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BWW Previews: FOREVER PIAF at Göta Lejon

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Musikal based on the life of Edith Piaf

BWW Previews: FOREVER PIAF at Göta Lejon

The 29th of September the restrictions were lifted n Sweden and tonight the audience were back at Göta Lejon on this dress rehearsal. Great that the restrictions are lifted, but at the same time I am a little surprised that so many in the audience immediately went back and do not have a thought of keeping their distance. Especially considering that there are so many older people in the audience because even if they are vaccinated, they can still be infected. But it's great that we can gather again and the theaters can be filled and it should be celebrated properly, as they did with wonderful feelgood with Amelie at Östgötateatern and She loves me at Spira, but tonight it will not be a joy pill but rather that it tightens the gray and depressing direction. Now it was decided earlier that Forever Piaf would be played and just been postponed.

Edith Piaf is one of France's most famous singers with a voice that everyone recognizes and songs that are immortal. But her life does not seem to have been directly happy, from the time she is born and abandoned by her parents, partly raised in a brothel, an environment of alcohol and drugs, begins to sing in the streets early to earn some money. Then she is discovered and her career takes off. She gives birth to a child she does not ids take care of, who dies at 2 years of age. The manager is murdered, his career has to start again. A fighting stream of men that she exploits in different ways and ignores whether they are married or not. If she wants a man, she takes him type. As she is portrayed in the musical, she is not a directly nice person, not someone I am touched by.

The musical begins with her funeral and then we get to follow her life from her childhood and career until she dies. As a young woman she is played by Beata Ernman and the older one by Malena Ernman. The younger and older Piaf are pretty much on stage all the time and in parallel watching each other, which is a good grip. In terms of singing, Beata has Edith's special tremor in her voice, but it is completely missing in Malena, which I find a little strange as I think it would have been better to be consistent. Unfortunately, neither Beata nor Malena's interpretation of Piaf manages to get me involved or touched, but they have chosen to portray her as a fairly emotional person and they succeed, but I miss being touched by the tragedy in her life. On a few occasions there are times when it could be emotional like when the daughter dies at the age of two or one of her lovers falls, but the grief that is shown then becomes overplayed and feels more like a game for the galleries. The pain she should feel does not reach me. Approximately in the middle of the play, Piaf receives instructions that it is not enough to have a good singing voice and dot notes, you must be able to tell and convey a story and feelings. This is exactly what I consistently missed in the show.

Anna Thiam (who among other roles plays Piaf's mother) has the ability I'm looking for. Piaf's mother is also not very sympathetic and pleasant, but Anna Thiam touches and engages with her song in her role interpretations. There, the musical gets the nerve that would have been needed straight through to lift. Anna and everyone else in the ensemble play a number of different roles and they really do a fantastic job for which they should be highly praised. Björn Kjellman plays a number of men who in various ways have been important to Piaf and it is impressive how he goes in and out of the different characters so seamlessly. Fantastic musicians in the orchestra under the direction of Kristofer Nergårdh. When I leave the theater, I have the music with me and hum hums, but otherwise I wasn't touched and emotional.

The musical is played in an act and it felt a bit long but had been too short to have a break. However, with an older audience, it became too far for some for the unusually many who needed to go out in the middle of the performance, which creates chaos and disruption for the rest of the audience.

The musical runs until December 4.

Tickets are on sale at:

https://www.gotalejon.se/forever-piaf


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