Frances Ruffelle plays the title role in Piaf

Fri 30 Nov 2012


Curve’s production of


By Pam Gems

Director:Paul Kerryson

22 February – 16 March 2013

Press night: 26 February at 7pm

Following the opening of Curve’s musical Hello, Dolly! starring Janie Dee, Artistic Director, Paul Kerryson announces thatFrances Ruffelle will play the title role in his forthcoming production of Pam Gems’ Piaf. Planning is underway for a national tour of the production, following the performances at Curve, full details to be confirmed at a later date.

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 one hundred thousand people brought Paris to a standstill on the occasion of her untimely death 50 years ago in 1963.

In this new production, Pam Gems’ play brings to life and celebrates the story of one of France’s greatest cultural icons. From street performer to worldwide fame, and including some of Piaf’s greatest songs, such as La Vie en RoseMon Dieu, Hymne á l’Amour and Non, Je Ne Regrette,  this mesmerising tale explores the sensational highs and lows of this enigmatic and worldrenowned artist who is revered and much loved to this day.

Pam Gems is an English playwright (1925 – 2011). Her principal works include Franz Into April (1977), Queen Christina(1977), The Blue Angel (1991), the book for the musical Marlene (1996) and Stanley (1996).

Frances Ruffelle plays Piaf. Her extensive theatre credits include creating the role of Eponine in the original London and Broadway casts of Les Miserables winning a Tony Award, Helen Hayes Award, Theatre World Award and Outer Circle Critics’ Award.  Her other work for theatre includes Frastrada in Pippin (Menier Chocolate Factory), Dinah in the original company of Starlight Express, Roxie Hart in Chicago, and  Louisa in The Sleeping Prince (both West End), the Narrator inJoseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (tour), Delilah in Ian Dury’s Apples (Royal Court), Angelique Picard inSongs from a Hotel Bedroom (Royal Opera House), the title role in Mathilde (Edinburgh), Make Me A Song (New Players), Annabelle in Lucky Stiff (Bridewell), and Beneath the Dress at the Edinburgh Festival, Menier Chocolate Factory and West End. For television, her work includes Headless – for which she also co-wrote the soundtrack, Dream Team, Strangers, S.W.A.L.K., The Further Adventures of Robin Hood, The Equalizer, The Hard Word, Alan Bennett’s Marks; and for film, the forthcoming Devil’s Tower, Les Miserables, Eunice P’Tang Yang Kipperbang, The Invitation, The Road to Ithaca, Secrets and Lies, and The Wild Cats of St. Trinians.

Artistic Director of Curve, Paul Kerryson directs. For the company, his work includes Entertaining Mr Sloane, Gypsy, Absurd Person Singular, The Light in the Piazza, The King and I (also UK tour), 42nd Street, The Pillowman and The Lieutenant of Inishmore. For the Haymarket Theatre Leicester, The Cripple of Inishmaan, The Playboy of the Western World, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Plough and the Star, Dolly West’s Kitchen, Richard III, Breaking the Code, East, Edward II and Single Spies. Later this season he will direct Hello Dolly! and Piaf. Kerryson has directed works by the world’s greatest composers including Rogers and Hammerstein, Kander and Ebb, Jerry Herman, William Finn, and has enjoyed a celebrated, close creative relationship with the works of Stephen Sondheim. He has directed for Chichester Festival Theatre, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Manchester Library Theatre and the Dublin Gaiety.

The original production of Piaf was at the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1979. This new Curve production celebrates the extraordinary life of Edith Gassion on the 50th anniversary of her untimely death in 1963.

22 February – 16 March 2013
Press night: 27 February at 7pm
Ticket prices: £10 – £20
Concessions available, please check the website

Performance times:
Matinees: 2.30pm
Evenings: Mon to Sat at 7.45pm

Access performances:
Signed: 6 March at 7.45pm
Captioned: 16 March at 2.30pm
Audio-described: 13 March at 7.45pm (preceded by a touch tour)

Day seats: a limited number are available to buy in person from the box office at 10am on the day of performance (excludes certain performances)

Twitter: @CurveLeicester

Curve is run by Leicester Theatre Trust Limited, a registered charity (no. 230708). We gratefully acknowledge and welcome the continued support of and partnership with the above organisations.

For further information, please contact: Kate Morley

07970 465 648 / [email protected]