Review from Helen Tope - CHANSONS - Songs & Stories from Piaf, Brel & Me
- A musical cabaret by Stefanie Rummel
Performing at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe, singer Stefanie Rummel presents her multi-award winning show Chansons: Songs & Stories from Piaf, Brel & Me. This is a recreation of the authentic Parisian cabaret experience, celebrating the work of Edith Piaf and Belgian songwriter Jacques Brel.
Leaning into influences from across Europe, Rummel takes us on a journey “without the jet lag”. Rummel’s versatile voice moves from delicate, lingering notes (in a superb cover of Autumn Leaves) to moments of joie de vivre in the Piaf classic, L’Accordeoniste. The tribute to Piaf is sensitively drawn, with an appreciation of the work it took for Piaf to get her voice heard. Rummel also travels across genres. The songlist includes jazz and
contemporary pop, including a bright, sunny version of Zaz’s Je Veux, Rummel’s interpretation of Brel’s catalogue, including Ne Me Quitte Pas, is confident and assured, as she explores a complex range of songs that exist in very unique emotional spaces.
With a more intimate feel than traditional cabaret, Rummel maintains a warm, familial presence throughout. Rummel also expands on the wider meaning of ‘Chansons’, putting story-telling at the heart of her performance. Her clear-eyed observations, particularly in pointing out the differences between the more relaxed European sensibility and the hurried pace of living beyond the Continent, all add up to a show that celebrates a more measured way of life.
Rummel’s show is delivered in French, German and English, and she punches through the language barrier by making the wider point that music, specifically great songs, has the power to bring people together. Stefanie Rummel’s choice of songs will evoke memories, collective and personal, even if they are not sung in our home language. Rummel’s ability to connect to her audience through song is both charming and seductive. Chansons delivers a simple but moving message: it is through song that we are finally able to understand each other.
www.chansons.show & www.stefanierummel.com
Performance times & dates:
5-21 August 2022, 5.45pm
C ARTS | C venues | C aquila Venue address: Roman Eagle Lodge, 2 Johnston Terrace, Edinburgh EH1 2PW (venue 21)