaf. The playlist includes Hymne à l’amour, l’Accordéoniste, La Foule, Milord and of course the great signature songs, La Vie en rose and Non, je ne regrette rien.

Just in case you don’t make the show you can watch the fabulous Bovill on The Review Show from 2012 here:-

Leaving the Famous Spiegeltent I have become French, I am walking along the streets of Montmartre and I love it.

Christine Bovill’s Piaf is at The Famous Spiegeltent at the Assembly Rooms Fringe in George Street. 

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Submitted by Mart McAdam