A riveting piece of musical storytelling, Exposing Edith charts the incredible, tragic story of French singing superstar Édith Piaf. Being such a famous star, it might be a story some in the crowd feel they know already. Yet Michaela Burger and Greg Wain chart Piaf’s life like you will never have seen it before, with an astounding musical chronicle.
Burger is the beating heart of the show. She fills the roles of several key characters throughout the performance, including Piaf herself and those close to her. They all feel wonderfully distinct and alive, leaving you in little doubt about who’s who. It is as Piaf, though, that Burger truly excels, capturing something about her that is so sad yet full of life. Burger channels every aspect of Piaf’s personality, from her finest traits to her tragic flaws. By the time Burger launches into her rendition of ‘Non, je ne regrette rien,’ you are near convinced that Piaf herself is in the room.
Burger’s singing is astonishing. The words flow like a river torrent, charged with such energy, power and versatility. The songs structure the story, stringing each spoken moment together into a single tale. When it comes to hitting high notes or moving in for the emotional crescendo, Exposing Edith leaves you breathless. Wain provides accomplished acoustic support, the pair sharing small moments of chemistry that light up the room in a flash. The performance is near constantly bathed in colour and style, making for an intoxicating musical experience.
Exposing Edith, for all the cruel twists of fate that plague Piaf’s story, leaves you on the kind of high that you only get after experiencing incredible music. Performed with grace and beauty by this talented double act, they throw in moments of humour to stop the affair becoming too sombre. Because this is not an obituary. This is a celebration of a woman quite unlike any other. The musical talent on display is matched only by the attractiveness and magnetism of the storytelling. Truly wonderful stuff, the spirit of Édith Piaf is alive and well.