HOMAGE: Elizabeth Mansfield plays the legendary Edith Piaf in Hymn To Love
HOMAGE: Elizabeth Mansfield plays the legendary Edith Piaf in Hymn To Love

OLIVIER Award-nominated actress Elizabeth Mansfield plays legendary singer Edith Piaf in a musical homage to the star which is being staged in Teesdale.

Hymn to Love, at Mickleton Village Hall, on Thursday, April 12, explores love, loss and longing and includes 13 of Piaf’s songs, each given fresh meaning in vibrant new English translations.

Songs by The Little Sparrow – Piaf’s nickname – have been featured in French in Mickleton previously but in this Highlights Rural Touring Scheme production only one – Je Ne Regrette Rien – will be sung in French.

The setting is a Manhattan hotel room in New York as Piaf rehearses for her last US concert.

Eight years earlier in the same hotel she had telephoned her lover, boxer Marcel Cerdan, begging him to overcome his fear of flying and leave France to be with her.

Hours later she heard the terrible news that his plane had crashed. Marcel was dead.

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Past, present, and future merge in the show, which is performed to live piano music with a narrative interspersed with autobiographical monologues and reminiscences.

Songs featured include: Milord, L’Accordéoniste, La Vie en Rose, Padam Padam, La Foule, L’Hymne à l’Amour, C’est à Hambourg, Mon Légionnaire, Comme Moi and La Ville Inconnue.

The show was created by Elizabeth Mansfield, writer Steve Trafford and director Annie Castledine, the same team whose one-woman musical tribute to queen of the musical Marie Lloyd earned Ms Mansfield her Olivier nomination.

David Hutchinson, chairman of Mickleton Village Hall committee, said “We are delighted to welcome back Highlights Rural Touring to Mickleton and are looking forward to a great evening of entertainment.”

Tickets are £10 adults, £6 children and £26 families. Call 01833 640909 or email mickletonvh@gmail.com.