Les Miserables' original Eponine, Frances Ruffelle, will take on another tragic French figure: Edith Piaf. Ruffelle will star as the ill-fated singer in the Curve Theatre’s upcoming production of Pam Gem’s Piaf. Directed by Paul Kerryson, the play with music will run in Leicester February 22, 2013 through March 16, before embarking on a national tour.
Known to all as Piaf, the sparrow that rose from the streets of Paris to the international stage, Edith Gassion's life and career is as unique as her extraordinary singing voice. Over 100,000 people brought Paris to a standstill on the occasion of her untimely death 50 years ago in 1963. The show explores her legendary journey and includes her most popular songs, “La Vie en Rose,” “Mon Dieu,” “Hymne á l'Amour” and “Non, Je Ne Regrette.”
Piaf first peremired in 1979 at the Royal Shakespeare Company and starred Jane Lapotaire as Piaf. Stage stars Elaine Paige and Elena Roger played Piaf in subsequent London revivals. Roger went on to win an Olivier Award for her performance.
In addition to Les Miz, Ruffelle has appeared onstage in Pippin, Starlight Express, Chicago, The Seeping Prince, Songs from a Hotel Bedroom, Mathilde, Lucky Stiff and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. She has a cameo role in the upcoming big screen adaptation of Les Miserables.
Check out a video of Piaf performing her inspiring anthem “Non, Je Ne Regrette” below!