Edinburgh Moment: Most Embarrassing Festival MomentDate: 15 August 2011
With Piaf, Christine Bovill brings her musical homage to the iconic French singer Edith Piaf to the Edinburgh Fringe. But this is not her first visit to the festival, as she recalls her Fringe debut in 1995.
My show was Midnight Cabaret, I was due on after crazy Australian comedy duo the Umbilical Brothers. By the end of their set, the massive crowd were screaming and full of beer and madness! They were up and wanted to remain up there! My sophisticated walk through the Parisian life of a legend was looking more like a semi nude Scotland - France rugby match. I slide onstage, wee Edith Piaf, the sparrow of Glasgow.... backless dress, brass neck... and visibly shaking! Stepping up to the mic I notice a sea of young men. Before I can open my mouth one lad at the front table stood up and gestured a vile sign which, in polite circles could only be described as - "oh isn’t she pretty I would like to make love to her!!!" Every instinct was to run from the stage, the venue, down the hill and back on the train to Glasgow. What was I doing on this bill? Instead of Piaf's huge "Milord" number we planned to open with, I suddenly said let's do "Autumn Leaves"! Open with a slow, sad song? Instinctively, I thought it would silence the place, it worked, suddenly...not a peep, phew. Luckily we went on to triumph, and through"Milord", et al, we threw our own fireworks back into the crowd, leaving the stage triumphant and regretting nothing! When I got off stage, it was pointed out to me in the dressing room that the back of my dress was completely split, I had indeed, walked on semi nude! I can’t wait to go back and do a big Piaf show this year, especially this time in such a lovely venue as the NLS, hopefully a non gesticulating venue.
Christine Bovill will be performing Piaf at the National Library of Scotland from the 14-20 August at 19.00.
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