To be nominated for a Helpmann award is, without a doubt, an extraordinary accomplishment for any artist, but to also win Best Cabaret at Adelaide Fringe 2016 is a testament to how outstanding Exposing Edith is.
Michaela Burger and Greg Wain have come together to share the tragic story of Edith Piaf, noted as arguably the greatest French singer of all time.
Exposing Edith is a mix of authentic French chanson and contemporary sounds, interwoven with stories of Piaf’s life. They are told by Burger who takes on a multitude of characters such as Piaf’s half-sister, several of Piaf’s lovers and Edith Piaf herself.
“We both realised that we had a common love for Edith Piaf and decided that we should do a show together to tell her untold stories,” Burger said.
After great analysis of Piaf’s work, the pair have created their own interpretation, utilising modern technologies and styles.
“In our show the music is arranged for acoustic guitar, whereas you will hear most of Piaf’s classics with piano and a full orchestra,” Burger said.
“We also use the occasional effect pedal – something that Piaf didn’t have access to.
“We approached the arrangements of the music with the mind set of wondering how Piaf would have written her music if she were alive today with access to our technology, while keeping the integrity of the original songs.”
Exposing Edith gives room for Piaf’s life stories to shine. This gives the chance for Burger to explore the life, loves and losses that shaped Piaf’s unique story.
“Each story stands out!” Burger said.
“She was such a unique person both on and off stage and it’s hard to pin point which of her stories stands out the most.”
Both Burger and Wain relate the most to Piaf through their desire for performing and creating connections through music.
“Mostly with our passion for performing and presenting songs in their rawest form to the audience,” Burger said.
The pair have performed a multitude of performances since the show’s inception in 2016, and ensure they are constantly rehearsing to keep it as fresh for them as possible.
“The initial rehearsal process was filled with a lot of experimentation, which was such fun and the gathering of information for the story took many months of research,” Burger said.
“Besides this we continue to rehearse and make changes to the show in order to keep it alive and fresh.
“We have changed some of the dialogue, which always continues to evolve.”
The show enjoys continued success, having sold out their initial show at the Whitehorse Centre and securing a second.
“It always adds to the excitement of performing when we know that we’ll be in front of a full house,” Burger said.
“We are looking forward to our shows in Whitehorse!”
Exposing Edith is on at the Whitehorse Centre on Thursday 20 and Friday 21 July, with the Friday show already sold out.
Tickets are available via the Whitehorse Centre website.
Duration: 1 hour, 20 minutes (no interval)
Prices: $48 Full, $45 Concession, $25 Under 25s
Thumbnail: Matt Craig
Photo #1: Brendan Dennis
Photo #2: Grace Forde