No regrets as Piaf’s tragic life is played out on Halifax stage

Emotional: Eve Loiseau portrayed Piaf with passion and skill
Emotional: Eve Loiseau portrayed Piaf with passion and skill

Piaf - the Songs

Square Chapel, Halifax

By Sandra Rout

Myths have grown up around the iconic French chanteuse Edith Piaf, but the power of her singing to move and enthrall has never been in question.

Her unique voice and emotional delivery made her France’s most popular singer and her songs reflected her life.

Born in Paris in 1915, Piaf grew up in her grandmother’s brothel and on the streets where she was discovered singing. She went on to become an international star but was always dogged by tristesse.

Her lover, boxing champion Marcel Cerdan, died in a plane crash on his way to see her perform in New York. That night she continued with the show, singing Hymne a l’Amour for him.

Twice married and mother of a child who died in infancy, she died of cancer aged just 47.

Eve Loiseau brought Piaf’s songs and story to life, superbly accompanied by Eddie Jay on the accordion and Fiona Barrow on violin. Archive images of Paris and Piaf played on the screen while Loiseau recreated her songs and gestures with skill and passion.

She drew us in, establishing a warm rapport with the audience – almost a full house on a rainy night.

La Vie en Rose, Sous le Ciel de Paris, Padam Padam, C’est Merveilleux and L’Accordéoniste were clearly songs that they had come to hear and the rousing Non, je ne Regrette Rien left us to contemplate a life that was lived to the full.