Tony Winner Frances Ruffelle to Play Title Role in Piaf
By Mark Shenton
Frances Ruffelle, who created the role of Eponine in the original RSC/Cameron Mackintosh production of Les Miserables and won a Tony Award for reprising it on Broadway, is to play the title role in Pam Gems' Piaf in a regional U.K. production at Curve in Leicester.
It will begin performances Feb. 22, 2013, prior to an official opening Feb. 26, for a run through March 16, with plans for a U.K. national tour to follow.
Curve artistic director Paul Kerryson will direct the production. Known to all as Piaf, the sparrow that rose from the streets of Paris to the international stage, Edith Gassion's life and career was as unique as her singing voice. Over one hundred thousand people brought Paris to a standstill on the occasion of her untimely death 50 years ago in 1963. Gems' play brings to life and celebrates the story of one of France's greatest cultural icons, and includes some of her greatest songs, such as "La Vie en Rose," "Mon Dieu," "Hymne á l’Amour" and "Non, Je Ne Regrette."
Ruffelle was most recently seen on the London stage playing Frastrada in Pippin at the Menier Chocolate Factory. Other credits include originating the role of Dinah in Starlight Express, and she has also played Roxie Hart in Chicago in the West End and starred in her own solo show Beneath the Dress at the Edinburgh Festival, Menier Chocolate Factory and Garrick Theatre.
The original production of Piaf was produced by the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1979 at the Donmar Warehouse, and subsequently transferred to the West End and Broadway with Jane Lapotaire in the title role. It has since been revived twice in London, with Elaine Paige at the Piccadilly and with Elena Roger at the Donmar Warehouse (subsequently transferring to the Vaudeville).
To book tickets, contact the box office on 0116 242 3595 or visit www.curveonline.co.uk for more details.
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