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PIAF - NO REGRETS (article first published : 2001-07-17)

The intimate Kwasuka Theatre in Durban's Stamford Hill Road plays host to a dramatisation of one of the greatest performers of the 20th century in a new musical-theatre production by Pieter Scholtz titled Piaf: No Regrets which opens on July 27 to run to August 18.

Audiences loved Edith Piaf and lived with her through 20 years of triumph and disaster, passion and scandal. She held nothing back onstage or off but gave her all, making her life the subject of her songs. She lived intensely and loved enormously, consuming herself. Her trademark song was aptly titled "Non, Je ne Regrette Rien.." (No, I Have No Regrets).

This new production Piaf: No Regrets is a new production that tells the true, tumultuous story of the Parisian waif who entertained France and the world with her songs, her loves, her scandals, herself. The production is based largely on a biography written by her half-sister, Simone Bertaut, and aims to capture some of the remarkable episodes of her extraordinary life on the stage and to record the process of her development as a "chanteuse".

Piaf’s songs are foremost in the facets of her life. Above all, the dramatic excitement of her singing and her total commitment to her art and to life remain the most memorable facets of her character. Songs included will be The Vagabond Children, L'Etranger, Hymne a l'Amour, Non, Je ne Regrette Rien" and others.

Created and directed by Pieter Scholtz, the production features a cast of six with Janene van Pletsen as Edith Piaf and musical director Evan Roberts on piano. John van de Ruit portrays numerous roles including Piaf's young lover; Catherine Farren also takes several parts including Piaf's good friend and composer Marguerite Mounot . Stacey Taylor is Piaf's half-sister Simone; Peter Gardner appears as the narrator and Pieter Scholtz plays Papa Leplee, the night club-owner who gave Piaf her first break.

Lighting design is by Brandon Bunyan and Pieter Scholtz has designed the set which has been painted and constructed by Alan Keatinge.

Shows nightly at 19h30 with Sunday performances at 18h00. Tickets R35, R25 for the Saturday matinees at 14h30. R5 off all ticket prices for pensioners. Book at Computicket or on (011) 340-8000 or 083 915-8000 for credit card bookings or www.computicket.co.za.




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