Christine Bovill’s Piaf

Christine Bovill has returned to the Fringe once again to grace us with her incredibly heartfelt renditions of some of Piaf’s greatest songs, on the centenary of the icon’s birth. Christine Bovill’s Piaf is a mesmerising night of songs that speak to the soul. Not only does she belt out the songs beautifully but she also emotionally engages with them, bringing all the passion of Piaf’s masterpieces to life.

She performs the songs with such love and emotion that’s it’s impossible not to moved to awe.

Interweaving her own personal experiences with the famed tragic tales of Edith’s, Bovill speaks of her own connections to the songs and how they changed her life. She provides some good details of the history surrounding each song, what the songs mean and sings in both French and English. It’s an incredible performance: heartwarming and at times heartbreaking. 

We get a detailed account of Piaf’s life and the progression of her songs; her tragic love affair with the boxer, Marcel Cerdan; her car accidents and drink and valium abuse – all of which had a terrible impact on Piaf and fuelled such powerful numbers. Bovill manages to keep the night light and enjoyable with her endearing and charming presence, while not shying away from the tragedy that marked so much of Piaf’s short life. Instead she embraces it with passion, performing the songs with such love and emotion that’s it’s impossible not to moved to awe.

Christine Bovill says she doesn’t sound like Piaf, that she’s just someone who loves her songs. So much so she made it her life’s work to learn French, which she comically tells us she hated at school, and learn all of Piaf’s songs. But Bovill does sound like Piaf – and more than that, she embodies the spirit of these unforgettable numbers with a soulful, powerful performance.

This is a special night out, beautifully housed in the majestic Spiegeltent. Bovill sings Piaf’s songs with a love and pride that makes for a wonderful evening of entertainment, and a fitting and joyous tribute to an unforgettable icon. 

Reviews by Dave House

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The Blurb

‘There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in’ (Graham Greene). Christine threads her remarkable journey in the world of French song with the life and works of Edith Piaf. No gimmicks. No pretence. Nothing but a voice, singing of life’s triumphs and tragedies. Bovill’s Piaf is both a personal narrative and a powerful musical homage to France’s most endearing icon. ‘Bovill conveys the pathetic nature of the song with few gestures, her voice carrying all before her, its honeyed subtleties wringing pathos from every line’ (CultureNorthernIreland.org).